Monday, April 07, 2008

I am Beautiful. So stop nagging me.

I have spent the entire day in email-battle with my grandfather, who has made me very aware every time we are together in person, that I need to watch what I eat and lay off the sweets. He emailed me to say "happy birthday" and to simultaneously tell me about lap-band surgery and the fact that this can be a cure for diabetics.

I sighed at the email. Can my grandpa send me even a happy birthday without hinting that I'm overweight? So, I email him back. I decide that it is time that I say out loud/ write in email to my old grandpa, that he needs to stop reminding me of my weight. I say:

I think that the lap-band surgery works mainly for type 2 diabetics, who have diabetes that can be cured. There are advances on type 1 diabetes too, but surgery wouldn't cure me. Also, it could be dangerous because of my diabetes, which affects my ability to heal and my immune system. At any rate, lap-band surgery is also for people who are severely obese. I know I'm not as thin as I was in high-school, but I also don't think that I am severely obese. I see an endocrinologist and a diabetes educator/nutritionist once a month and they have never suggested that I was dangerously overweight. Thank you for thinking of me but I would appreciate an email exchange that doesn't include discussion of my weight- I know that you are worried about me and only tell me because you love me, but it hurts my feelings. I think I'm beautiful and I would think that you would see that to.

He emails me back:
Erin, you need to lighten up about your weight. There was no intent to criticize your weight, the information was taken from an article in the paper here in Dallas. Morbidly obese is defined as a person that is at least 100 pounds over there ideal weight. I don't think you classify in that case. Yes, I do care greatly about your health because I don't want to lose anymore family members and love you very much. I am also proud of your accomplishments and would like to see you both reach your goal of becoming professors. If you do not reach that goal it is not the end of the world and I am sure you will succeed in whatever that will be.
Your aunt Nancy was the one that told me when I inquired about you that she called you the morning after your birthday and you were eating cake for breakfast.

So, touche. Maybe. I mean, maybe I did react a little sensitively. But on the other hand, it is a consistent mention in our relationship and it hurts my feelings. So I kind of don't regret it. I really needed him to hear that I think that I am a beautiful and curvy girl who does not need to think about lap-band surgery. I do (hopefully doing some damage control) write back:

I'm sorry that I am sensitive about my weight. It's just something that I worry a lot about-it's probably the nature of the beast with grandaughters. We worry about our appearance and our weight a lot. It means a lot to me that you care and worry for me- I know you aren't against me and that you aren't attacking me intentionally. I love you too, and I hope that we are okay. I just needed to tell you that.

Can I get some validation? Am I the only one who understands how annoying it is to explain why I've gained some pounds since high school??? Was I too hard on him?

All of this makes me wish I had money for retail therapy. I so want this Holy Water bottle.


Catherine said...

I think I would have read it the way you did...but I mostly stunned that you have a grandfather who EMAILS! :)

~Virginia~ said...

i'm sensitive about that topic, too. honest mistake, but i think it warranted a response.