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My Grandma: The Fat Police

July 4, 2012

My grandma isn’t your typical grandma.  In fact, we joke that my aunt’s ex-husband’s dad’s partner is a better grandma than my grandma.  He gets down on the floor and plays with the kids, he makes freezer jam, pie, etc.  As for my grandma, it’s, “Hello, grandchildren.”  The rest of the visit consists of uncomfortable political conversations, Grandma taking unflattering pictures of us (usually mid-chew), and comments about everyone’s weight.  It has only gotten worse with age and has become a source of amusement for me.  My dad, however; has just suddenly caught on to her rudeness and has given everyone permission to call her on it.

She’s 87 so there’s not much point in trying to change her now.  During our last dinner together, I said I never salt my food and she said, “That’s good for your blood pressure.”  I thought, “Here it comes ……”  She said, “But so would losing some weight.  Has your doctor ever told you you need to lose weight?”

My dad blurted out, “That is frickin’ rude!”  She said, “I won’t be around much longer to tell the truth……”  He snapped, “It’s not truthful.  It’s just frickin’ rude!”  She apologized and after my dad left the room, she said, “He sure has been grumpy with me lately.  Is he feeling OK?”  I said, “I think he’s just being protective, Grandma.  Yes, I’m aware I need to lose weight.  It’s rather obvious.”

When my sister hit puberty, my grandma said, “I see you’ve gained some weight.”  It’s normal for girls to gain weight at that age.

After my third son was born, we had a potluck and I went to another room to feed him.  By the time I finally got around to eating dinner, she asked me, “Are those seconds or thirds?”

On Thanksgiving she asked me, “You’re not pregnant, are you?”  I actually had a miscarriage two weeks before that, so I allowed my eyes to well up with tears.  She looked horrified and said, “Oh.  I had two miscarriages. It was awful!”  My mom felt terrible for me, but I laughed about it later.  There was no better way to put Grandma’s foot in her mouth.

On Memorial Day, we went to the cemetary to visit our deceased loved ones.  Even during this moment, she poked my skinny son’s tummy and asked him, “How did your tummy get so big?  Is it from eating too much food?”  He is not the least bit fat.

She showed us pictures from a vacation in New Zealand, remarking how my cousin’s husband has gained a lot of weight.

She asked my husband, “Is that your spare tire?  Is that a heart attack belly?  I hear men with big bellies are more likely to have heart attacks.”  He told her, “It’s not my spare tire.  It’s my main tire.” 

The day my aunt had a baby, my grandma told her, “I see you still have your tummy.”  She had eight kids, but I guess she forgot how your tummy doesn’t immediately disappear.  My sister said, “I would have told her I see she still has her hairy wart.”  I’ve never seen my aunt laugh so hard.

My mom just about exploded when she talked about a mutual friend and my grandma asked, “Is he still ugly?”

My dad invited her over for the 4th.  I am eagerly anticipating all of the funny (to me) comments and some witty comebacks.  I’m kind of torn between eating nothing in front of her or pigging out so I can giggle about it later.  At our last big gathering, I made multiple comments about how starving I was and begged for dessert 5 minutes after dinner.  She protested loudly.  Hahahahaha!!!!  She’s humor impaired and didn’t catch on when I was grinning mischieviously.  Honestly, I would rather hear about how fat I am than listen to her talk about how wonderful Obama is and how awful Bush was.  In fact, I think I will change the subject to my weight myself when she does.  “So, Grandma.  Have you noticed how fat I am?”

So, tell me about your family. 

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