Posted by: Kate | October 9, 2008

Pear-Shaped, My Ass. (Well, Actually…)

The other day, I wore a new pair of pants to work; nothing too exciting, just Old Navy courderoyish (not quite that much of a ridge pattern, but similar), in an olive-drab color. Paired them with a black long-sleeved t-shirt and black clunky loafers, and felt reasonably good about my outfit. It was nothing outstanding, but it matched and didn’t appear to highlight any of my personal weak spots or disproportions.


Today, I came in and read an email sent to my supervisor by the local police department. They’re unhappy that I sent that particular client home, even though the client was not suicidal, the family had no extra information to add and was not willing to commit him to the state hospital, and the police officer who was present barely acknolwedged my presense, much less offered any input to my assessment. Plus, the client has a standing diagnosis of a Traumatic Brain Injury following a car accident three years ago; good luck getting him placed in a psychiatric facility until they are good and certain that they can’t pawn him off on a medical facility somewhere.

There were lots of politics involved, and I realized this, so I documented everything carefully and went about my day. Apparently this same client went home and had an “outrage,” his term for losing control, harming himself, damaging property, and so on. The police think that if I had hospitalized him, this subsequent event would have been avoided. Perhaps they’re right, but I acted in good faith and would come to the same decision if presented with the same information again. So I’m not terribly concerned about the police being unhappy; if I get through an entire week without irritating someone with a work-related decision, I think there must be something wrong.

No, what upsets me is that first of all, the police officer on site lied. He said I had not consulted with the family or with police before making my decision; for one thing, I don’t always need to, depending on circumstances, but for another, I sat in a room with the family for half an hour, and asked the officer, twice, if he had anything to add. The fact that I did not simply, blindly hospitalize this guy just because the police officer brought him in does not equal a failure to corroborate evidence. The cop never even said, “I think you should hospitalize him,” so while I understood, implicitly, that this is what the police always want when they bring someone in, I didn’t receive any actual feedback to the contrary.

And secondly, I’m personally offended by the way the officer described me in his report. He never bothered to ask my name, and he described me as “a pair-shaped [sic]  young woman with dark hair pulled into a ponytail and glasses.” I did not have my hair back in a ponytail. And pardon me while I correct your grammar, but pear-shaped? Really? Ugh. I get that I’m heavyset, but I always thought I was at least top-heavy enough to balance out the bottom half.

I am never wearing those pants in public again.



  1. Well. First off, that cop was a dick. The end. No contest.

    There; having gotten that off my chest, I can also add a few other thoughts.

    I’m not a psychiatrist or in the mental health profession, so this is obviously pure conjecture, but I am reminded of several different shows and some articles I’ve read about perception; I remember in this one show on PBS they had couples selecting one photograph of their spouse out of an array of altered pictures. Some photos were altered to be *more* flattering and some *less* flattering.

    In cases where the couples had a more “loving” relationship (a qualitative term, I know, but still), the spouse would most often select the *more* flattering photograph, while in troubled partnerships, the spouse would most often select the *less* flattering photograph.

    Now, I said all that to say this: I know that when I am in an argument with someone, or if they say something I find especially unlikable, they appear to me to be less attractive and nice than I would usually find them. So I’m thinking the cop probably was viewing you through his own perception (someone who wasn’t going to do what he wanted them to do) – his own “pear-shaped” glasses.

    To hell with that cop. Rock those pants. I’m sure it was nothing but his shoddy perception.

  2. Well, if he lied about the patient, the situation, and the ponytail, why would you assume he told the truth about shape? You knew the others weren’t true, but took that fruit-remark right in!! Maybe, duh, it wasn’t true either!

  3. There are no words.

    Actually, there are. But Melanie put it better than I ever could.

  4. I think you should re-write your report, being sure to describe the officer with the phallus-shaped head.

  5. I bet you have a few choice words that could describe that police officer right about now, huh? Gosh! What an ass!

  6. That cop is a jerk for lying, and a tacky jerk for describing you that way. I mean, who talks like that? It’s not like it is some awful thing to BE pear-shaped (hello me!), but describing a stranger that way seems inappropriately appraising, if you get my drift.

    So yeah, total dick. And the pants sound hot.

  7. Melanie and Nita already said it better. Wear those pants, and enjoy them!

  8. As a wife to a law enforcement officer I say he screwed up, tried CYA in his report by throwing you under the bus. I say grab him by the pant leg for a ride. Ask for the Shift supervisor for the incident and ask to file a formal complaint. I know the hospital has video of you…NO PONY TAIL, etc..!!! I have no patience for officers who do not do their jobs properly and are too lazy or self absorbed to work with other professionals to get the job done. If you get brushed away by his Sgt, hunt down the Lt, Capt and Cheif. Shake the place up and let them know had he ignore your requests to participate in the assessment also provide a names of the family members you spoke with as well. Your I’s and T’s will at least make sure he does not falsify another report…the crooked jerk!

  9. I’ve seen you, your shape definitely isn’t pear he is a blind idiot as well as a crooked jerk

  10. What a jack ass! He probably just knows that he screwed up, and is trying to cover his ass.
    Wear the pants because he sounds like he was making things up as he went along.

  11. Aww, it’s nice that you’ve all got my (pear-shaped) back. I’m sure I will end up wearing the pants again sometime, because I’m too cheap to go and buy another pair when I have almost-new ones at home.

    And, agreed, the officer is a jerk, and I’m sure his perceptions were clouded by something or other. It was still an unpleasant thing to see myself described that way; I’d have coped ever so much better with “heavyset.” Maybe.

  12. Grrr. Since we know he didn’t pay much attention, I assume he was referring to some other woman in the vicinity who he wrongly assumed was doing the assessment.

  13. Hey, you look good and are darn fine at your work.
    Case Closed.

  14. I’m totally on-board with Melanie’s assessment. He’s a cocksucker.

    And, maybe he liked your butt. Kind of like how in second grade we poke the boys with pencils that we like? He may have been so taken aback with your intellect, professionalism, and rockin’ booty that he threw up a defense mechanism.

    Or something. 😉

  15. Unbelievable. Police reports here are so pragmatic that they would never have described someone’s shape like that in a formal report. Bad apples in every barrel. I’d be tempted to report back too but then that would make you as bad as him. Wear your pants with pride and leave him to dunk doughnuts.

  16. What an ass. It’s inappropriate for him to have commented on your shape, no matter what it is. And I’m sure it’s not pair or pear shaped.

  17. Wear the pants agian baby!!! And the next time you see Officer McAsshat, politely kick him in the stones and try to light him on fire. “I’ve got your bail money”.

  18. one of my patients asked if i was pregnant last week. i have yet to decide if i am ever going to wash that shirt again, let alone wear it.

  19. Screw him. Wear the pants anytime you want. He’s a man and men are idiots. The fact that you don’t have enormous fake tits spilling out over the top of your low-cut, 2-sizes-too-small blouse and you didn’t bat your eyes and say, “Whatever you want, Officer” in a sugary voice doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. You’re gorgeous.

    He probably has a teenie weenie anyway.

  20. Pear shaped(snerk) is much better than being an empty headed robotic pawn of the regime’s police force any ol’ day.

  21. He’s an idiot. I’m certain you’ve got an hourglass figure. Perhaps you were wearing fuzzy chaps and didn’t know it?

  22. WTF

  23. Are you FRIGGIN KIDDING ME?????

    Good gawd. What a jackass. A pear-shaped jackass, no doubt.

    I ❤ YOU!

  24. […] won’t wear skinny jeans (I can only imagine what type of fruit I would be compared to then), and I am very slow to listen to new music.  I don’t typically […]

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