Author Topic: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin  (Read 15094 times)

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Rohanna

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2010, 07:27:38 PM »
Well, luck/lucky also has two main, slightly different meanings. It can mean "things happening entirely by chance" or it could mean "having/bringing good fortune".

So I'd kind of take "You're so lucky to have stayed so thin" in that context to mean, you've had the good fortune to be someone who has been able to keep off weight. Some people don't try and gain,some people do try and fail, some people don't try and stay the same, and some people do try and stay the same or better (following me? :P). If I said, You're so lucky- I would be meaning it to say, You're so lucky you're in the latter two catagories somewhere (note: I wouldn't say it, I'd say something more generic like "You're looking great").
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Spoder

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2010, 09:41:31 PM »
Well, luck/lucky also has two main, slightly different meanings. It can mean "things happening entirely by chance" or it could mean "having/bringing good fortune".

So I'd kind of take "You're so lucky to have stayed so thin" in that context to mean, you've had the good fortune to be someone who has been able to keep off weight. Some people don't try and gain,some people do try and fail, some people don't try and stay the same, and some people do try and stay the same or better (following me? :P). If I said, You're so lucky- I would be meaning it to say, You're so lucky you're in the latter two catagories somewhere (note: I wouldn't say it, I'd say something more generic like "You're looking great").

ITA. It's also a plain fact that women's bodies tend to 'thicken' and put on weight as they get older, as a result of hormones/child-bearing. Even the women I know who have stayed in good shape very very rarely have figures as trim and lithe as when we were in highschool.

Staying slim IS at least partly attributable to our genetics, which we have zero control over, as is staying wrinkle-free or not going gray. I personally know quite a few people who stay slim without much effort at all. I've also heard (many) people say that they met their husbands through lucky coincidences (nobody thinks that an entire successful marriage is based on luck, unless they're silly). On the other hand, I've never heard of a single person who became a doctor without trying much, so it's not a very good analogy.

Personally, I don't think it's polite to comment on people's bodies in such a specific way, either. I would stick with 'You're looking great!' However, I think it's a slight overreaction to get miffed at a clumsily-worded compliment. People aren't usually trying to say 'lucky you!' in the sense of 'Everything's been handed to you on a silver platter!'. I think it's borrowing trouble to get upset about it.

BuffaloFang

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2010, 11:15:58 PM »
But many people manage to stay slim despite their genetics due to ridiculous amounts of hard work.  So I still find it insensitive to say "lucky" regardless.

What if someone was thin because they lost a lot of weight due to cancer?  Wouldn't "you're so lucky" be horribly rude at that point?

I think if a comment can be misconstrued, it's best not to say it.

Being an etiquette board, I don't know why we're so willing to wave this off as, "Well, that's not how it was meant despite the fact that literally, that's exactly what it means" and label the offended people as "oversensitive" and "special snowflakey".    I know that I, at least, have learned from this board many things that I thought were innocuous could actually be hurtful or rude to other people.  As a result, I now make a conscious effort not to do those things.

Spoder

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2010, 11:36:03 PM »
But many people manage to stay slim despite their genetics due to ridiculous amounts of hard work.  So I still find it insensitive to say "lucky" regardless.

What if someone was thin because they lost a lot of weight due to cancer?  Wouldn't "you're so lucky" be horribly rude at that point?

I think if a comment can be misconstrued, it's best not to say it.

Being an etiquette board, I don't know why we're so willing to wave this off as, "Well, that's not how it was meant despite the fact that literally, that's exactly what it means" and label the offended people as "oversensitive" and "special snowflakey".    I know that I, at least, have learned from this board many things that I thought were innocuous could actually be hurtful or rude to other people.  As a result, I now make a conscious effort not to do those things.
Actually, I don't disagree with you, especially the bolded. There are certainly better ways to phrase it and it's not something I ever say myself.
I just think people can be a little quick to take offence where none is meant. There has to be a balance between not saying things that are likely to offend people, and constantly self-editing because just about anything you say might offend somebody.

MrsJWine

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2010, 11:40:49 PM »
But many people manage to stay slim despite their genetics due to ridiculous amounts of hard work.  So I still find it insensitive to say "lucky" regardless.

What if someone was thin because they lost a lot of weight due to cancer?  Wouldn't "you're so lucky" be horribly rude at that point?

I think if a comment can be misconstrued, it's best not to say it.

Being an etiquette board, I don't know why we're so willing to wave this off as, "Well, that's not how it was meant despite the fact that literally, that's exactly what it means" and label the offended people as "oversensitive" and "special snowflakey".    I know that I, at least, have learned from this board many things that I thought were innocuous could actually be hurtful or rude to other people.  As a result, I now make a conscious effort not to do those things.
Actually, I don't disagree with you, especially the bolded. There are certainly better ways to phrase it and it's not something I ever say myself.
I just think people can be a little quick to take offence where none is meant. There has to be a balance between not saying things that are likely to offend people, and constantly self-editing because just about anything you say might offend somebody.

I wouldn't be offended, but it would irritate me.  And if I heard it 40 times in one night, it might be more than just irritation.  It's like a stone in your shoe, or a piece of hay stuck in your sock; it's tiny and insignificant, but if you're walking for more than ten minutes, it's crazymaking. 

I haven't experienced this with weight comments, but I have on other things that are a mixture of hard work and luck.  I had a good outcome partly because of DNA, but I also know that I worked my tail off to achieve it, and it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't worked so hard.


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Utah

Spoder

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2010, 11:42:47 PM »
^^  True, MrsJWine. I concede the point.  :)

Rohanna

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #66 on: November 21, 2010, 12:30:02 AM »
I agree that it's clumsy wording, but I think that it's not helpful to ones peace of mind to always think of the worst interpretation of a clumsy compliment- sometimes they are well meant and it takes someone else pointing out that it probably wasn't meant negatively to see it. :)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Aeris

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #67 on: November 21, 2010, 12:56:40 AM »
I think this is one of those things where:

1) It can be misconstrued, so it's probably best to use different phrasing when saying it yourself

2) If someone says it to you, it's best to give the person speaking the benefit of the doubt that they didn't mean it as an insult

Rohanna

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #68 on: November 21, 2010, 01:05:30 AM »
POD ^^ :)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Spoder

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2010, 01:07:34 AM »
Nice summary, Aeris!  ;D

Danismom

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #70 on: November 22, 2010, 06:58:09 AM »
While SIL doesn't know if it was really meant good naturedly (as she can't know what is in the head of the speaker), it might make for a more peaceful evening if she takes it positively.  However, I certainly understand how grating it would be to hear over and over.  My best suggestion is that she come up with a humorous response to pull out for in the future.  Something funny will encourage her to see things in a positive light and help gloss over the awkwardness of the comment/compliment.

Clueless: You're so lucky to have stayed so thin...
SIL: I wish it was all luck.  I've forgotten what real butter tastes like (said like she was remembering a family member at a funeral)...*wink*
I'm not doing such a great job coming up with something funny either, but you get the idea.

Rohanna

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #71 on: November 22, 2010, 12:26:55 PM »
Or, "I wish it was just luck, it's been a lot of work!".
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #72 on: November 22, 2010, 05:13:04 PM »
It's sad to see real butter getting the bum rap here.  Due to my family history of cancer, I won't go near artificial shortening.  I stick with bacon grease and real butter (or oil when appropriate) and use small quantities.  I'd miss real butter something fierce.  In fact, life might not be worth living without real butter and bacon grease.  I'd happily cut out half the steak just to have real butter on the potato and bacon grease on the crispy potato skin. >:D

I like the suggested answers where she says mournfully, "I wish it was luck; I miss butter."  Humor deflects the unintended insult. ;D
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

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Hanna

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #73 on: November 22, 2010, 05:18:09 PM »
I don't understand all the "Oh, just think the best of these types of comments". It isn't as if the SIL pulled out her pearl handled revolver and challenged anyone to a duel.
She was polite when it happened and then told the OP about it later.

If no one ever did this, we wouldn't have much to discuss at eHell now, would we?

Aeris

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #74 on: November 22, 2010, 05:21:08 PM »
I don't understand all the "Oh, just think the best of these types of comments". It isn't as if the SIL pulled out her pearl handled revolver and challenged anyone to a duel.
She was polite when it happened and then told the OP about it later.

If no one ever did this, we wouldn't have much to discuss at eHell now, would we?

Well, I honestly think the comments are more clumsy than *rude*, so I don't see the point in getting worked up about them if the intentions were probably good.

But secondly, I'm not exactly clear on how the SIL actually responded. I was under the impression she responded with 'complete silence', which seems OTT for a clumsy compliment.