Friday, February 1, 2013

The Ugly Duckling

Generally I'm pretty secure about my looks. I mean, I don't think about them too much. Sure I'm a bit overweight, but I'm fighting genetics here. In a crowd, I don't especially stand out, I'm very, well, average.

But recently there have been some strange things said by family that are making me wonder whether my assessment of my own looks is way off base. Maybe I'm like the hunchback, and I've just conditioned myself to think I'm normal?

Here are some of the gems I've heard lately.

You weren't a beautiful child. You were a "cute" kids. But my, you're such a beautiful woman now.

...and then my friend said, "Wow, she's really pretty" and then I stopped to think about it and yeah, you are.

...and even with that forehead, you're very pretty ...

...and you're not *too* fat ...

And so, dear family, I just want you all to know that you people look just like me!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Saying Goodbye

In the early hours of Friday morning, my great aunt Hilda passed away, surrounded by her family. She always had a quick smile, big laugh and treats for kids. She was my father's second mom, taking care of him when he was young and his own mother wasn't around. He loved her so much, and so, I loved her. He always brought her yellow flowers on her birthday, which was two days before my own. She said we were so alike because we are the only Piscies in the family, but she was wrong. She was open where I am closed, and she was forgiving while I hold grudges like they're gold. It's a cold, grey day here in Chicago, the world a little darker with her absence. Today I'll bring yellow flowers to her for the last time, as we lay her to rest.

Friday morning when I finally went to sleep, as I dozed off, I heard her laugh. I held that to me and smiled, imagining that somewhere, my father was greeting her, welcoming her as always, with those yellow flowers.