The other day, I was hanging out with my grandmother and her older sister. Now my grandmother has Alzheimer's. We were looking at photos and my great aunt was asking if grandma knew any of the people in the photos. Grandma looks up at her sister and says she does not know who she is. Then turns to me and says, of course I know her, that's Fat Face.
Well, that's a new one on me. I know I have gained some weight, but SRSLY! Fat Face!!! My grandma has always had issues with weight. She would live off of lettuce leaves and broccoli and always had a comment about someone's weight, especially if they were related. Weight and body image were very important to her while growing up. And continued to be important to her as she raised her children. But now that she has full blown Alzheimer's there is no filter.
We ended up taking grandma out for ice cream. And while at the parlor there was this one family there, a mom and her 2 kids. What was interesting about them, was that they were the family that Super Size Me is about. The family was overweight and the kids wanted ICE CREAM!!! They all had a cone when we walked in. They ALL ordered ANOTHER cone while we were eating ours. And then they left. But only to come back, so that the son could have another cone. The mom said it was ok as long as he ordered a sorbet. The daughter also wanted another scoop, but her wish was not granted. I was shocked.
Growing up, we would go out for ice cream as a treat and there was no way we were getting a second ice cream, much less a third. I had never seen anything quite like this before. And amazingly grandma kept her mouth shut! She just glared at the family, but never said one word. Probably because it was stuffed full of her single scoop of cookies n cream.
I remember watching the Super Size Me documentary thinking that you do not have to order everything on the menu, you do not have to get a large. But here in front of me it was happening. It was a very surreal cultural moment for me, one that I had not really experienced before.
Ironically, later that same evening, grandma told me how great I looked and that I had lost tons of weight. Now I have gained some weight and it is REALLY obvious in the face, so I just laughed and joked around with grandma.
What else can you do?