Michele Agnew http://www.micheleagnew.com posed an interesting question today, asking people to recount the backhanded compliments they had received. I told one or two of mine, and decided I should elaborate here.
Shortly after my husband and I married, I had to travel to DC to take a certification exam in Cytotechnology. Hubby had gone to school in DC, and many of his friends were still based there, so we made plans to meet some of them for lunch after my test. There was one couple whom I had not met. When we pulled up in front of the restaurant, and I got out of the car, their faces broke out in huge smiles, and so I thought to myself.....you are approved......they like what they see. (Back then I cared about such things; now I am a bit more laid back about approval!).
We had a very nice luncheon, full of talk about getting together again and perhaps vacationing together. I left for the rest room and of course, you know she went with me, since young women can never manage to go to the rest room alone. While freshening our make-up, she said to me, "We were so happy to see that you were not pregnant. Since you are from West Virginia, we thought you might be". After 'picking myself up off the floor', I regained enough of my voice to ask "Why would you think that?" She answered that the only girls she had ever known from WV had been unmarried and pregnant. At that point I knew she didn't merit any further conversation, but to be polite, I continued on as though she had a brain.
Over the years, we saw this couple at school reunions, but while I remained polite, I could never quite warm up to her again. When I heard that they were separating, my comment was....."What took him so long?".