I think I start at least three sentences a day with “When I was little..” I guess a lot of weird stuff happened when I was little. One guy I dated (a lot of sentences start that way, too) would physically brace himself when I started a sentence that way, because who the hell knew what would be coming out of my hamburger-stuffed mouth if I started out that way. Could be some dark stuff. Could be how I ate a bug. Luck of the memory draw on that one.
Anyway, when I was little my mom used to leave us with different people fairly often. She’d call them our relatives, but we weren’t related to them at all. This one woman, Aunt Jane, had hair like a horse’s main and hips like a freight train. She was mean and crude, and she gave people tattoos in her living room with india ink.
So, once Jane and her husband, Greg, who I remember little about other than white t-shirts and a mustache, took us out to run some errands and on the way back to their house, we picked up McDonald’s. Man, did I love McDonald’s. My whole body would shake as I stuffed all my fries in my mouth at once.
So, we get to McDonald’s and Greg asks Jane what she wants and all she wants is a hamburger. Which, what? A woman that size? Didn’t add up to me. So when Greg ran into the McD’s to order our food while we sat out in the car, I asked Jane, “Why are you only getting a hamburger?”
Jane told me she was on a diet. I kind of knew what that meant. My mom was always on a diet. I was 4 years old at the time, so my definition of a diet was a thing that fat women did where they ate less for a few days. But, I gotta say, I didn’t see much point in it. Why would you do that to yourself? And I also thought that any food was going to turn into fat, anyway.
So, I said to Jane, “But if you eat that hamburger, you’re still going to be fat.”
I probably deserved that massive swinging slap on my face. I didn’t even get to explain myself, but what would I have said?
We got back to the house and Jane and Greg made me stand in the corner and they wouldn’t let me eat my happy meal, but my brother and sister sat there crying and eventually they joined me in the corner and protested by not eating their meals.