I'm struggling with how to write this post. See, the incident I'm writing about involves people who are dear friends. (For that and other reasons, I won't reveal their names or be very specific about the circumstances.)
The other day I was with friends, who I'll call V, S, and D. They were sharing stories about an event that at least V and S had attended; I'm not sure whether D was there or not. In any case I wasn't at this event. At first while they were talking I wasn't really paying attention to the stories, as I was busy doing other things, but a sudden exclamation caught my attention: V said, "You have to see the picture of that thing!" I had no idea what she was talking about, but being the curious cat that I am, I had to see. So I went over to S, whose cell phone contained the picture.
It was a picture...of a person. Not only that, it was of a person who, though a woman, instantly reminded me of Ron because of her size.
I walked away...and it wasn't long before I was in tears. I couldn't believe that people I knew and cared about (and who usually are very caring) had called a person "that thing." Even regardless of size, that was--and still is--unbelievable to me.
When she noticed I had tears in my eyes, V asked what was wrong. When I told her the picture reminded me of Ron and I found it upsetting they'd called a person "that thing" because of her size, she apologized, profusely...as did S and D. V did say, "That was wrong of us" but went on to 'explain' that "it was more about how she treated E [another friend of ours]." Apparently this woman had said rude things (possibly related to the E's ethnicity) and even thrown things at E. Granted, such behavior is inexcusable. But to call someone a thing?!? I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
I said that I accepted the apologies and that "now I just want it to be over." (The three of them were basically staring at me at this point.) And--it was over. I dried my tears, we went about our day, and we haven't spoken of it since.
But I just have to wonder: If that woman had been thin or medium build, would they have said the same thing about her? Or would it have just been, "You wouldn't believe how this lady treated E..."?