Weighing In

After working out, on my way to the showers, naked, two towels draped over my arm, I stopped to weigh myself. As I was sliding the weights into place, I heard a woman’s voice behind me, “You’d get a better reading if you put down your towels.”

I glanced over my shoulder at her. She misinterpreted the questioning look on my face and continued to explain. “All those towels are heavier than you think. They really make a difference.” I nodded and managed a weak smile. Then turned away from her, stepped off the scale, and entered the shower stall.

I was irritated with myself for not knowing what to say in reply. But as I thought about it, I became irritated with her. Why had she decided at that moment to offer unsolicited advice to a stranger? Did I look that incompetent? Did my inability to reply make me look stupid or just rude? Her moment’s intrusion became the focus of my thoughts the whole time I was in the shower and the hot tub. Ultimately, I resented the time I spent mulling over it.

So much for friendly chit-chat. But when was unsolicited advice to a stranger ever confused for friendly chit-chat ?

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