Dear Aunt/ Uncle that I have not seen in a while, it is such a pleasure to see you again after approximately three years. Yes, we thank God Uncle Jide is finally retiring the Agbada from his Yoruba demonry activity and has decided to settle down and throw this lavish wedding. We are also thankful that he is not stingy with funds either as rice, stew, and small chops very plenty.
Oh, what did you say just now? I have grown? I am now a mature lady and I have gotten fat. Well, thank you, thank you for the err compliments? True I have grown; it has been two – three years after all, but fatter? I beg to differ; I beg your everlasting pardon. I count calories like a miser counting gold and this fitfam business. I insist upon inflicting on my body is helping me maintain my shape, thank you very much. Yes, the frame is different than it was three years ago but that is life and change happens- n’est pas?
Now you, dear Aunt/Uncle don’t you look absolutely delightful in your too tight dress, multicoloured, multi layer eye shadow and your buba top suffocating your pot belly? I cannot say that to either of you, of course; my mother taught me better. For this reason, I have to smile or laugh at the “compliment” you have paid me and then respond to your very insensitive compliment by telling you “you look well”. Instead of pointing out your flaws, I point out the bits about you that I do like, and if there is nothing, I say “you look well” and this is after you have done me the favour of calling me fat. Do you see how my good home training averted a crisis and prevented blood on the dance floor?
Ah Aunty, even if age has come calling, I don’t believe you have rescinded your card to the league of womanhood. A league I am a junior member of, yes; but we all know and live by the creed “never call a woman fat”. I could be fat for various reasons you know nothing of. Health issues both physical and mental, I could have problems with being called fat, I could be confident about my body until you opened your mouth and called my attention to something that I did not think was an issue. Oh, you say being called fat is a compliment? A sign of good living? #whyyoualwayslying? If you are below the age of 50 (an arbitrary age I have plucked out of the air), you know that being called fat is not a compliment. Uncle, I will forgive you this one time only. Your sex is not known for being sensitive about certain matters and you do not understand this issue. So for you, I will leave it at this; just hug me and comment on how well I have grown and turned into a young lady. Leave the dissection of my weight for Matthias and do not make this mistake again.
To cut the long story short, if you are an aunt or uncle, be more sensitive. It is no good to look at a family member whom you have not seen in a while and comment on whatever flaws you perceive they have. They will not look the same as the last time you saw them, so kindly refrain from this inane observation. Being older means you have the liberty to discuss whatever topic you chose, but respect the fact that they are human beings too no matter how young they are, and whatever age or sex they are- they are grappling with their bodies in its various stages of growth and insensitive comments from family members do not help. This can extend to other situations beyond being called fat, but this is my personal issue so I wrote from that perspective. It could be as simple as asking your niece why she has so much pimples and what she is doing about it (see jamb question). A little sensitivity goes a long way in relating to family members younger than you. If not for anything else, but for the fact that in a not so far future you will get old and they might have to care for you. Sowing a seed of niceness now could mean the difference between a room in a nursing home and the family home.
Photo Credit: Foto.com.ng | Nsoedo Frank