October 2, 2007

Help Wanted: Stopping Weight Talk

My mom recently lost some weight. She's always been thin, but now she's noticeably thinner.

Her friends are having anxiety attacks over it. I saw one friend in action this past week, and it was not a pretty sight. They were both trying on clothes to show me what they'd bought that day. The friend started off with some self-deprecating pseudo-praise: "You look so great in those pants, I can't keep them for myself. I can't even try them on. I can't even stand next to you." Then insults: "You have a BOY body now!" and "You look EMACIATED in those pants!" Then back to the self-pitying admiration: "You just look fabulous in EVERYTHING now. I look terrible. I'm fat. I should lose weight." Then back to the insults: "I think you're actually TOO THIN for that outfit!" and "No wonder you keep getting sick: you're TOO THIN." Being in the same room with this was exhausting for me--and my mom had been listening to it all day long.

On a related topic, I've been getting jittery as I anticipate my mother-in-law's digs about weight. She mostly goes after Paul. When I finally said sharply [TOTAL LIE--I was meek and quavery] that I thought he was handsome and I liked the way he looked, she was unfazed: "If you think he's handsome NOW, you REALLY would have thought he was handsome without all that weight on him!" ("All that weight" is not the amount of weight it sounds like. She would say that about 5 pounds.) She also likes to ask me how much weight I gained with the last pregnancy, and have I lost all of it yet.

Talking about both situations the other day, my mom and I thought that what we need is something to say when people are talking about weight in a way that's uncomfortable for us. Here are the restrictions:

1) It has to be non-rude, non-confrontational--something total chickens can say. My mom and I are both too polite for our own good, and we're not going to be able to say "Shut it, bitch" even if we agree it's totally called for.

2) Also, neither of us can talk Psych Talk: e.g., "You know, Kathy, it makes me feel uncomfortable when you..." etc. We don't want something that will lead to FURTHER DISCUSSION--particularly further discussion about how the other person feels.

3) It has to be just as applicable when the other person is nagging about weight loss as when the aggressor is nagging about weight gain. We're looking for something more along the lines of Tessie's Policy.

4) And it should be something we can use even when the other person is talking about SOMEONE ELSE'S weight gain/loss.

5) It has to be something you can say to someone you genuinely love: a best friend, a spouse, a mother--not just something you'd use to shut up a mother-in-law or an annoying coworker. But it should also be something you could say to shut up a mother-in-law or annoying coworker.

6) Okay, I guess it doesn't have to be one single remark applicable to all situations. But any help on the topic of "How do I tell him/her to shut the hell up about weight, without saying 'Shut the hell up about weight'?" would be excellent.

Wisdom of the Internet--ACTIVATE!


Lauren said...

Can't wait to hear the suggestions..I have a friend who cannot have a conversation without bringing up her weight in some way and it DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! I just want to stuff a doughnut in her face to make her shut up!

It doesn't help that she's practically a toothpick, while Im more of a, well, dumpling. (And lovin' it btw)

Black Sheeped said...

I'll think this over today while I am memorizing manuals at work. I'm more of a change the subject sort of girl, although when it gets bad enough I will bust out the "that sort of talk makes me uncomfortable" and have been known to tell people to "just shut up about it, geez." And you're not looking for that sort of thing, as outlined in your handy list.

Maybe you could try my "I REFUSE TO HEAR NEGATIVITY" Policy, which I've pulled out during times of stress with various people. And announce, when things get annoying, that such talk is negative! No more negative talk! And if the negative talk continues, I will leave the situation, so someone better start changing the topic to puppies or rainbows, stat!

Katie said...

Why not just go with Tessie's policy? Say, "Our family has a policy not to discuss body image or weight."

Is that too confrontational? I think women spend SO much time thinking about their weight that it is just a natural topic of conversation...but no one wins...or even gains anything from it....

nikki said...

I think "Shut it, bitch" works fine. Just change your tone depending on the person. Laugh a bit when saying it to someone you like, as if it's a joke. Add an extra dose of sarcasm for your MIL.

(I'm kidding of course.)

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jess said...

I'm also mulling. I too like Tessie's suggestion on her post about "the policy" (which is working swimmingly in our household thus far). I mean truthfully, if my MIL asked how much weight I'd gained and how much had come off (she never would)she'd get an eyebrow raise and a polite subject change.

Erin said...

Like Katie & Jess, I like Tessie's "we have a policy" policy.

Also, how about, "talking about weight makes me hungry; let's change the subject."

I like this topic. We should generate a whole list of phrases we can pull from, depending on the situation.

Delia S. said...

I've had people comment on my weight before & likewise I have been in the presence of people commenting on other people's weight as well. My usual response to anyone either implying that someone is (our that I myself am) overweight is to say that "as long as I am/ they are happy and healthy, what difference does it make?"

If they still continue with their opinions ask them outright which is more important: to be some hypothetical ideal weight but unhealthy, or to be outside of that imaginary norm & healthy. (and you can always add "I certainly know which one I'd pick"). That is sometimes enough to make them either re-assess their views or at least shut up long enough for you to change the subject. :)

This argument, btw, works just as well if the person in question is skinny, because you aren't addressing weight as much as your state of health. Even most doctors will agree that being healthy is more important than being a certain weight.

It is a relatively poilte approach that can be addressed to anyone without stepping on toes.

Erica said...

I, too, like Tessie's policy. Here's another option: "Weight is such a personal issue. Let's talk about something fun, instead."

donna said...

my brother's wife does this constantly, asking me how much weight I gained while I was pregnant (to which I forcefully replied that I didn't know and didn't care. got the point across but caused some bad blood), telling us all how much she had lost after the baby, exclaiming about how good I look in front of everyone and asking me what my goal weight was..... I usually just change the subject, obviously but politely.

Misguided Mommy said...

so saying
i can gain/lose weight but your stuck with that big fut ugly nose is to mean?

Lauren said...

Ok, commenting twice.

But i have to say I love Erin's response, "Talking about weight makes me hungry". Perfect..I'm gonna use that one!

Misguided Mommy said...

i always say to people, wow, if you think your so fat you should spend a day in my jeans. it kind of calls attention to what they are doing, and puts them in a place where they can't respond anything other then wow im so sorry i didnt even think of you while i'm saying these things!

LoriD said...

Yeah - Tessie's policy seems to be the way to go. Personally, I would just make a wisecrack and change the subject. Like, your mom could have said to her friends: "Too thin? I thought you could never be too rich or too thin." You can say to your MIL, "well, I lost 7lbs, 2oz (whatever Henry's birthweight was) right after he was born."

Kristine said...

How about something along the lines of "so where did you get your medical degree?" Or "I had no idea you were a practicing physician." Of course all alluding to - "this issue is between me and my doctor."

(FYI I like this response for people who ask WAY TOO personal questions about pregnancy (Are you dilating?))

bubandpie said...

How about passive-aggressively changing the subject to something no one wants to talk about? And if you use the same subject each time it happens, eventually people will get the hint.


Friend: Wow, you're so thin! I wish I could wear that dress...

Your Mom: Thanks. I just wish I wasn't having such a HEAVY PERIOD right now.

e.g. 2

Friend: You really look emaciated now that you've lost all that weight.

Your Mom: Oh. Have you found that peri-menopause leads to really HEAVY PERIODS?

(If your mom is already in menopause, this one's not going to work. Maybe she could try talking about sex or constipation/diarrhea/hemorrhoids?)

Jess said...

Can you just say what you're thinking? Like, "Weight is a personal issue for me and I don't really like to talk about it." Or, "I'm trying not to focus on weight right now--I'd rather think about my health." I say things like that to people when I don't feel like discussing weight, and it usually works.

Erica said...

Are you passively-aggressively telling me to stop talking about weight on my blog????

Pickles & Dimes said...

How about, "Oh, you want to talk about my weight? When we're done, can we talk about YOURS?"

Or: "Why are you so concerned with people's weight? Are you secretly unhappy with yours? Let's talk about it!"

Or: "We don't talk about weight, money, sex or politics in this household."

Or: "Hold on. I've got to finish chewing this Twinkie."

mamma knows said...

I have the opposite problem my mother in law always asks if he is losing weight in front of me. Like I'm not cooking? Like I don't know how to take care of a man? I wanna say HELLO your son ate 4 cheeseburgers off the grill tonight..which is no lie. ok this went into a rant sorry :)

Alice said...

ha haaaaaa. i especially like pickles & dime's responses.

for MIL in particular, i'd vote brushing off all her questions with "we're actually focusing on healthy LIFESTYLES right now, and obsessing over weight and numbers is not healthy" followed by a pointed look.

for life in general, i favor a sort of hurt/shocked expression, followed by "i don't really think we should talk about that" or some such. guilting them into shutting up is FINE, JUST FINE.

Penny said...


Q: "have you lost that baby weight yet?"
A: "I don't know."

Q:"Looks like you could loose some more weight."

...See, I like the non-informative answers. Acknowledge the question, but don't feed the fire.

Penny said...

Oh man, I spelled "lose" wrong. I'm such a looser!

JMC said...

How about the change of subject combined with a veiled threat? Something like:

Person 1: Have you lost all your baby weight yet?
You: Did you know a person can only go without air for 3 minutes?

I actually got that from my four-year-old. Where she got it from is anyone's guess.

theflyingmum said...

OK, I realllly like Alice's response about focusing on healthy LIFESTYLES.
But I'd have to practice saying it in the mirror, and then would probably still screw it up.

amber said...

I know just where you're coming from (and you make me smile). My sister, who is three years younger than I am, OBSESSES ENDLESSLY about her weight, and food, and everything in between. And she is 5'8 and a size six, WOE IS HER. I am three years older (which automatically puts me in last place in the whole bullshit female competition arena) and 5'3 and a size 8.

After hearing about her 'fat' over and over and over and having her ask 'do I look fat?' over and over I finally said, "Yes."

Which sounds cruel, because she's my sister. But honestly, if you want someone to SHUT UP (and as a side benefit look impressively dumbstruck) this is the way to go. The thing is, my sister knows I don't actually think she's a cow...she realizes I just wanted her to can it. But she did. And ah, life is good.

Misty said...

I know this is Swistle's blog, but...
You guys are AWESOME! These are great suggestions for me, anyway, and too funny.

And even before I had gotten to the numbered portion of the post, I say in my head: Oh, I should tell her about Tessie's policy.

I am especially in favor of changing the subject, as a practical application.

Joanne said...

I read something interesting a while ago, it said that you judge others on stuff that you judge yourself on. It was a thing on how to have better self esteem and it said that self esteem starts with NOT JUDGING yourself and *that* starts with NOT JUDGING other people. Maybe say that to people that are going on about their or someone else's weight. It would be a great world indeed if we could all just STOP the hating.

I am six months pregnant and last night this person I know said for the SECOND time something about how I was having twins (I'm not). The first time he said it was when I was like 3 months pregnant so it wasn't like he was saying that I *looked* like I was carrying twins, but it still makes me insane.

Beth Fish said...

"I don't care to discuss it."

Smile sweetly and apologetically, or break out your best bitch face, up to you.

Cass said...

I say this: "That is precisely the reason I bought that cake the other day."

It's the perfect comeback. Someone says I look to thin; I say - "that's precisely why I bought that cake yesterday". Someone asks if I've put on weight and I say "that's precisely why I bought that cake the other day"

The brilliance of this line is the person has NO idea what to say back. Usually they go with some form of "Oh, that's nice...great, well then change of subject"

If you are more of a cheesecake or a brownie person you could certainly sub out another decadent item. I recommend this approach whole heartedly.

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh these are such great comments. I have nothing more to add. Great ideas!

Michelle said...

Frema told someone who commented on the amount of weight she'd gained in her pregnancy something along the lines of "That's not a very nice thing to say" with a smile. I thought it was brilliant.

Devan said...

You're all making me crack up. My MIL has a horrible habit of asking about people's weight.
Mine in particular. For the first pregnancy, I simply changed the subject every time. Alas, she doesn't take a hint so pretending not to hear her didn't help much. I had to change the subject A LOT. The 2nd pregnancy I simply told her that the Dr was happy with my weight. This time I told D that if she asks me again I can't be responsible for what I might do.

Changing the subject to something else completely is the only thing I've got besides maybe a "SHUT UP ALREADY!" so I'm sorry I'm not more help.

Shelly said...

I would say, "I've always felt that weight is a tremendously personal issue." and then change the subject.

Although I also like, "Shut it, bitch"

Shelly said...

Oh, one more thing, I'm appalled at your mom's friend's behavior. How terrible!

Colleen said...

I can't say I have anything to add... but I do have to say I love all of the suggestions so far. I really have to remember these.

Swistle said...

Lauren- I kind of like that as a suggestion: "Stuff a donut in their face." Good one!

Katie- I do think that's the best idea, but I'm not sure I can pull it off. I'm trying to imagine looking at my mother-in-law and saying, "I'm sorry, but we don't talk about weight in our family." I don't know if I could do it! But...if I could, I think that might be good.

Erin- I think if my mom said "talking about weight makes me hungry," her friend would flip it into a talk about how my mom SHOULD eat more. And I think if I said it, my mother-in-law would think I was saying I thought I SHOULDN'T. But I like that one for a lot of other situations, and I'm filing it away!

Jess- I'm going to try the eyebrow raise and subject change. That lets me say nothing confrontational, which I like! I just have to think of the new subject in advance, so it's a smooth transition, not stammery.

Delia S.- It's a good idea, but more talking than I want to do. For my MIL, I want something quick and dismissive. Otherwise, she'll argue that we should be healthy AND thinner, and use it to segue into a discussion of what I'm cooking!

Erica- I LOVE that. I'm practicing it now to see if I think I could say it: "Weight is such a personal issue. Let's talk about something fun instead!" Oooo. That shows real promise! (And no, Silly, I love weight talk on your blog! I'm only talking about weight talk that gets uncomfortable.)

Alice- I like the hurt look and "I don't think we should talk about that." I think I could do that one, too.

Penny- I like those, too. That's what I mostly do with my mother-in-law. Sometimes I act surprised, too, like it's never occurred to me to wonder how much weight I gained while pregnant.

JMC- *snorting cookie out my nose*

Joanne- Good point. I think that IS the trouble in both the cases I mentioned.

Cass- I love this! Throw some confusion into it! And I could definitely do the earnest, making-a-point face required to pull this off.

Michelle- I don't think I could say that to my mother-in-law, but if I could! Oh, if I COULD! Maybe I could! The look on her FACE! And it would totally end the discussion!

1hot&tiredmama said...

Ok -- I can't follow all those rules, but here's one you might try. You have to ask her first and it has to be what she doesn't want to her, but ask her in a nice way. "Grandma, you look soooo thin!" or "Grandma, wow, put on some extra pounds, huh?" Not so nice, I know, but I bet she won't say a word about your weight.

This works in another way also. We used to live in an up-and-coming-but-still-not -all-that-great neighborhood. There were some panhandlers on the street that were forever asking for money. My husband would just ask them first. "Can you spare 50 cents/bus fare?" Worked like a charm. Soon the bums were running when they saw us coming! (BTW - I don't mind being charitable, but I don't want to give the same guy a dollar everyday!)

Mrs. M said...

1) I'd prefer not to discuss her weight as mine isn't up for discussion.

2) Weight isn't a topic I care to discuss whether it be mine or someone else's.

Susanica said...

Hi there. Been meaning to write but never have yet. Love your blog. Anyway, my partner and I while traveling for two weeks with our moms once came up with a "code acronym" It was DAC! (Don't Assume Criticism.) If either of them said anything even remotely annoying, Su and I would just look at each other and keep repeating “DAC”, “DAC”. I’m sure we sounded like deranged ducks, but it did make our moms curious. So they asked. And we told. It actually worked well for us. They usually couldn’t for the life of them figure out why we though so many of their off hand comments were could be interpreted as critical! ;-) (Of course sometimes you just have to say “AC”!) -Monica

Jess in Nebraska said...

Oh my gosh, I'm dying laughing at these comments...or you could act like you didn't hear the question the first couple of times, until she feels stupid asking:
Her: How much baby weight did you gain?
You: How much does it cost to ride the train?
Her: How Much Baby Weight Did You Gain?
You: Now it's time to ride a plane?
You:(in alignment with Penny's answer idea): I don't know.
(or you could even do the 4-year- old's classic answer...answer everything with "Why?"

MrsGrumpy said...

I am a bad person to ask about this right now. My standard response to just about everything of late is,"And I'm supposed to care because...?" which is probably, in a few weeks, going to alienate a few people. My father told me I should buy smaller jeans this morning...and my response was,"Because that will make everything all right..." and I love my father with all my heart.

My mother in law used to tell me all the time that I was feeding my husband too much. That he was gaining too much weight. My husband wore a 29 when we got married. The last pair of jeans I bought for him were a 36. He was perfect at a 36...huggable, yet rugged with no sharp angles.

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

If faced with an uncomfortable situation where people are asking me about my weight (which, I personally wouldn't find that uncomfortable because I'll talk about anything), I would probably say something like:

"Talking about weight really makes me uncomfortable. But, I'll share something with you. I really LOVE the extra poundage that I'm packing. It's particularly great on my ass because I no longer have to worry about padded seats when we go out. Baby, I've got my OWN padding!! And in the wintertime, it's fabulous! This extra layer really helps to keep me toasty and warm. And the extra weight on my husband?? Well, that just gives me more to love. If you know what I mean, Grandma. *wink*wink*!! Say, who wants ice cream. I DO, I DO!!"

Swistle said...

Jess in Nebraska- Oh, that's GREAT! "Paul's LATE? No, I don't think so! He left right on time!" "Paul's GREAT? Oh, yes, I totally agree!" "Paul's putting on FREIGHT? Putting it WHERE?" "Paul's PLATE? Yes, don't worry, I have a plate for him too!" *pats shoulder reassuringly*

Jen Trips- You guys are KILLING me! "*wink wink*" Ha ha! I can just SEE doing that!

rebcram said...

Wow, great ideas here... I love the intentional misunderstanding one! That would TOTALLY piss off the person making the comment.

MadMad said...

This is too funny. LOVE these suggestions. I always use "whatever" with a shrug. Hey, if it works for the kids, it works for me, right?

bananafana said...

just wink and tell them your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard . . .

susan said...

how about saying, with a disinterested shrug of your shoulders and even a slight shake of your head, "I just don't see weight as a big deal"?

shuts them down gently-ish, while sneakily pointing out that they clearly DO see it as a big deal which you think is unwarranted, and hopefully moves the conversation along. if they keep at it, just keep repeating ityt. "mmm yeah. i just don't see weight as a big deal. anyway, what's for lunch?"

- susan

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I love all the ideas and usually just go with "Weight is not something I really want to talk about." It works whether the comment is how fat/skinny I am or how fat/skinny someone else is. And it doesn't offend people, although many people could use a good offending, if you know what I mean.

Artemisia said...

Oh, this is tough but such a good idea. Maybe something like not acknowledging the weight comments and changing the subject with something like, "Do you know that I've been increasing my physical activity throughout the day and I've never felt stronger?"

I don't think that fits many of your criteria, but there may be a good time to use it.

don't have a "handle" yet said...

I like Jess in Neb.'s suggestion to answer with Why? And if *god forbid* additional explanation is forthcoming, slap another series of Why? back at 'em. Maybe it will give them reason to question why they think it's OK to make such rude comments.
As for your mom's friend, it is clear she's jealous - plain and simple. You mom needs to tell her that she's worked very hard to get to her current weight, and is happy being healthy. If the friend continues she can say "You know, I'll give you the name of the (personal trainer / doctor / whatever resource) I used. Then maybe you can check it out since you are so interested in my results." Repeat as many times as necessary, as suggested by bubandpie.

Chrissss said...

Hi, I'm very keen on the 'You know something, I'm entirely happy with my weight right now' line, delivered with a sweet smile, which I've never _once_ had a comeback of 'oh but you can't be -you're so fat/thin'. Works for me, anyhow (even if I'm lying through my teeth).

velocibadgergirl said...

I'm really bad at sticking up for myself and telling people where to shove their unwanted opinions, so I'm going to eagerly await the wisdom of the internet, right along with you.

Making my way in PA said...

Even though I know I could never do this, I have two suggestions. One is too egg them on. Like to the MIL. Have a plan with the husband to say yeah, we are trying to fatten up. We are aiming for 10-25 lbs this year. Or to the annoying friend of a mother, be annoying right back, say something awful like son of a b*tch I am a skinny mo fo. Thanks be.

Then my completely horrible thing that no one really should say unless they hate the person is to say something about having a disease that makes you gain/lose weight. That should shut them up!

Libby said...

You could distract her with these (NSFW?) paper plates:
or either of these plastic utensils:
http://tinyurl.com/ywnphv or

chellebird said...

I don't suppose a blank stare would work? Just a complete nonresponse. I mean, from the stories here, it's not like you should much care if she thought you were nuts. Just stare at her until she stops talking.

samantha Jo Campen said...

These are all brilliant. Threw my head back and laughed at jmc's "Did you know a person can only go without air for 3 minutes?"

Cracked. Me. Up. Whew.

Kelsey said...

This is the exact type of thing that led to me never eating in the teacher's lounge. I was tired of hearing about everyone's diets or what people were or weren't eating or who looked like they should(n't) be eating. Between that and the mean gossip about kids/families I just couldn't take it.

I did once tell a co-worker who I shared very close space with that she was welcome to talk about being healthy, but I would not enter into any "weight" conversations with her.

I echo the earlier folks who think Tessie's policy sounds good.

mom of the year said...

My response is generally that I prefer not to discuss issues of vanity in front of my impressionable daughter.

Lis said...

You could prepare some standard responses like "Why do you ask?", "My preference is not to talk about that" or if it's a direct question you could pull out "Oh, you must be so embarrassed, I'd never ask a question like that".

Then again, I have run through all these, plus "You're offending me greatly. Please stop" and been ignored. If all else fails, I talk in nothing but Simpsons quotes.

"My cat's breath smells like cat food!"

the new girl said...

I do one of two things..I get super-vague and act like they just told me a joke--in the way of, 'Oh, you know how it is...heh heh heh.'

Or I do this (it works when someone says anything that's offensive to you):

I say, "Hmmm. I don't quite know how to take that." This usually leaves them stammering and scrambling and then I just change the subject.

Still laughing at Bubandpie's suggestions...never tried the HEAVY PERIOD. Bet that works, too.

Swistle said...

Mom of the Year- That is GREAT. I'm trying to modify it for the way I talk. Maybe, "*head tilt toward Elizabeth* I know she's still too little to understand [I know no such thing, but it's a good start to the sentence], but I really don't want to talk about issues of vanity in front of her." Then I could launch into a discussion of something MIL can agree on, like the scariness of eating disorders.

Lis- Isn't it astonishing, the way some people aren't even shut up by the big guns? I think if I told my mother-in-law I was happy with my/Paul's weight, she'd say, "Well you SHOULDN'T be!"--and take it as an invitation to tell me why. I like the Simpsons quotes idea.

Tessie said...

I am away from the internets for ONE STINKING DAY and I miss the mother of all interesting blog posts. Why God Why?

I haven't found The Policy to be very uncomfortable at all, actually, and my tolerance for uncomfortable is Low to Nonexistant. Mostly I apply it by not saying anything at all, unless asked a direct question and then I'll say either "oh actually I have a Policy...", which most people find interesting and cool, or if it's someone I know well I will just say "dude, weight talk gives me the nervous tummy" and move on.

I love all of your comments! Especially the people who said "can't you just say how you feel?". That is SUCH a good idea, and yet I think I speak for Swistle, myself, and half of you when I say...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.

Michele said...

One tactic - pretend you didnt hear them. make them repeat it several times until they feel like and ass for asking it.
Another - A long time ago my sisters and I came across (and we think it came from Dear Abby) the perfect response to uncomfortable questions such as "How much weight did you gain?" or "How much did you pay for your house?" and it is "Why do you ask?" , delivered with a big smile and a l o n g silence while the ask-er has to come up with a reason for asking. And the response we use to comments is "What do you mean by that? " again delivered with a smile and lots of silence.

Chelle said...

So, I guess telling her that her son likes "more cushion for the pushin'!" is out.


I lost thirty-two pounds two years ago and I encountered similar reactions to those that your mom is dealing with. The wife of the school principal actually made it a point to gasp and ask me if I was ill every time she saw me.

Loudly. And, in front of an audience.

People suck.

My MIL is also the type who constantly asks about weight and who likes to compare people (her favorite thing in the world used to be comparing me to my SIL. Since I lost weight that just doesn't happen anymore. Shocker!)

My usual reply when people comment on my weight or my friends' weight or anyone else's weight is:

Beauty comes in all sizes and wow! Isn't he/she/they/it beautiful?

Drives my MIL NUTS.

Libby said...

Oh, I didn't mean to be offensive with those paper plates - I thought you were discussing looking for plates like that when discussing getting new MIL plates? I guess being a few weeks late with it *isn't* appropriate, but I just happened to see them, and as yesterday was "de-lurking" day... hmmm, probably not my best move. Sorry!

Swistle said...

Libby- Plates and flatware were so funny. I can just imagine bringing them out with NO COMMENT. Just using them like I'm oblivious.

Katie said...

Swistle? Are you okay out there? Did the implosion already occur!? Hope everything's okay!

mom of the year said...

Swistle: Yeah, that's how it works. Something to the tune of, "With all the mixed messages about body image these days, I really don't like to discuss that around my daughter." And, VOILA, subject change to something like, I dunno, DISHES! BAW HAW HAW

Sleepynita said...

Since I am losing weight most people notice and say nice things. But when I gained weight one, a relative asked if I had put on a few pounds my answer was:

"I don't focus on weight, if my pant still do up all is good in my world" (all wasn't good in my world because my pants didn't do up without a fight, but she didn't have to know that). My Mom who is a human toothpick (and I am so not skinny) almost fell over laughing when I told my nosey old bitty aunt this.

Modern Day Hermit said...

Your posts really make me happy I'm not talking to my psycho-woman MIL. My MIL wouldn't be so direct though, she'd just make commentary just under the radar.

But I digress.

I love the comments on here. If I hated my MIL any less I would *almost* consider talking to her again just because I would have a bit more ammo available.

jen said...

You could just say "Cow." and look off into the distance, imagining calm blue oceans and margaritas and sand in your toes.

Then if she questions you you can just say "oh? What? never mind."

mom huebert said...

I have nothing to add, but I sure enjoyed reading this conversation!

Mrs. Flinger said...

YES! AMEN. Because someone actually told me I had a flabby gut yesterday. OH YES. Bring on the eating disorder. Jeeze.

I agree. I love this. May I print it out and hand it on a business card? :-)

Anonymous said...

My stock answer for any question that i'm not comfortable with is to say with a wicked grin..... Well, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. It almost always shuts them up and if they ask again, say something along the line of... I'm Serious, I'd have to kill you and that could get messy don't you think? works every time. :)