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Do you want to get fat? Because you already are.

May 2, 2013

My big sister Timber is blunt. I don’t know where she gets it. The rest of our nuclear family thrives on passivity while Timber enjoys engaging in verbal vitriol. She has no problem telling Daddy he’s gotten fat. The other day Timber asked Daddy if he would like to join her for a walk.

“Nope!” he answered.

“You need to exercise. You’ve gotten fat.”

Daddy lifted his iPad over his head, slammed it on the floor and screamed, “THAT’S BULLSHIT!”

I wonder if Daddy only remembers the 50-pound-lighter version of himself. Perhaps Daddy’s short-term memory loss explains his daily shock to discover his pants no longer fit. Timber’s relentless reminders even can’t permeate the tangles in his brain.

“Do you want to get fat? Because you already are,” she noted the other day when Daddy refused to accompany Mother to the gym.

Timber lived with Ryan and me for the entire month of April while completing a psychiatry clinical rotation as part of her Master of Physician Assistant degree. She traveled to three different hospitals over the course of four weeks and observed both support groups and one-on-one therapy sessions for people recovering from addictions or psychiatric episodes.

Every evening she brought home new information that could be applied to my own set of mental problems.

“Today the group took a quiz to determine whether they exhibit passive or aggressive behavior,” Timber began, handing me a blank worksheet. “I would like to think that I am assertive.”

“I know. You’re flawless,” I squinted.

“Take the quiz. I want to know how you score.”

“Whatever, you know you’re aggressive.”

The next night Timber staged an intervention of sorts with Ryan and me.

“Y’all take a cab when you’ve been drinking, right?” she asked with her arms crossed, blocking the TV.

“Yeah. Most of the time,” Ryan answered.

“People often are more intoxicated than they realize, and drive when they shouldn’t be operating a vehicle,” she continued.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I moaned, swatting her away from the latest episode of Wives with Knives on the Investigation Discovery channel.

The following Saturday I woke up with scabs on my knee and hand, unaware of their origin.

“That’s a sign of drunkenness,” Timber blurted from the corner while sipping tea.

“Whatever, I remember now. I fell on a fountain. So there!”

“I really want you to go to WHC* for your eating disorder,” Timber notified me another night, forcing me to accept one of the counselor’s cards.

“I don’t have an eating disorder anymore. I eat!” I huffed.

“You have an unhealthy image of your body.”

“Thank you so much for your daily critique” became my mechanical response to Timber’s nightly intrusions.

Around week two I started making fun of Timber’s lectures. “A schizophrenic patient at the clinic really reminded me of you todayI met a meth addict with a personality very similar to yours this morning…” I mocked her.

“Bobbin,” Timber sighed. “You act as though this experience didn’t cause me to engage in any self-reflection at all.

“Ha! So you aren’t perfect!! ! ! !” I stomped.

*Facility acronym has been changed.


Last week I ate lunch with a friend whose father recently passed away. She vividly described her father during his last days (uncomfortable and solely concerned with water and food) and noted she doesn’t want to remember him that way. It must be hard not to cling to those final images of our loved ones.

If Daddy wakes up every morning believing he’s 50 pounds lighter and a few years younger, I wonder if that mode of thinking also applies to Timber and me — those years before we started building our own families and lives. I can’t blame him for running on a treadmill time machine: physically present but mentally stuck in the past. For Daddy those were happier days.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2013 12:39 pm

    I gobble these entries up like a sackful of Krystals. Which – little lady – you should be consuming on an hourly basis until you put on some weight. Also, you remind me of my bipolar mother.

    – said the man who would surely lose a new friend. I do hope you had some fun in April as well! Aside from assaulting fountains…

    • May 2, 2013 12:45 pm

      It means a lot for you to compare my blog posts to Krystal burgers! Haha.

      Timber and I had a little too much fun living together last month, which partially explains why I didn’t write as many Beehonkus posts as I would have liked.

      I hope you and your family are having a lovely spring. : )

      • May 2, 2013 2:35 pm

        You’re welcome, and we are indeed, now that the pollen count is back down to reasonable. Let me know about that lunch. I don’t always get notifications when you comment back here, so here’s my fb if ya wanna be muh friend:

  2. Timber permalink
    June 8, 2013 5:38 pm

    Come on! You KNOW some of this is a little inaccurate. I believe I called myself aggressive; you didn’t have to do it! Plus, I gave you that employee’s card because I thought you should write for their blog, not attend rehab. Sheesh.

    • June 10, 2013 7:58 am

      I was wondering when you were finally going to read this and assault me. Oh please, your frequent living room lectures were hilarious. I might have applied a TOUCH of hyperbole to this post but only out of amusement and love.


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