Monday, June 1, 2009

Sympathy: wanted or not?

I just got back from BookExpo at the Javits Center in New York. Two days of hiking the aisles, adding book after book to my shoulder bag until I was probably once again lugging those 30 pounds I've lost and more. I was exhausted!

At one point, I stopped for a cup of soup and sat down on a high round stool at a counter overlooking the convention. Next to me sat a woman much younger than me, but far heavier. We began talking and within minutes, I could see that she could not keep her balance on the stool. Not being able to put her feet on the floor, and unable to bend her knees enough to plant her feet on the rungs of the stool, she teetered and had to grasp the edge of the table to remain seated.

My heart went out to this woman. I wondered why she chose to sit at this counter rather than at a table where her feet would touch the floor. I wish I had known what to say or do. Could I have said anything to put her at ease? Or would saying something have only increased her embarrassment? I don't know. I just wish she knew I sympathized. What would you have done?

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