Normally, I’d finish that sentence with, “come sit by me.” I confess to being snarky and sarcastic. But I’m not mean. At least I try not to be. I see no value in it. It accomplishes nothing. Of course, while there are things that we all can agree are unequivocally mean (We know ’em when we see ’em.), what constitutes meanness can vary from person to person.

Because of that, something not intended as hurtful can be perceived that way.

Case in point.

I got my first, “Didn’t I see you on TV?” when I went to the bank last week.

Although I’ve worked at a local TV station (now stations) for two decades, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve intentionally been on the air. I’m a producer, a behind-the-scenes girl.

I’ve recently started doing some segments about what’s trending online, and it looks like it might be a semi-regular gig, which is interesting when you consider that I am the only one in my J-school class who did not have anchor aspirations.

Anyway, it was a neat moment. For about a moment.

The teller who asked leaned forward conspiratorially, apparently wanting to let me in on some big secret.

“If you’re going to be on TV, you should probably lose some weight,” she whispered.

She stepped backed nodding sagely, like she had just imparted the wisdom of the world.

Really? REALLY?

I leaned toward her and motioned for her to do that same.

You're mean“I get that you have an opinion, and that’s OK, of course,” I whispered. “But that was kind of a mean thing to say.”

She jerked back with a shocked look on her face like I had just confessed to the most heinous crime in the history of ever or told her that I regularly kicked puppies to entertain myself.

I gave her one of those one-shoulder “what are gonna do?” shrugs. I’m not sure what the look on my face was. Resignation? Sadness? Dismay? Disappointment? Pity? Some combination of them all.

I picked up the money I was there to deposit and left without a backward glance. I probably won’t be returning to that branch.

I feel like a hypocrite for noting this, but the woman was about my size. Judgey-me — we all have a judgey version of ourselves — was losing her shit in my head.

“What the hell? Doesn’t she know better? Why would she say that?”

JudgingI am not proud of judgey-me.

Her words were filtered not only through my experiences but also through my own not-so-great self-image. I perceived what she said to be mean regardless of whether she meant it to be.

Even knowing about and understand the possible — even likely — gap between her intentions and my inferences, I don’t believe her unsolicited advice was OK. It was body shaming. Actually, I think it’s the worst kind of body shaming — the kind disguised as helpful advice.

And that’s where I’m conflicted. I honestly think she believed she was being helpful. I don’t think she intended to be mean. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of deliberately mean. Weirdly enough, it’s easier to take.

I know I’m fat. And I’m working on it. I don’t need anybody to tell me that I should “probably lose some weight.” Um. Duh! I am aware. But even if I weren’t or — and just imagine this — if I were actually OK with myself as I am (the horror!), is my weight really your business?

Anyway, there was a time not all that long ago when a comment like that would have reduced me to a puddle of incoherent tears. I would have wallowed for days.

Bye FeliciaNow it just makes me tired and a little bit sad. It’s kind of a like a teething kitten gnawing on your fingers. It hurts a bit but doesn’t do any permanent damage.

So this is me, writing about it to breathe it out and let it go.

And I’ll share a bit of universal advice from the mouths of babes … or at least one baby bunny.

That said, I leave you with two little phrases from the depths of my quasi-Southern upbringing.

Oh no you di'ntWhy, isn’t she the sweetest thing? Bless her heart!

*inhale (counting to four in my head)*

*exhale (counting to four in my head)*

Moving on now…