Mean comment from a customer about my coat

I work at a community center and therefore am a captive audience to many types of people. I have a regular customer that comes in every day. He is 54 and in a wheelchair. He comes in and pedals the recumbent bike for 10-20 minutes and then sits and talks to me for at least an hour.

Anyway, he isn't always the most subtle person and more than once I have told him he shouldn't talk to people the way he does.

So today, it was really cold and windy out and I broke out the puffer coat. For those of you that have seen some of my posts you know I like color so my puffer isn't a nice slimming neutral. It's a knee length hot pink puffer with bright orange lining.

I love this coat as much today as the day my mom bought it for me. The minute I saw the coat it made me happy and still makes me happy every time I wear it. So I walk in to work and the customer is already there. He says I want to say something but I know it will make you mad and hurt your feelings. I say then that is something you should keep to yourself. He says I know and then proceeds to tell me anyway that he doesn't like my coat and it makes me look huge.

It did hurt my feelings and now has me questioning whether I should wear something that I look huge in even though I love it. It's a coat and it's for warmth not to win a fashion show but still, that was just mean. :(

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

45 Comments

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Oh, Cheryl, that is SO unfortunate!

    Just HEARING about that coat makes me smile with pleasure and knowing you I am sure you look completely adorable in it.

    Puffer coats do not do any figures many favours. But we wear them for warmth. If we can also inject a bit of fun into our grey winter days, so much the better. Please post pics of yourself in your gorgeous fun coat so we can assure you that you look beautiful (as I am certain you do).

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Aw, Cheryl! You know this person is a blithering idiot so there's your answer. Does he have an untreated mental health issue? (not asking facetiously, just saying that could explain both his lack of discretion and his lack of ability to discern between YOU and down feathers)

    My family in India saw pictures of me ice climbing and wearing a short puffer. They called my mom to ask her how I'd gotten so fat! The idea that it was the jacket never occurred to them.

  • Caro in Oz replied 5 years ago

    This person has real problems - he obviously has no self-control & has a need to hurt people. Please don't let him spoil the coat for you:)

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    Ignore him. I suspect he has poor taste anyway - other than the company he seems to want to be with for an hour a day.

    Your vibrant and lively coat sounds perfect for chasing away the winter blues.

  • Jenava replied 5 years ago

    Next time, just tell him that his wheelchair makes him look old and crippled. PS. it SOOO doesn't matter if he thinks you're sexy, right? Does he think we are always going for sexy when we dress?

  • velvetychocolate replied 5 years ago

    Just wanted to say that I'm with Suz here in that puffer coats are never really all that flattering on any size or shape - it's just the nature of this type of coat. Oh, sure - we try to make sure we pick a puffer coat that has the right quilting/stitching and so on, but the truth is - these aren't he most "flattering" things around. Thing is? They're incredibly cozy and warm and sometimes we need them, so might as well make them as fun and stylish as we can, don't you think?

    In my view, the same is true of some of those Converse sneakers - I don't think my purple cons are particularly "flattering" per se, but they liven up an otherwise boring, "running around" outfit and are reasonably comfortable. You could say the same thing about those rubber rainboots (a.k.a. "wellies") - no these aren't particularly flattering either, but still - it's fun to pick out a pair that is just a bit more "fab" than the usual, don't you think?

    Hang in there - I suspect that your client just doesn't get these things - the business of needing something functional and useful, yet picking out a much more fun and stylish version of said functional item. I mean, I could use a plain black umbrella, but instead, I have something a little more interesting (green polka dots) - because a rainy day is grey enough without being part of the sea of black umbrellas.

    Agghh...never mind him!

    Just keep reminding yourself, "I might have to wear rainboots and a puffer coat some of the time, but I'm certainly going to make them the best-looking and enjoyable items in my closet."

    Does this help? Sounds like this guy doesn't really get it.

    And besides, a hot pink winter coat sounds a whole lot more interesting and fab than the usual black or grey.

  • Scarlet replied 5 years ago

    I love how you describe your job--captive to all kinds of people. I bet that is true. My instincts are telling me this man is not someone you should be taking fashion advice from. Probably you should post a picture of the puffer, and please don't waste a second feeling sad about this guy's comment.

    Oh my gosh, Una, that is too much.

  • MsMary replied 5 years ago

    Honestly, I would impose consequences on that kind of behavior and I would no longer be available for those nice long chats unless and until he apologized and changed his ways. Seriously. Mean people suck and he is just mean.

    And keep on loving that coat!!

  • cheryl replied 5 years ago

    Thanks so much everyone. I needed to vent and get support and i knew you would all listen and care! I will get a pic and post it soon.

    Una, I can't believe that. Ugh! People, lol.

    He actually was in a car accident at 19 and says he has some brain damage but he is highly functional, lives alone and drives and knew exactly what he was saying.

    Thanks again, really :)

  • Zapotee replied 5 years ago

    Ah, I'm sorry Cheryl. I would just keep on moving bright coat in hand.

  • JAileen replied 5 years ago

    I love pink and orange together.

    The man you described sounds like he's starting to get dementia.

  • MNsara replied 5 years ago

    Okay, this got me out of quick lurking to comment ;-0

    I agree the point of puffers is not flattery, but warmth in a cute, fun way! Your puffer sounds exactly that! (I put Converse in the same category)

    He is opinionated and not tactful and you already knew that. His comments should be either disregarded or taken with one HUGE grain of salt. I would bet your puffer is adorable and that you look adorable in it. So, don't let him get to you and color your love of your puffer.

    Often men only understand black, white, and red. This could easily be outside of his appreciation,

    I'm looking forward to pics :-) 'cuz I bet you look fab in it!

  • Nadya replied 5 years ago

    Everyone's already shared good advice, so I'll just add my general indignation! It's not our job to dress to meet someone else's random priorities. It's like when someone tells me to smile when I'm walking down the hall deep in thought - umm I don't exist to look a certain way for you, mister!

    Keep rockin the coat that makes you happy and keep you warm!

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    I hope that you can still allow your wonderful coat to make you happy. I just wanted to add that it might be wise to be sure that he sees you wearing the coat again often. You don't want to let him thinkthat he has any control over you. I'm not sure that control is the right word for it, but you need to look like the strong one who knows what they are doing. If he says anything again, you might even tell him that it doesn't matter because the coat makes you warm and happy. Just something I've picked up from teaching. Some children of all ages love to manipulate.

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    You wear that puffer coat and enjoy it! There are many people like this man in the world and you just have to let his comments ride over you. But I would certainly not make myself as available to him in future. He needs to know how inappropriate and hurtful his comments are.

  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    I am so sorry! What a mean comment and hurtful comment. <<<hugs>>>

    I like what Mary K said.

    And I love your term "a captive audience for all types of people."

    Believe me I relate. As a server, I have regular customers and when it's slow the older single men in particular will engage me in conversation, sometimes for until closing. One of them insulted me (long story) and now, it's just light and polite, you don't get so much of my time if you are not nice to me. It's the mean insults that just make me think these guys are miserable. Happy people are nice.

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    I was going to say exactly what Mary did! I know it's a work environment, but maybe you should be Strictly Business with him for a while. He obviously gets a great deal out of your company and conversation - I think that if you take that away it might teach him how to treat you.

  • Ingunn replied 5 years ago

    Oh, Cheryl, please don't let it get to you. I'm sure you are a lovely, bright and happy sight in your puffer, don't let his rude and stupid comment change your feelings towards it. I like what MaryK said, teach him that you're not accepting rude behavior. CocoLion said something about mean people being unhappy, and I guess there is something in that.

    *Hugs and hugs*

  • replied 5 years ago

    I agree. DO NOT let this mean nasty man spoil the joy of your coat for you.

  • Mochi replied 5 years ago

    cheryl, that sucks. That guy needs some manners (figuratively) smacked into him. Everyone has already said all you need to hear. Please keep taking pleasure and enjoyment from your fab coat.

    Was it on YLF I ran across this sentence?: "I'm not here to decorate your world."

    Una, sheesh! They made an international call because of that? Sigh.

  • ButterflyLady replied 5 years ago

    Your coat sounds wonderful! ((hugs)) if the comments upset you.

    I had therapy for a year, and one of the most useful things I learned was what to say when people give their opinions of my taste, life choices etc (which is sometimes insulting or judgemental, or both) - it's so simple - 'thanks for letting me know'. Then change the subject. It IS hard to do, but it does tend to take the wind out of people's sails - sometimes people like being mean because it makes them feel better about themselves.

  • Vildy replied 5 years ago

    I used to work with old people, btw. I wasn't there to see/hear the totality of the communication - tone, facial muscles, body angle, etc - but there's a certain kind of man who says something very controlling as a way of sexually dominating you. This might fit the picture. I have neighbors who used to have an extended family where one of the men used to talk to me very demandingly, for instance. I would just glare and not answer him and go about my business. My opinion is that if you keep instructing him verbally how to behave, you're in his ballpark. I would be silent and keep busy as though he is invisible/silent. Don't bother feeling sorry for him. I suspect he is wanting to take the relationship to another level, one where he is in charge of you.

  • Glory replied 5 years ago

    I am sorry to hear this because comments like this get in our heads no matter our age and self confidence level. I think though that you don't need style validation from him. I love the description of the pink coat with orange.

  • KC Tomboy replied 5 years ago

    I say if it makes you happy, wear it!

    As for the cruel comment, CONSIDER THE SOURCE. Do you take fashion advice from this man? No!

    I'd love to see a picture of this lovely coat.

  • crutcher replied 5 years ago

    You know, when I read this, I had a weird feeling...You really should stop the long chats with this guy..If he feels that he can comment on your clothes, he may just feel that he knows you better than you want him to...Just don't upset him, but be busy when he comes in...on the phone, computer, with someone else...I would be careful with him.....Your coat sounds adorable...Best!

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 5 years ago

    We tend to give others so much power in our lives. I just repeat the phrase to myself, "Consider the source..." Is this person someone whose opinion you value? This has helped me tremendously over the years.
    Right now for example:
    I have this moderator of another site I post on keep telling me she doesn't like the silhouette of pants tucked into boots.... She even went so far as to say that the pants should match the boot color if I do insist on wearing them. So, I guess I can't wear my tobacco color boots with my jeans, a look splashed all over pinterest....???

  • Kristin L replied 5 years ago

    I'm sorry Cheryl. Of course, I'm very sorry you missed the memo that it's your job to dress for him. :)

    I think one of the most important factors in clothes (as in other things) is the happiness factor. If the jacket makes you happy, wear it! I wonder if he's one of those people who can't stand others being happy around him, so he has to bring them down to his level.

  • Sona replied 5 years ago

    Cheryl: he defintiely crossed boundaries. You specifically asked him to keep his thoughts to himself. I would make it clear that you are no longer interested in 'chats' with him. It was over the top rude and clearly he was not respecting your words/boundaries.

    Huge hugs to you!

  • Laurinda replied 5 years ago

    Some people just don't have polite social filters.
    Sorry it hurt your feelings, but don't let it keep you from wearing your happy puffer!

    @TraceyLiz: If indigo-blue knee high-boots are not available, no one should wear boots with jeans? *Ridiculous!*

  • clearlyclaire replied 5 years ago

    Oh Cheryl, I am so mad at this guy *for* you! How dare he take your happy, colorful coat and all the warm fuzzy feelings you have when wearing it and turn it into a war zone?!! You are probably a better person than I, and the coat won't be ruined for you, but I certainly hope you wear it every day from here on out and give this guy the cold shoulder. Humph! <<hugs>>

  • replied 5 years ago

    Cheryl, tell him to keep his dumb comments to himself or your friend from Texas will come open up a can of whup-a** on him!

    I love orange and hot pink, one of my favorite combos! Combined with your cute self, it sounds like coat nirvana to me!

  • Mander replied 5 years ago

    I agree that you should cut off your long chats with him if you can. He clearly knew exactly what he was saying and calculated it to hurt your feelings, and was very clear in telling you that was what he was doing -- in effect, saying "I am going to hurt you, and you are going to take it". There is just no excuse for that, since he obviously did it on purpose, and I find it a bit alarming as well. Are you alone with him in the office? Is there someone else who can deal with him when he comes in? I don't think you owe him any explanation for cutting off contact, either.

  • Kim replied 5 years ago

    Just a quick question, but is this guy a victim of a stroke (or similar?) That's a brain injury and people who have had one often lose their "filters". They don't mean to hurt anyone, they simply don't understand. My dad was that way during the last few years of his life, after strokes and brain surgeries. It WAS embarrassing sometimes, and we'd apologize if we were there, but in reality I'm sure he hurt peoples feelings without ever meaning to.

    Although my Dad as a tough guy I had never in all my years seen him act that way until he had a stroke.

    If that's the case please move on. He may think it makes you look "huge", but does his opinion really need to be what you think about yourself? You can't live your life (or buy your clothes) to suit anyone but yourself. If YOU love then we love it with you! Wear with pride and enjoy the color in the dull winter!

    Besides, when did you start taking fashion advice from a man (that's not Tim Gunn or similar! LOL)

  • DonnaF replied 5 years ago

    Your description of your puffer made me smile and think to myself, "It's so CHERYL!!!" Don't ever let that guy or anyone else ruin that coat for you. A black, brown, or other boring *slimming* color would make you so sad -- and who needs that? Wear your puffer with pride, warmth, and happiness!!!

  • Dale replied 5 years ago

    1) Do you really get paid enough to deal with this person? I'd love to know what he's said to other people at your community center that's caused you to tell him he should mind what he says on other occasions. It sounds like since he is highly functional and his frontal lobe (which controls impulsiveness) is ok, so someone needs to put stricter limits on his behavior in no uncertain terms. You don't get paid to put up with verbal abuse and not everyone who he speaks to that way will have a whole community of women cheering them on. 2). Wear that coat with pride and ignore him unless and until he learns to speak to you appropriately. 3). Send a picture so we can all admire it!

  • replied 5 years ago

    It wasn't his place to say anything about your coat, or about anything else you wear for that matter. Don't let people like him ruin your day. Enjoy your coat!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 5 years ago

    Some people are just missing that filter that stops them from saying something they shouldn't.

    First of all, I wouldn't take anything this person says to heart. This is not an opinion that matters or should even be taken into consideration.

    Secondly, I would politely indicate to this person, if he can be reasoned with, that you had specifically told him not to say the mean comment and that by saying it anyway, he crossed boundaries in your relationship.

    Thirdly, you love your coat and we could tell that by your happy description. Wear it, think of your Mom, be warm, and SMILE!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    You've received great advise already, darling Cheryl.

    I'm chiming in to say that it makes me angry when someone as sweet, upbeat and kind-hearted as you is hurt. I want to punch the lights out of the person who was rude to you.

    *punch*

    And many (((HUGS))) to you too. I'm sorry that your kindness was not appreciated. xoxo

    I hope you are feeling better Queen Beautiful Smile and Queen Sequins.

  • cheryl replied 5 years ago

    Thank you so much everyone. I appreciate you all and your kind words of support and advice more than you can know. I have known him for years and am used to him but you are right, I will give him the cold shoulder and let him know I don't have to put up with his bad behavior.

    He was in a car accident at 19, but he is aware of what he is saying and really doesn't have a filter, and he will use his handicap as an excuse for bad behavior.

    Hugs to you all :)

  • Aziraphale replied 5 years ago

    Oh honey. I'm so sorry. There is already lots of good advice here, but I just wanted to say that puffers are called puffers because they're puffy. They make everyone look puffy! That guy's comment was just plain stupid. Ignore him. You and your coat are both fabulous. :-)

  • Jules replied 5 years ago

    Ugh. I feel like I know this guy. He's that guy, the one who feels he can only get women's attention by being an asshole and picking them apart. Do *not* give him the satisfaction of letting this affect how you feel about yourself or your coat!

  • Day Vies replied 5 years ago

    Some people just love to spew venom because they can't bear to see others resplendent in their joy. Enjoy your coat -- if it brings you joy it belongs in your life. Why should you tone down your happiness (which is what the coat is really reflecting) just to please someone one who is obviously a bottomless pit of despair?

    Nobody can be you better than you. Furthermore because he doesn't have your best interests at heart there is no way he can help you manifest the best vision of you with his "advice". Plus if you're not wearing a coat that is a positive reflection of who you believe yourself to be right now then who or what are you representing by not wearing it?

    It takes a lot of courage to be an individual, congratulations on expressing your unique individuality. WEAR THE COAT!

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    Hey now! As Queen of Puffers I COMMAND you to wear that puffer! Please, if puffers were Spanx, they'd be called Spanx!

    As a technical writer - paid to translate for the inarticulate and rude - this gentleman sounds like a lot of the people I work for and with. Neurological Tangle Detector is beeping.

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    That's a crappy thing to say; we all deal with a-holes at some point in this world. I agree that you don't need to spend your time and energy giving conversation to him if he sees fit to take joy from you. But above all, don't pay attention to the snide remarks of unimportant people in your life. Gives them power and their words weight that neither deserve. Continue to find joy in wearing your colorful coat!

  • cheryl replied 5 years ago

    Thank you all so very much. Big hugs! He was in today but I was busy with others and didn't make time to socialize with him today. He got the picture! I do appreciate all of your wonderful advice.

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