“You’re such a pretty girl. If you lost weight, you could be a cheerleader and date a football player. Wouldn’t you like that?”
My uncle said those exact words to me when I was around 14 years old and just starting high school. As much as I wanted to tell him to suck an egg, I had to bite my tongue.
Not only was he my elder, he was also my deceased father’s only brother.
I think that he approved of me until I started school. I didn’t bring home straight A’s and my “baby” fat didn’t go away. It wasn’t cute anymore. I was no longer just a pudgy little kid, I was now a bonafide fatso.
He used to grab my belly fat and say, “I can pinch an inch!”
Getting pinched was an invasion of my personal space, not to mention that it hurt like hell. He wasn’t gentle about it at all. His fingers left red marks on my young skin.
He had two beautiful, blonde, skinny daughters who were already adults by the time that I was born. They were perfect female specimens in his eyes and there was no way in bloody hell that I was ever going to be able to live up to his high expectations.
I already had the boys at school who enjoyed teasing me for being overweight, the last thing that I needed was to deal with the same kind of bullshit from a grown ass adult man. Luckily, I didn’t live with him, but when I knew that he was going to be coming over, I’d have a panic attack and try to steer clear of him the best that I could.
He picked on my mom for smoking, which is where the comment, “you’re just like your mother, with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth” originated from when he stopped by the house one day unannounced. I was 18 when he caught me smoking a Cambridge Light.
I had thought to myself, I’m proud to be like my mom, you jerk.
Plus, she told me that he would also pinch her tummy fat as well. I had no idea, I had been under the impression that I was the only one that he ever mucked with.
He was always so intimidating, a Cleveland cop, the polar opposite of my gentle and soft-spoken father. I don’t know if he was ever nasty to my dad, but I imagine that he probably was, because people like my uncle love to prey on the meek and mild.
He’s still alive, in his mid 80’s now. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time and I don’t ever plan on it again.
I hate to say this, but I have no love for him at all.
I don’t give a shit if he’s my elder anymore or that we share the same DNA. In my heart, I feel nothing but emotional pain and an intense dislike for him.
Of all of the negative voices that swim around in my head, his is still the loudest.