Fat Knees

My mother likes to relate a story of a visit she had to her primary care provider many years ago, right around the time my little brother was born. She’d gotten down quickly to her svelte pre-pregnancy weight but was still distressed. “I don’t know what to do,” she said to her doctor. “I have such fat knees.”

“That’s how you know you’re thin,” he replied.  » Read more

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My Most Toxic Friendship

I glance at my phone. New text message:

“Starting to wonder where you are.”

I log into e-mail, social networks. She’s contacted me there. The pleas are desperate, passive-aggressive, subtly scathing. She knows how to needle me better than anyone, having installed a lot of my neuroses herself.

It’s been 10 days since I’ve called her,  » Read more

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Weighty Matters

a person in a blue bikini, leading another person across a sandy beach

Dieting has been very much a part of my psyche since I first started going to Weight Watchers meetings at 3 years old. I found the brochures exquisite, color-coded, graduating through a program whose logical progression appeased my young brain’s need for order. They were the first thing I read. While my mother made copious notes on a legal pad,  » Read more

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Out

I came out about my sexual orientation to my mother today.

It started when we were talking about one of my friends from college. “You knew she was gay, right?” I said.

Mom said, “I think so. I barely remember her.”

“You know, Mom,” I continued. “I have A LOT of gay friends.”  » Read more

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The Messiah Complex

1.

Just about everyone else in my family is Catholic (except for a few crazy uncles we were never allowed to associate with except for at large family gatherings). Many women in my family love angels. My mother is especially fond of them. She remarked on many occasions that it was a bizarre coincidence that I was born a week after my great grandmother died.  » Read more

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I’m the hyper, nauseatingly precocious kid in all the snaps, wearing an evening gown at the breakfast table, correcting my mother’s grammar in a Grover t-shirt. A good Catholic girl who still idolizes her father because he works 70 hours a week and never says anything to her.

Those are the years before I understand loneliness as more than an abstraction,  » Read more

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