Let's Not

I don't want to write about my family. I don't want to write about the family wedding in North Carolina, when my weird new Aunt, the only Jewish southerner I had ever met, called me a disgusting show-off for doing cartwheels as we walked on the beach. That was the aunt who had earlier befriended me and made me feel visible and worthwhile for maybe the first time ever in my life, who'd confirmed that my parents were crazy and that it made sense for me to feel unsupported and miserable. "When you have crazy parents, like you do..." began one of her sentences to me. It's true, my parents were crazy, but she was totally fucking batshit and guess what her job was? A psychologist. 

I don't want to write about my father in restaurants with his face always at the "set" part of "ready, set, SNEER." He was intolerably rude and demanding, but he was so unhappy at that point in his life, before he and my mom divorced, that I almost forgive him in retrospect. One time he was so heinously awful to a waitress that I wrote left her a note on a napkin apologizing for the guy who was such a mean jerk to her. I dimly remember leaving that table a huge mess and wondering if she would even find the note. Did she? Did it matter? 

I don't want to write about my father yelling at my mother over dinner for egregious errors on her part such as putting the baked potatoes in foil or maybe not putting the baked potatoes in foil, I can't recall. I don't want to write about the time my mom threw a glass of ice water in his face and how he just sat there, dressed in tennis clothes, chin in hand, water running off of his enormous nose, leading my brother and I to refer to that dinner evermore as the night of the "Dripping Statue." I don't want to write about the things my father threw (a lamp, a phonebook, the phone, the cat) or the times my mother cried (such a weird, broken sound) or the sound of my feet stomping up the stairs and my door slamming shut. 

I don't want to write about what a completely weird kid I was, rubbing "first aid cream" onto the broken leg of a tiny pink plastic deer, wearing a knitted hand puppet named Gumdrop to school nearly every day of 5th grade, pretending my bike was a horse and giving it a snack of grass when I would ride it through my neighborhood. I don't want to write about how desperately I needed friends. 

I don't want to write about the diet pills I mail-ordered from "Cardinal Richelieu Plaza," or how I meted them out to last as long as possible, or how I wrote down everything I ate on a piece of mini-notebook sized paper, then compiled them into a packet of seven for the week, then four packets of seven for the month, then stashed them in a perfectly sized box behind my dresser. I don't want to write about how even when I lost weight, I regarded my body with a disgust most pre-teens reserve for the smell of school bathrooms. I don't want to write about the time I asked my dad's allergist, who came to the house to give him weekly injections, to look at my upper arms and tell me how to make them thinner. 

I don't want to write about Ian, the gangly hemophiliac who befriended me in middle school, asking me conversationally, "How did you grow to be fat?" I don't want to write about Lane, my first major crush, who stood in my kitchen with me and my brother fighting over potato chips and, when my brother said "that's what makes you such a brat," said, "no, it's what makes her so fat." I don't want to write about Janice, my well-meaning high-school friend, who tried to make me feel better by saying, "You probably can't help it! Your whole family is sort of overweight-looking." 

Yeah. Let's not.

Anonymous is beginning her 6th decade of life and is in the process of remaking herself for about the hundredth time. She kind of can't believe she is finally submitting something.