Grandmama Drama

Don’t you love it when a big family fiasco occurs right before a major holiday? Don’t you just love that warm, gooey feeling of walking into a Thanksgiving celebration when you know everybody’s royally pissed at one another? Yeah, me too. There’s no place like home for the holidays.

This is an ongoing saga. I have a long history with my grandparents and my weight issues. It’s not that they’ve been overtly critical directly to my face, but there’s an undercurrent of judgement about appearanceĀ since I see them talk about other people. There’s a whole host of other issues, but they can’t all be delineated here. Suffice to say, though, that despite all of that, the overarching theme of my relationship with my grandparents is unconditional love and acceptance. They never say anything to me, it’s more of a feeling that I have.

So I didn’t tell them about my surgery until afterward, and I’ve been very clear that I don’t want to answer questions about how much weight I’ve lost. Some people are very open about that, and I understand: they’re proud of how much weight they’re losing. But I don’t see it that way at all. I don’t like to reveal exactly HOW MUCH weight I had to lose in the first place, and I don’t feel proud that it’s coming off. I’m more ashamed that I gained it all in the first place.

And if you don’t walk around asking people point-blank, “How much do you weigh?” then WHY in God’s name do people think it’s any different to ask the question, “How much have you lost?” Because let’s be real here: when people ask how much I’ve lost, it’s because they want to try and figure out how much I weighed before and how much I weigh now. What other reason could there possibly be for wanting to know the number? Seriously, if there’s another reason and I’m missing it, fill me in!

So I’ve been very clear with my family that I will not tell them how much I weighed, weigh, want to weigh, or have lost. I don’t do numbers. But still, EVERY FREAKING TIME I talk to my grandmother, she says, “I know I’m not supposed to ask, but how much have you lost?”

“I know I’m not supposed to ask…” So she gets it. I don’t want to talk about it. But she asks anyway, and I’m left with 3 choices:

  1. Telling informating I don’t want to tell
  2. Lying just to get her off my back and leave me alone about it
  3. Going off on my dear sweet grandma because I’m sick and tired of being asked this damn question, and she knows it, and she doesn’t give a shit.

So Saturday when she called to see how I was going with my gall bladder, she ended up asking how much I’ve lost. I was taken off guard since I know she KNOWS I don’t want to talk about it. I just blurted out: 150 without even thinking about it. Then she goes ON to ask, “does that include what you lost before surgery?”

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Follow up questions too??? I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!

So I said yes, and we hung up, and I emailed my parents to vent. I do not know how to handle this because the grandparents will not drop it and leave it alone. I picked a random number just to shut them up. I’ve actually lost 180 pounds, and I have no idea why I can’t just say that, but the truth is, it’s personal information and I do not want to share it with everyone. I just don’t. (Don’t ask me why a blog is okay and my living breathing family is not. It’s complicated.)

So you would think the story ends there, but nooooo.

I learn later that my dad (the grandparents are his parents) was so angry at my grandmother that he went over to her house and told her to drop it, leave it alone, mind her business, etc. He even dropped the bomb and said, “You know Meghan doesn’t want to talk about this, you refuse to respect her privacy on this issue, and you forced her to lie to you.” Oh geez.

So apparently, grandma is writing me a letter to apologize, which makes me feel like a pile of steaming poo for a number of reasons:

  1. This issue should never have caused friction between my dad and his parents. Geez louise.
  2. Why can’t I just be normal and tell everyone how much weight I’ve lost? Why can’t they just be normal and quit asking? I guess my grandparents and I are well-matched in terms of stubbornness.
  3. A letter? Good Lord, we’ve resorted to letters?
  4. Now I get to worry about this and grow an ulcer until this darned letter actually arrives, and then I’ll have to deal with it from there.
  5. And finally, I get to spend time with all these people under one roof in just over a week at Thanksgiving. Good times.

Tell me, am I unreasonable? I know I’ll need to have a sit-down with grandma and explain that I’m not upset, I just REALLY really do not want to talk about how much weight I’ve lost. Period. I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that.

Family is so dang complicated.

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3 Responses

  1. If it weren’t this issue – it would be something else. I think that it’s perfectly reasonable for you to set boundaries on what you’re willing to talk about and what you’re not… and they need to respect that.

  2. My family always wants to know where I am in the numbers game too, but I don’t have issues sharing it. It may be an age thing, Meg, kind of like when I was younger I never wanted to walk into a store and purchase tampons from a male cashier. It shamed me to no end to have to do it! Now it is more like “Every female gets a period and every male knows they do, so what is the big deal.” But when I was in my twenties, man, it bothered me!

    I kind of have the same attitude about my weight, where it was and where it is now. Though I never walked into that drug store and said to male cashier, “Yeah, I’m on my freaking period, so what?”, he still probably knew. On the same token, not telling anyone what I weighed before or how much I have lost, doesn’t make them think I was skinny. My body told the truth and probably left people to GUESS what it was I weighed at the time. Though when I do tell people my starting weight was 315, they all have said, and maybe just to be nice, “I’d of never thought that.” But I’m proud of the work I have done and we all know it is WORK. So when someone asks what number I am up to now, I have no problem saying “89 pounds” though I usually finish it with “And I still have a ways to go.”

    BUT, with that being said, your grandparents should still respect your wishes and stop pushing the issue. I don’t know why it matters to them that they know, but maybe it is because they are so proud of your accomplishments and old folks love to brag on their grandkids, getting to tell their friends, “My grandaughter, Meghan, has lost 150 pounds!” They may not be doing it just to be difficult, but maybe they want to celebrate with you how far you have come.

    Anyway, just my thoughts of which none of them may help you at all or even be right.

  3. For the most part I will tell anyone, anywhere how much I have lost except my mother…so I get you.

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