Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Proud Of Myself, Sort Of

Offspring and I got into a discussion yesterday about body images. While we were shopping, she asked me if she could have a box of the Girl Scout sugar-free Chocolate Chip cookies. I jokingly asked her why she wanted to bother with sugar-free. She mistook what I was saying, interpreting my comment as me calling her fat. I told her, right there and then that I was NOT trying to convey that to her AT ALL! What I was meaning with my remark is that a lot of people, me included, feel like if you're going to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, you might as well buy the high-octane stuff! There's no sense in going easy with those babies! They're a once-a-year treat, and you shouldn't feel badly about having an extravagance every now and again.

I told Offspring all about how I promised myself a loooong time ago that I would never call her fat, however tacitly, and that I would do everything in my power to never harp on her or chide her about her weight. I spoke of how I've been made to feel less than beautiful, less than normal, just LESS in general because of my size. About how I never wanted that for her and about how I was made to feel so bad all my life that I could never do that to her. We talked for quite a bit about it, and then I tried to move on before "talk" turned into "lecture." It's a fine line I walk, that talk/lecture thing.... We went on about our day.

Then earlier today, I called my mother. She asked, as she always does, after Offspring, and how she's doing. I mentioned that she seems to be growing taller every day. Mom mentioned that the last time she saw Offspring that she'd gotten taller and lost a good bit of weight as well. I asked Mom not to belabor this too much to Offspring , and began to tell her about Offspring's mistaken assumption about my comment the day before. I told her that I knew what it felt like to be harped on all of your life about your weight. Mom took exception to that, saying that she never harped on me about my weight. I quietly said, "Yes, Mom. You did. Every time you told me that I would be "so pretty" if I'd just lose some weight." She stammered that she didn't mean it like that -- didn't I know what she meant? I told her that I knew she never meant to be hurtful, but that it was like telling me that I *wasn't* pretty. A lot. She got very quiet. We got off the phone shortly afterward.

I don't know what will happen now and if there'll be any fallout, but at least I finally told her how much it bothers me. If nothing else, I can be proud that I finally got that off my chest.


kathy a. said...

(((( klee )))) good for you!

your mom may not have meant it that way, but it's about time she heard how it came across. and it sounds like the two of you have a close enough relationship that this truthful message will not harm it.

Gawdess said...

Wow - you are doing the right things even when they are hard - big stuff

Marni said...

Good for you on all counts. I'm proud of you, too.


ccw said...

My mom never commented on my weight one way or another. I was always small but she did not acknowledge what I ate, etc for fear of causing an eating disorder.

What she does to piss me off now is comment on her own weight. After losing 55 pounds she bemoans how fats she is constantly. I have told her to stop doing it in front of the kids but it is like she cannot do it enough.

My best friend clearly recalls her mother telling her that is she "didn't watch it" she was going to be fat. She was in 3rd grade at the time.

I have another friend who cannot (as an adult) eat in front of either parent. Her mother is an anorexic rail and her father watches every bite that goes into her mouth. It is so sad.

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

so honest and heartfelt. thanks. my mom used to say " you have such a pretty face" which I of course interpreted as "everything else is disgusting", the pretty face comment was usually followed by " but you should try to exercise more" or "but do you really need that dessert?"
I certainly understand how painful it can be to hear words that mom never even realized were so painful. Kudos to you for getting that off your chest! I know it wasn't easy but I'm sure you feel so much better for having cleared the air.

halloweenlover said...

My mom makes terrible comments like that also. This last visit, they told me that Gabe would be so cute when he lost some weight. HE IS 14 MONTHS OLD. And they're totally serious! I try to tell them how that makes me feel, but they just don't get it.

I'm glad you got it off your chest, though.