So yesterday, an aunt who hadn’t seen me in a while remarked that I’ve lost a lot of weight. She said this in front of another aunt who sees me perhaps twice a month and who’s aware of my weight loss. Just as I was about to express my appreciation, aunt #2 interjected, “Yeah, the upper part maybe but look at her boobs! And her hips and thighs – she’ll never lose any weight there!” Which led me to retort, “HELLO! I love my big boobs! They’re glorious! Who wants small boobs anyway?” making everyone laugh hysterically. It would have been odd to bring up my objection to the second part of her comment at this juncture, so I kept quiet. Truth be told I was stewing over it. So my hips and thighs are enormous. So they’re completely disproportionate compared to my small waist. So I might never get them to slim down…what of it? Why is it her problem? Most importantly, how is it her problem?
This is not the first time she’s said this. Whenever I bring up losing a bit of weight and how glad I am for it, she has to say something like, “But your hips and thighs…they look the same.” My hips and thighs just seem to bother the hell out of her for some reason. Why can’t she just be happy for me? And just congratulate me or something? No. She has to point out that one part of my body that I despise, that I am most self-conscious about. Not positive reinforcement, not about how I’m aaaaalmost there, just a leeeeettle bit more. No. It’s about how gigantic they are and how they’ll never go away. Why? Does it give her so much satisfaction to make me feel bad about myself? Sure, I notice them. It’s not like I go about my life not seeing them until she points them out. They’re there, they’re big, I see them, they bother me. But why does it bother her? Why to such a point?
And while I’m already talking about one thing she does that gets on my nerves…she has this niece (on her side; she’s my uncle’s wife) that she’s irrationally proud of. She did extremely well in school, she’s now working for the United Nations, she’s been to East Timor or West Timor or Sumba or one of those far-flung cool-ass places you only read about, she can afford expensive holidays to Europe and America where she stays at proper hotels instead of hostels (or stay at online friends’ houses, heh), yada yada yada. Granted, these are cool things. But try bringing up anything remotely associated with the uni her niece attended, or the UN, or East Timor/West Timor/Sumba/one of those far-flung cool-ass places you read about, or Europe/America, or anything, really – in peace – I mean really you’d just genuinely like to expatiate on one of these things in total and utter peace – and if without fail she would ask you, “Did I tell you that my niece did something AWESOME/went somewhere AWESOME that I know for a fact you didn’t/haven’t/probably never will?” well, it’d make you want to hurl too.
Once, her rhapsody on her darling niece ended with, “And did I tell you about this Coach bag she got me? She got it for me in New York!” Oh, brother. My response? “I (fucking) hate Coach. Everyone has a bloody Coach bag. They’re so frightfully common. I pride myself in not owning these silly brand-name things.” She didn’t say anything for three seconds. And then she came up with this gem: “Yeah, but it was from NEW YORK.” I rolled my eyes.
Look, she’s a good person. It’s not like she’s an awful person like some of my other aunts are. She’s wonderful, in so many ways. My mother loved her like her own sister. My mother had four sisters…she didn’t love any of them like she loved her (her sister-in-law). They were the best of friends. She came to my mother’s aid when my mum got sick. She was there till the end. I can’t tell you how much she’s helped dad and me after mum died. She has a kind heart and God bless her soul, forever and ever, amen. But oh my goodness, does she need to calm down about my hips and thighs for one second. They’re mine. They’re never gonna be hers. RELAX. Take a chill pill. And shut the fuck up about that niece of hers. Let me talk about my upcoming Europe trip without her interrupting with how, one time, her niece went to London and had tea with Kate Middleton. Jezus.
Wow, that felt really great. I haven’t ranted like that in ages. I needed that. *steps off soapbox*