I like to garden. I don't like thorns, does anyone?
I like conversation. I don't like thorns, I mentioned that though.
I've had some thorny conversations lately.
Not particularly caustic, but rather thorny in the style of reaching for a raspberry and getting scraped by a stem. You know how those little thorns can break off and stick, and now you have a splinter.
Mental splinters are the worst splinters of all.
Sunday morning I encountered a woman for whom I have very little regard. In fact, she ranks as 6th on the list of all time cruel, horrific people I know, and the top five are criminally insane (I say that with no exaggeration). I spent the next hour trying not to ruminate and trying not to curse, I was in church service after all.
I was in that state of non ruminating-ruminating when I encountered a person for which I have very high regard. This might explain the splinter, which might not have been a splinter at all, I can't decide.
I hadn't seen this person for 4 months, which was still sweatshirt/jacket weather, which possibly explains why, in seeing me in a sleeveless shirt, she exclaimed, Trimama, you've gotten so skinny.
This was not a complimentary, you look great. This was concern, oh my goodness she's got an eating disorder!
Which explains why my immediate response was, "it's not for lack of eating"
Which garnered the look of incredulity. She thought I was lying.
I went on to explain that I had been training for triathlons and that required training sessions of 2-3 hours.
For anyone who counsels in eating disorders, one cue is inordinate amounts of exercise.
I mumbeled some explanation that I'm really at my normal weight, and that having 4 children was a great challenge to normal, but that this is what I used to look like.....
This person didn't have the catagory in her brain to believe that I could be training to tri; endurance sports are beyond her comprehension.
This is a person I have high regard for, and I want her to have high regard for me. How can I explain to her a hobby that goes beyond most of the people I know?
Now this little splinter settled in right next to one that has been festering for a week or so.
I had met another long time, dear friend at a park and we had our normal extended chat. At one point I was explaining some character in a movie who was this young, skinny jock girl.
"Oh you mean just like you?"
I should have sensed the icy twist.
"No, not like me. She was all young and whatever"
"Well you're out there with your triathlons and marathons and all skinny in your skinny jeans"
Ok, I bought those skinny jeans when thin was the time between kid 2 and 3. Thin was relative.
Women are sensitive and they are petty. They are competitive and not always so nice when someone else models something they want and don't think they can achieve.
This is nothing new to me.
I was a skinny little "rat" when I was born prematurely. I was a scrawny "stick" through high school. I didn't fight my weight until kid number 4, now that battle is largely over.
What is new is the thorn that ignorance and jealousy produce in people who I would look to for support.
I'm just starting this whole triathlon experience, I won't be gaining that weight back any time soon. I will be pursuing things that will go even farther beyond their understanding.
It's hard to train when there is a noticeable hole in the cheering section.
It goes back to those criminally insane people that I know. ( I used to know, haven't spoken to them for 10 years.)
It's hard to tri when it garners that kind of dispersion.
Particularly when it is cast by those who you hope will take the place of the criminally insane.
Ironically, I ususally work these thorns out when I run...