FINALLY, the holidays are over. Wow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the trees, the ice-skating and the hot chocolate. I love giving presents (and getting presents!). I love, LOVE the food (especially the desserts!). I even love seeing family (though I’ll admit, it’s always better in theory than in practice).
But man, I’m glad it’s all over.
Let me start with the family. So I do, for the most part, like seeing family, especially the family we don’t see often: the aunts and uncles, the cousins, the new little baby members that have joined us in the past few years. I do, I really do, like seeing them.
But I also REALLY like when they leave. Surely, the best part about seeing your family is seeing them leave.
So we had a bunch of people staying with us. It turned out that the wild old Uncle (you know the one…) planned a little vacation with us. We were not informed of Uncle’s decision until Christmas eve, two days after he arrived at our house. We assumed, as one would, that Uncle would be staying for Christmas, like, you know, the way normal people do. Uncle had different ideas. Uncle though it might be fun to stay through New Year’s. So okay, he’s old, we get it: he wants to stay for New Years, see his family, spend a little more time with people who care about him, get a few free meals out of the deal.
Today is January 14. Uncle left us two days ago, January 12. That means Uncle was with us for 22 days, 21 and a half if you count the 22 of December, the day he arrived, as a half day (and I’m counting the 12 of January as a whole day, because it was a project and a half getting Uncle out). So let’s say 21 1/2 days; that’s 264 hours if you count the hours he spent sleeping. (Uncle snores, so I’m counting those hours.) 264 hours is 15,840 minutes, which is 950,400 seconds.
Nearly 1,000,000 seconds. That sounds about right. See, when Uncle comes to visit, and when Uncle stays for as long as he did, you really can’t overstate how looooong the time feels, and how slowly it passes. So when you look back over the past several weeks of your life and you realize that Uncle was only with you for 22 days, you start to think, “gee, 22 days isn’t that long.” So you have to find a way to make that number bigger. And when you think, man, uncle was with us for 1 million seconds, then you start to feel like yes, this is correct, this is how it feels to have Uncle stay with you for a long period of time. One second is not a long time, but 1 million seconds is a long fucking time. If you don’t believe me, just count to 1 million, 1 second at a time. Once you have finished, once you have reached 1 million (you can stop at 950,000, if you insist), then you will know how it feels to have Uncle stay with you.
Don’t get me wrong, Uncle is not a bad person. He’s old, he’s pretty lonely, and he means well. (Is saying that someone “means well” the most insulting thing you can say about a person without scoring hell-points?) Uncle is just… well… quirky?
For example, here’s the conversation between Uncle and me on December 22:
Me: Hi Uncle! So good to see you!
Uncle: How did you get so fat? Did your boyfriend dump you?
Me: (blushes and chuckles nervously) Let me take your coat Uncle.
Uncle is not actually my Uncle; he’s my dad’s uncle, my grandmother’s younger brother. Uncle, we came to find out, stopped eating meat years ago, and so refused to eat most of the meal that we had planned for Christmas dinner. The funny thing about Uncle not eating meat is that, first of all, he didn’t tell us he didn’t eat meat until we had sat down at the table for Christmas Eve dinner when Father brought out the ham (we had pizza the 22nd and ate out on the 23rd, so I guess if I’m being charitable to Uncle, the topic didn’t really come up); and the other thing that’s funny about Uncle’s vegetarianism is that he was definitely, definitely not a vegetarian when he stayed with us for Christmas last year. So when Uncle claimed that he hadn’t eaten meat in years, my little brother’s inclination was to pull up the family photo, taken around the dinner table, which clearly shows on Uncle’s plate a large piece of roast beef. Uncle isn’t looking at the camera, so perhaps he didn’t know he was being caught in the act, and when he concocted the lie that he didn’t eat meat, he was unaware that Little Brother would be able to counter this claim with fool-proof photographic evidence. Needless to say, Cousin and I were able to convince Little Brother that photographic evidence or no, Uncle would insist that it has been years since he’s eaten meat. My mother’s theory is that if Uncle believes he hasn’t eaten meat in years, and if he tells us he hasn’t eaten meat in years, that then he can blame us (read: Mother) for not remembering that Uncle doesn’t eat meat.
This, in turns out, was only the beginning; Uncle’s declaration of vegetarianism occurred roughly 40 minutes before he decided he might make a little vacation out of his Christmas visit. Little Brother actually, literally laughed out loud when Uncle said he thought he might stay through the New Year. (Little Brother, you might know, doesn’t live in the same house as Parents, and so would not have to live in the same house as Uncle; this might explain why he found laughing an appropriate response. Mother’s response was to spit half-chewed food out of her mouth onto, mostly, her plate; Father’s response was to take a long slow sip of beer from his frosty mug; my response was to gape, slack-jawed and with furrowed brow, at Uncle, the kind of look you might cast upon someone who has just turned their head around 360 degrees Exorcist-style. Even the cat, it seemed, responded with a mixture of fury and confusion; shortly after Uncle invited himself to stay with us, Kitty peed on the floor in the dining room.)
I won’t bore you with all the details of Uncle’s stay. Here are some highlights: Uncle sat me down to talk about weight gain and how men are not attracted to fat girls; Uncle posted publicly to my Facebook a diet plan for “young obese girls,” which was probably what he searched in Google; Uncle told Mother that her cooking was probably the reason I’ve gained so much weight, because I would rather eat McDonald’s and Burger King than what she feeds us (and the most surprising thing about this comment was that it started as a compliment: Uncle mentioned that the green beans were excellent, and that the celery in the stuffing was a nice touch, and that, by the way, the salad isn’t great, and that you know where has really decent salads is Wendy’s, and that has Mother ever put strawberries in her salads? No? Well, Mother could learn a thing or two from Wendy’s, because their salads have strawberries in them, and that perhaps Fat Daughter has been to Wendy’s recently, maybe a few too many times, and perhaps this is because Mother’s salad is lackluster, although, Uncle paused to consider, Fat Daughter surely isn’t getting strawberry salads at Wendy’s; perhaps she’s eating too much fast food because she doesn’t like the cooking at home?) Mother ended the conversation by standing up and walking out of the room. Father intervened, pointing out to Uncle that this was an incredibly insulting thing to say; Uncle is the type of person who always seems surprised that his insults have actually been insulting to other people. He insisted that he was not trying to be offensive, he was just trying to get to the bottom of why I’m so fat. Like mother like daughter: I ended the conversation by getting up and walking out of the room. Father and Little Brother then assaulted Uncle tag-team, Uncle, missing the point, still insisting that he meant no offense and couldn’t see what was wrong with suggesting some strawberries for a salad.
Anyway, these were some highlights. Uncle gave no presents and received many; he often suggested we go out to eat and never offered to pay; he requested Mother or I wash his sheets bi-daily, since the dust build-up in the house disrupted his sleep and the only real way to combat it was with clean sheets; Uncle never once made his bed (I made it every other day, so he would think we had cleaned the sheets; we only washed them once while he was here); Uncle asked my father everyday if they could go out for lunch and everyday my father said, No, Uncle, I’m working today. Uncle also found out, this year, that texting doesn’t cost him extra anymore, and so started texting everyone in his phone. Uncle thinks that texting is email. So Uncle would say to me, “Hey, come here, I want to send Larry an email.” When I asked if he had Larry’s email address he said yes, and gave me Larry’s phone number. When I asked if he wanted to email or to text Larry, he said “Yes.”
So perhaps you have some idea of why, when Uncle comes to stay, you number the time in seconds: nearly 1 million seconds that will never tick back the other way. So I repeat: FINALLY, the holidays are over; finally, Uncle is gone.
FINALLY, too, I can stuff myself fat. Finally, I can once again eat and eat and eat until my belly, swelling over my waistline, threatens to explode; finally, I can chug milkshakes and soda, nibble on leftover Christmas candy all day, devour my donuts with impunity. Finally, you see, I have the house to myself.
(One note about stuffing and eating during the holidays: I was able to eat a lot the past few weeks, between Thanksgiving and Christmas; we ate a lot of big meals, and I ate a lot of desserts, making sure always to get seconds. It was satisfying to be able to eat so much so publicly, knowing, deep down, that family members, especially aunts and cousins, were thinking to themselves that jeez, this must be why I’ve gained so much weight, because I eat like this. And I have to confess: I am turned on by the idea that I’m being judged for my eating and my weight. Still, though, eating in public is never as gratifying as sitting down with a box of donuts, a few breakfast sandwiches, a few bags of candy and chips, and a few pints of ice cream and knowing that you will eat eat eat, stuff stuff stuff until you can hardly move, and then eat more and stuff more. Mmm.)
After Uncle left, Mother and Father decided to head away for the weekend, leaving me, at last, alone. All week I looked forward to this, and all week I planned my feast: a Big Breakfast with Hotcakes from McDonalds; a Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissant from Dunkin Donuts; six donuts from DDs; a small pie from the grocery store; ice cream, candy, and chips to snack on; and hopefully some pizza for lunch. All week, I salivated; all week, I waited; at times, it was too much to handle, and I had to stop by Dunkin Donuts and stuff myself with donuts in the car, because I just couldn’t wait until Saturday, when the parents would leave, first thing in the morning.
Finally, Saturday is here. Finally, I can eat. Finally, I can be fat. Finally, I can stuff myself beyond comprehension, feel the fat rolls roll out off my body, feel my cellulite pile upon itself, feel my whole body grow more and more jiggly as the fat builds upon my frame. Finally, I can give in to my desires and give myself over the demands of my belly. Finally, I can be a slave to my belly. Finally, I can be a slave to my gluttony. Finally, I can waste my entire day, eating, lounging, resting, only to eat more and rest more and eat more and more and more. Finally, I can be hypnotized by my own fat.
It started early this morning. The parents were gone by 8; I was up at 8:30, heading out the door, ready to begin my binge. The grocery store was the first stop, and the first thing I saw when I walked in was the Christmas candy, 50% off. It wasn’t in the plan, but I couldn’t help myself: I bought four Reese’s trees and two bags of Butterfingers Bites (that are shaped to look like little pieces of coal; how fitting for a gluttonous growing fatty like me!). I picked up a bag of crunchy Cheetos, a 1.25 liter bottle of Pepsi, a quart of whole milk, a pint of vanilla ice-cream, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food, and a small peach pie. I felt the eyes of the cashier and bag boy scan my frame more than once as they rang up my groceries; surely, a girl this fat, I could feel them thinking, shouldn’t be buying ice cream and candy and pie and Cheetos and soda. This is why she’s so fat, I could feel them thinking. The bag boy seemed almost hesitant to bag my ice cream, like he felt some moral obligation to withhold such a fattening treat from such a fatty like me, like he almost wanted to intervene and show me the produce aisle, to re-shelve my candy and soda so I might begin, in this New Year, to lose the precious pounds that I have so carefully packed on over the past 10 years. (Wait—what?! TEN years?? Yes, that’s right: I started gaining weight intentionally in college, 10 years ago; I have officially been a fat girl for 10 years!)
Silently scolded by the bag boy, I waddled to my car, intent on finding more fattening, caloric foods for my growing belly. I pulled into the nearby McDonald’s for a Big Breakfast with Hotcakes, which tops the charts at a whopping 1330 calories. (The website says 1100, but the sign in the store said 1330; it was like little Christmas morning surprise, finding an extra 200+ calories where I didn’t expect them!) At Dunkin Donuts, across the street, I ordered a sausage, egg, and cheese croissant (700 calories!), half a dozen donuts (jelly, glazed, vanilla frosted, Boston Bruins [chocolate and yellow frosting], winter frosted, and coconut flurry), and a medium coffee. I got home and could barely haul my feast into the house: I had three bags from the grocery store, a big bag from McDonalds, a bag from Dunkin Donuts, plus my donuts and coffee. I almost had to make two trips, just hauling breakfast inside!
Alas, I didn’t finish it all just for breakfast. The McDonald’s Big Breakfast, though it looked easy, proved to be more than I expected. The three hotcakes were large, and smothered in butter and doused in maple syrup they were a challenge; the biscuit was more filling than I anticipated. Still, I forged through, stuffing all 1300 calories into my swelling stomach: the salty hash brown made my mouth water, the fatty sausage bubbled into my bubbly arms, the eggs padded around my hips, and the buttery biscuit, layered in more butter, built itself into the fat that surrounds my face.
While working through the breakfast, I chowed through the glazed, Bruins, and winter frosting donuts. I felt the sugar rush through my veins and settle into my body, making me softer and softer with every bite. A glass of whole milk and my coffee helped me through, and before 10 am, I had consumed a staggering 2,160 calories, 101 grams of fat, 206 carbohydrates, and 57 grams of sugar. Again that’s BEFORE 10am! I had eaten more calories than is recommended for a day, twice the amount of recommended fat, roughly the daily recommended amount of carbs, and more than twice the recommended amount of sugar. I am such a fat glutton!
That was, of course, only the beginning of the feast I had prepared. By 11:30, I had finished the croissant sandwich, the vanilla frosted donut, a Reese’s Christmas tree, plus a large glass of Pepsi. Totals for noontime: 3300 calories, 176 grams of fat, 297 carbs and 92 grams of sugar. I was completely stuffed; my belly rolled out over my waist and plopped itself on my thighs; my thighs shuffled out over the edges of my chair; my arms propped themselves against the rolls that hang off of my sides; my love handles explored the edges of my sweatpants and my shirt slipped up my bulging belly, no longer able to contain the swelling masses of fat that were protruding further and further out beyond my body. I entered, officially, the food coma: I couldn’t move. I jiggled over to my bed and fell backwards, plopping down, feeling my newly formed fat readjust itself around the pre-existing fat. I slept, at noon, trying to digest the massive feast I had consumed, the excess calories that would soon be turned into even more fat to hang off my fat body. I slept, sort of, knowing that I would wake up with more feasting in front of me.
By 4pm, I had eaten more donuts and more candy. I quickly devoured a milkshake. I ate nearly all of the peach pie. I felt my massive body swell, my belly ache from stuffing too much food into it. I salivated, knowing how the fattening treats would pile fatteningly upon my fat body. My totals, before dinner: 6175 calories, 330 grams of fat, 313 grams of sugar, and 664 carbohydrates. Now, to rest, so that tonight, finally, I might eat.
*NOTE: I wrote this post a few weeks ago, but only just got around to editing and posting. Sorry!