If you didn’t already know, ATRO stands for Awesome Things Rip-Off because I totally ripped off the idea from this guy.
Earlier this month a childhood friend flew into Palo Alto for a family wedding. I rarely get to see this friend so of course I got on the train and went down there to have dinner with her. We had a great time catching up – and laughing over the craziness that is retirement-age Chinese people and their obsession with emailing PowerPoint presentations of their vacations to each other – but the best is when she said:
“You’re so thin!”
It’s true that in the past few months I’ve lost maybe five pounds. But a) I’m still not as skinny as I once was, and b) for the month of September I felt fatter from eating like a pig on our travels and not exercising as much. In fact, the day I met my friend, I was feeling quite bloated (TMI!). So to hear my feeling of fatness didn’t make much difference was encouraging.
Being told in surprise that you look skinny when you already feel skinny and perhaps have felt skinny for quite some time is a whole other barrel of monkeys.
My relatives would always do this. True, I was a chubby teenager and young adult. This is what they remember. In my late 20s my weight evened out and I was in consistently good shape from then on. But for the next ten years, every time my grandmother, aunts, or uncles saw me, they’d proclaim in surprise, “You’re thin now!”
Oh well. It’s better than getting punched in the stomach.
Its been my experience, being married to a Chinese woman, that all her relatives tell me “I got fat” since they last saw me.
At first I got offended but now I just say, “Oh, you got old since I last saw you, are you dying?”