Monday, May 24, 2004

Family Affair

Nothing can possibly please my parents. I have decided that my parents simply hate me. Either that, or something deeply rooted in their collective psyche refuses to allow them to tell me that I am anything but a miserable failure in life. Or at least that I'm terribly socially unacceptable.

First off, I will be the first to be admit that I am no longer the same weight as I was when I was a senior in high school. I have, in fact, put on a few pounds. Does my mother really have to point this out? And in such a mean way?

I last went to see my folks during the week of Labor Day, 2002. During that trip, I resolved never to visit my parents again. My mother could not stop telling me how fat I had become. No, really. The following exchange took place during a dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my parents, my brother, his wife, me, and some other family members:

Other Family Member: You guys should eat more! There's plenty on the table!
Mother: (pointing to brother and sis-in-law) Those two need to eat more. (pointing to me) That one doesn't need to eat more.

That's just one example. It didn't stop for approximately five days. It got to the point I was getting ready to throw up -- from disgust, not from bulimia -- but I was afraid that would make my mother too happy.

Now, anyone who's ever seen my parents knows they are not small people themselves. I don't want to lay full blame on genetics, but I really have been dealt a bad hand here. By no means can my mother be characterized as a waif, nor my father lean. My father always had a belly for as long as I've observed him when I was a child.

And let's not forget that the entire time my parents were busy telling me how fat I am, we were dining out on rather fatty and carby foods.


This weekend my parents tried again to express their displeasure at me, despite not having laid eyes on me for two years. Their noses function from a continent away. Let me explain:

I had to spend a large wad of cash (thank you, Discover card) at the dentist recently, for a filling and a night guard. I apparently exhibit symptoms of tooth grinding, which can wear away at the gum line, exposing the roots of my teeth, causing problems. I made the mistake of telling my brother all about my dental issues, and he was idiotic enough to tell my parents all about my dental issues.

Bear in mind, again, that my parents have not been in my physical presence for over two years now.

Also bear in mind, please, that when I told my friends (many of whom are also law school grads) about my tooth grinding issues, several of them responded, "Yeah, it's common among law students because it's usually stress related."

My parents' response to my dental issues:

(1) You will be happy to know that my tooth grinding is, in fact, all my fault, because of my bad lifestyle decisions. This means, I don't eat the right foods. I'm supposed to eat "cooler" foods, drink more herbal broths, and eat fewer deep fried foods, like french fries. I'm a bad person for eating this bad stuff. Now I'm suffering the consequences.

(2) Now that I've consulted a dentist (and they've heard about it), my parents think it would be a good time to ask said dentist about my HORRIFIC BREATH. Naturally. Because if my mouth is cleaned (the work of a fine dental hygenist) and rinsed, my HORRIFIC BREATH must clearly be the product of -- again -- my terrible lifestyle choices, including what I eat. Yes, folks, my parents have their M.D.s -- from Elbonia University. Of course, the fact that my parents have not seen me in over two years and hence have not actually had me breathe in their face is not an obstacle to their condemnation of my breath; my breath is so HORRIFIC that it can be smelled from an entire continent and half an ocean away.

(3) And speaking of Dennis's horrible eating habits, which have led to both tooth grinding and HORRIFIC BREATH, dare we revisit the issue of how FAT Dennis is? Well of course we should. Yes. What a splendid idea.

I am going to shoot myself. Perhaps having a dead son whose ample body weight has diminished through natural bodily decay and who expels no breath at all is preferable to one who is fat, alive, grinds his teeth, and has HORRIFIC BREATH.

Oh, and my HORRIFIC BREATH as well as immense obesity is probably also a reason I can't land myself a girlfriend. Yes, you read that right. That's totally another story, best left for another day.

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