Beware this is an angry post… cos I am …well… angry!
She didn’t even know me. She walked up to me as I was crossing the street, and in pain because of my back and chose to talk to me. “Are you Divya Palat,” she curiously questioned. To my affirmative, she immediately said “Oh you have put on…” emphasising her point by showing me how much larger she assumed my frame had become.
“Yes, I also have a brain tumour,” I added not skipping a beat. The quickness I replied, masked the hurt I felt by this thoughtless comment. “Oh,” her face changed and she now seemed to want me to accept an apology and allow her to feel forgiven for her insensitive comment. She didn’t try hard enough and I didn’t wait and honestly even if she tried, neither would I have forgiven her nor would I have cared to even understand her audacity to have made such a comment.
My mother always told me if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And maybe her insecurity shone through her stupid statement. But it still stung.
But when did it become okay to comment on how people look? When did it become okay to hurt people, for no reason at all but just because you could? In the last 20 years, with Multiple sclerosis and a brain tumour, I have put on weight and then lost some and then put it on again and then lost some again but that is my journey. I’m sure our self- entitled beauty critic has changed a fair amount in 20 years too, even without illness. And even if that has happened it would be crass of me to take pot shots of her and her journey because neither has she asked my opinion nor am I entitled to make personal judgements about her.
When did being mean become the new normal?
We can all wander about saying we shouldn’t care about what people say or what people think but why should that give people carte blanche to say whatever they want, whenever they want and to whom ever they want?
I have multiple sclerosis , have a brain tumour and have been in and out of treatment this year and on and off of intravenous steroids to manage the illness. I have slipped a disc in my back , haven’t slept a good night’s sleep for 2 weeks and am in unbelievable pain every single day. I still make sure I give my best to the day and give each person I meet respect, empathy and thoughtfulness… You don’t have to care about me or my journey… but may be you could not volunteer your unnecessary point of view and just quite simply SHUT UP!
Or is basic decency too much to ask for now?