Betty Says: Awkward Conversations

What Did You Say?

"No one is judging you."

“No one is judging you.”

Today, you can advise me. Not to beat a dead horse about this whole bike riding thing, but I’ve noticed something very interesting.

Biking with the kiddo: Aww, cute.

Biking solo, not kitted out in racing gear: What’s wrong with you and why aren’t you driving a car?

But the most dramatic comment came the other day, as I was somewhat awkwardly¬†loading my grocery bags onto my bike. A woman walked past — a complete stranger — and said, “Oh, you poor thing.”

I looked up from what I was doing and said, “Yeah, the bag is heavy and I just can’t get the clip to line up and latch on.”

She gave me a sympathetic head tilt. “How long?”

Me: …

“You know,” she said, “you really shouldn’t be embarrassed. It can happen to anyone.”

Me: …

“I mean, when I wake up in the morning and look back at all the times I probably should have been driving after all that wine… well, let’s just say that I’ve been lucky. But don’t worry, no one is judging you.”

Internet, I honestly had no idea what to say. Not a clue. All I can do is hope that I don’t ever find myself on the same road with her.

What would you have said?

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2 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    I’m confident I would have said nothing because how do you locate an appropriate response to that at all, much less on the spot? To be fair, there was a guy in our neighborhood in Pensacola who we did think rode his bike because he’d lost his license, but that was because he was always weaving all over the road on his bike. Under other circumstances, I always assume the person is just making the healthy choice. I’m sure it’s helped that I’ve known several people who bike commute by choice.

  2. Alisa says:

    Oh good, because I really couldn’t manage anything more than stunned silence. Although it would have been a little more understandable if I’d been loading my bike bags with Two Buck Chuck.

    Ah, suburbia. Why would anyone want to go anywhere without a massive SUV?

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