This weekend has been a tough one in a lot of ways. I’ve been spending time with my Godmother, who sadly is approaching the end of a long and very privately fought battle with cancer…she didn’t even tell me she was ill until the back end of last year. She’d have my hide in a sling if she caught me feeling sad, mind you.
Her perspective, shared yesterday as she lit up her ever-present cigarette and poured herself another very large slug of whisky, was that we’ve all got to die of something, and at eighty two, providing she can depart this world on her own terms she’s had a bloody good life and she’s done fighting thank you very much.
Her Ab-Fab attitude to life has always been utterly infectious. She’s a big lady – even now, her doctors are scratching their heads at why she’s not losing weight when every rule in the book says she should be. We did chuckle at that yesterday, especially when we unearthed a pair of vinyl-clad bathroom scales from the bottom of her wardrobe which were the size of suitcase…a proper throwback from the 1970s. And several kaftans from the same era, which she insists were the reason she got fat in the first place – you could get away with murder under that much fabric, so she did.
As we systematically set about clearing out cupboards, with her directing operations from a distance we talked, I mean really talked, about her life. It’s been a life lived in technicolour, no doubt about that…she and my mum have been best friends from the age of three or four years old, but where mum was always a real homebird, ever since I was a little girl I’ve known my Godmother as the glamorous auntie who used to breeze in, dolled up to the nines and dazzle me with tales of travel to faraway places. I think that’s where I get my itchy feet from to be honest. Funny thing is, I never remember her being fat.
I said as much to her yesterday, which made her snort with laughter. Well my darling, being fat never defined me like it has done you…
Fuck. That stung a bit. A killer line, delivered in a way which was devoid of any malice, just completely matter of fact. But as soon as she said it, I knew exactly what she meant. Being fat has defined me, or should I say my weight has defined me, for pretty much my entire adult life. Hers never did. Looking at those kaftans yesterday which were loud and exotic and certainly not designed to let whoever wore them blend into the background, it was obvious that it would never have occurred to her to feel apologetic for being fat. Nor should it have.
So why do I? I mean, it’s less of a sharp and pointy feeling these days but it’s definitely still there…given a preference I’d still much rather blend into the background in the hope that nobody notices that I’m fat. I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be wearing the sort of brightly coloured garments which could probably be seen from the moon…and yet. Two of those kaftans came home with me yesterday.
On the basis that I’m the wrong side of fifty now, I’m allowed to look a bit retro, dare I even say eccentric – it’s practically the law – so I figured it would be a nice homage to my aunty if I adopt the fuck you attitude to being fat, on the odd occasion when I’m feeling brave enough. It can’t hurt to try it in for size, right? I have a holiday coming up in around a month, so it’s a perfect opportunity to be loud and exotic.
Watch this space…there may be pictures 🙂
By the way, there’s a very thought-provoking new post on our Thoughts From The Posse page today…one of you lot, doing what you do best and making me think! Enjoy 🙂