Tuesday, April 3, 2012
At the end of each meeting we'd figure out where we would meet next. As much as I wanted to host a meeting I didn't jump at the chance because I didn't know where to seat her. There was the sofa where three average sized people could sit comfortably, if she sat there, there would be room for just two. My dining room chairs appeared to be sturdy but I feared that their sleek, Italian design would be compromised by a few hundred pounds. There was the wicker bench but even when I sat on it sometimes, I could 'hear' it.
I never did have that meeting not just because of the weight issue but the group as a whole was getting heavy. I hope they have since learned the secrets to being nice.
How does one resolve the issue of hosting a person who carries a lot of weight? Be honest and caring. Direct him or her to a seat that you feel is safe. That's what I did recently. A friend came to visit me and I had two seating options for him. One he rejected, nicely, pointing out that the first chair could roll over. The other seat was all right but not as wide. Being a gracious person he found a way to sit in it and assured all of us that he was all right.
I spend a lot of time on city buses. There is nothing more unpleasant than sitting next to a person who can't help but occupy their seat and part of yours. If it's very uncomfortable, don't get up in a huff. Just say, "Excuse me, I'm getting off next stop." They know how big they are and it's not your job to make them feel badly about it.
When you find yourself in these situations and handle them poorly and you will know when you have, the only elephant in the room will be you.