Friday, June 22, 2012

I Wish You Were Skinny

My grandma definitely speaks her mind, and I've been scorned and shamed by her on more than one occasion. However, one striking blow cut me to the quick. Just thinking about it pains me to this very day. Grandma probably doesn't even remember it. An adult can crush a kid's confidence so effortlessly.

Grandma was staying with my sister and I while Mom and Dad were away. A preteen,  I rode the bus home from school and made a box of mac and cheese as an afternoon snack. My grandmother returned from an errand and found me eating in front of the television. She was disgusted and immediately began chastising me. "What are you eating? You're going to ruin your dinner."

I really didn't know what to say. I came home from school hungry and made something to eat. I'd done it before, and no one ever seemed to care. Perhaps, a box of mac and cheese wasn't the healthiest choice, but it was tasty.

Then came the words that hurt, "Why can't you just be skinny like the rest of my grandchildren?"

Dumbstruck I put the fork down, went to the kitchen and left my nearly full bowl of mac on the counter. I was absolutely devastated, embarrassed and stunned. It suddenly dawned on me that until I was "skinny" I would never measure up. Being compared to the perfection of others was an inescapable fate. My body shape was my ultimate failure and no amount of personal success or achievement in other areas could compensate. Clearly, until I was physically thinner I'd never be a winner.

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