Bob Levey, get a clue! (weight issue)

Bob Levey has a daily column in the comics section of the Washington Post. Part of today’s installment concerns the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of a DC-area husband going to his 10th high school reunion. Wife, in a new job with no leave built up yet, was going to stay home - until she saw an email he’d gotten from his high-school sweetheart, who was also going to be at the reunion. So she decided to go, too. As far as she was concerned, it worked out fine - and apparently for just one reason.

Well, just so long as we’ve decided what’s important. If Levey had at least said something to undercut that view of womanly worth, I’d have been happy, but there was nothing. He passed her tale along uncritically.

We’ve beaten the issue of weight to death here, of course. Reason for this thread is that I’m astonished that Levey decided to put that in the paper. If there were any other reasons why HS Sweetheart didn’t stand up to the test of time, they weren’t in the column. Levey’s been doing that column for 20 years, and he should know better by now - which is basically how I phrased my email to him.

He’s usually not a Neanderthal, so if you email him (addy is in the linked column), be polite in pointing out to him the error of his ways.

OK, I read it. As far as I can tell, the writer is relating a story (he heard from one of his callers?). The story (well, the significant part of it) is about a woman who’s insecure about her husband meeting up with his highschool sweetheart at the reunion. Also, she’s rather PO’d (and probably rightly so) that he didn’t TELL her he was going to meet his old flame.
So they go together, and the wife is happy to find out the old love is now fat. Husband agrees that this is something that definately puts highschool sweetie off the “wanted” list.

My verdict? Both husband and wife are extremely shallow, and the wife seems to have insecurity as a possible reason for that. But how is that the writers fault? Is he obliged to openly comdemn their reasoning, is that what you mean?

Because he isn’t actively supporting it either. He just relates the story.

Hey, different strokes for different folks, ya know? I like brunettes, others like blondes, and yet others like people with large waists (trying to say that tactfully). Maybe it’s insensitive to call someone fat, but so what? I’M fat. So is a large percentage of the people in this country. But anyhow, back to the real purpose of my reply. If you don’t like what the guy has to say about fat people, don’t read his stuff. It’s that simple. He has the right to be a dick and you have the right to hate him for it. So be it. Damn the man. Practice voodoo on his doll likeness. Whatever. Just don’t expect everyone to be so damn sensitive about every little thing all the time.
You guys really gotta learn to relax about this PC shit. Really.

Sheez. I’m a mathematician, not a writer. But there have to be a thousand ways to verbally :rolleyes: at a notion, without having to go to the trouble to take a direct stand. That would have been quite sufficient, IMO.

And this is the ‘whatever’ I chose, thanks.

Actually, he isn’t a dick; he just blew it on this one, IMO. But I more or less said that in the OP.

Relax, RTF. I was just asking if that’s what you meant.

And this is the ‘whatever’ I chose, thanks.

Actually, he isn’t a dick; he just blew it on this one, IMO. But I more or less said that in the OP. **

Cool. I’ve had my say. You wanna get wound up about stupid shit, that’s on you.

That’s cool here. :slight_smile:

Of course, I do disagree. :wink:

Well, I’ve read his column since I moved here late last year (admittedly not long ago), and I agree - he’s never been a Neanderthal.

I just checked out the column in question, and my take is that the husband may have said what he said (agreeing with his wife’s rather shallow assessment) simply to placate her.

If they went to the reunion and the husband thought the ex-sweetheart was a real babe, do you think he would have told his wife that? Probably not, if he valued his marriage. And since he didn’t seem to mind that she attended the reunion with him, maybe we can assume he did indeed value his marriage.

If we assume that the wife was attending the reunion to make sure hubby didn’t reconcile with his old flame (out of mistrust or insecurity), then it would be in her best interest to believe the ex to be unappealing to him. (In her eyes, fatness seems to equate unattractiveness.) When she asked her husband his opinion, she was satisfied that he concurred, because it both validated their marriage in her eyes and also made her feel better about herself.

So I don’t think we can assume the husband’s shallow (although the wife certainly seems to be), just that he wanted to keep his marriage relatively strife-free. And I don’t think we can damn Levey, although he might have said something about her shallowness. It was at the end of his regular column, though, almost as an afterthought.

Why would you expect Levey to offer a judgement on anyone? The only person I can ever recall him being offensive towards was when he had his radio show on WMAL and every day referred to poor Richie Petibon as a “Buddha with a clipboard on his belly.”

On second thought, I suppose he’s judgemental towards those who apply makeup while they’re driving, people who don’t give up their bus seats for elderly women, and those who don’t give to Children’s Hospital…

I hardly think the wife is shallow by being relieved that hubby’s old flame isn’t a 5’10" 36-24-36 knockout (if anything, she’s realistic about what’s physicallly attractive–ok, culturally formed, for the sake of argument–to middle-aged men). Maybe there are better ways to communicate that, but come on. As has been said, different strokes…

not middle-aged man, but getting closer each day…

You can say that she is shallow because her focus is on one aspect of the woman in question, i.e., her appearance. If the wife had said, “And she’s BORING, too!” then she might not be shallow. But she apparently took a look at her “competition” and gloated that the other woman was “fat,” as if that automatically took her out of the running. That’s the very definition of shallow behavior.

Is this really the way most peoples’ marriages are? I mean are people really supposed to claim that they no longer find anyone but their spouse physically attractive? That is just so silly! My husband and I both talk about how hot so-and-so is all the time, both personal acquaintences, past flames, and total strangers. If this type of thing is all it takes to shake some marriages, I wonder why they got married in the first place.

That said, the article annoyed me too.

I think most marriages are probably like this, but I could be wrong, having never been married myself. I don’t mean that husbands and wives should never be attracted to anyone else but their spouses, but I can see how if one feels he or she is not enough for his or her spouse, one might feel a little insecure. But I would suppose each marriage is different. It looks to me like your marriage - as wonderful as it sounds, full of real communication - is probably the exception more than the rule, but again, I could be incorrect in that assumption.

I agree, though, he should have said something. Not like him to just let that kind of thing go.