I’m sure I don’t need to really spell this out, but just in case, here it goes.
If you ever find yourself working at Weight Watchers – as one of the people who checks the weight of others, say – and the weight watcher in question has come in for her monthly weigh-in, and she knows her weight is up from last month (she already knows it!), and she says to you, “How bad is it?”, you can just quietly lean over and tell her her weight. You don’t need to say to her, “Here, I’ll just give you the print-out and you can see for yourself…will you be able to see it without your reading glasses?”
Because when you say something like that to a woman of a certain age – especially when that woman’s birthday is upon her and she will be A Certain Age And Then Some, it hits her in the same way as asking a woman who is a little thick around the middle whether she is pregnant. And I think we all have come far enough in life by now (and by “all” I mean even my 11-year-old son) to know that that is a sentence that should never, ever be uttered unless the thick-middled woman has her sonogram print-out pinned to her lapel.
If you misstep, and you do make a gauche reference to reading glasses, you just need to be prepared for the possible reaction. The Woman of A Certain Age may not actually follow through on this, but what she wants, at the conclusion of your sentence…she wants to reach across the desk and punch you in your fucking face.
Ok, so now you know.