She was almost exactly as wide as she was tall, and (apparently) humiliated by it. The first words out of her mouth were “I used to be really thin.” She whipped out a picture of herself as a teenager to prove it. Mind you, she was 45, happily married, the mother of a little girl and a college freshman.

What do you say to something like that? What do you say when a woman begs you to accept her for what she was, and ignore what she is now?

And what the hell does it say about ourselves? What does it say about a world where rejection is so fast and unthinking that a vibrant, intelligent woman feels she must distance herself from herself to be credible?

I saw her eyes watching me, waiting for me to reject her out of hand, and I was ashamed.