The politician’s wife walked next to her husband. My eyes were drawn to her blue outfit.
“She’s lost weight since the convention.” I look over at my husband and his eyebrows acknowledge my statement.
It is inauguration day and we are watching a TV station that limits its commentary and editorializing. It lets its viewers think for themselves.
I press the remote and it instantly transfers to another TV station. A tiny man perched on a stool sits center stage. He peers at a paper clutched in his hand and reads a comment “someone else” has said about the woman in blue. It is mean and derogatory, but the commentator is blameless. He is only repeating what “someone else” has said.
I switch back to the station without the snide remarks and look at the politician’s wife. Word has reached her long before the little man voiced them on national TV. It is evident she has lost weight and changed her hair style and wardrobe in the last few months, but no one on this station comments on her looks, no one reads the mean comments of “someone else.”
SOMEONE says something. ANOTHER repeats it, but the blame is not on them. It is on SOMEONE else. And so it goes. The opinion, whether it is true or not, takes on a life of its own and it does not matter who it harms.
It becomes gossip, mean, ugly, demeaning.
I switch back one more time to the little man. He could use a meal, maybe a doughnut or two. He too is trying to fit in, to build up his own worth, but he does it at the expense of someone else’s discomfort.