I love her so much, and in general she is so supportive and a fantastic grandmother to my daughter. But there was always a “but…” – she’s always very heavily criticised my personal appearance, since I was a very little girl, and heavily favoured my younger brother who is a complete arsehole.
Anyway. We are having a massive clear out of our house, which is full of crap – much of it hand-me-down books, knick-knacks and assorted crap from both sides of the family. I was just explaining to my husband that I’ve boxed up three boxes of old books this afternoon, and he replied that he took three boxes (edit: of junk, not books) to the junk yard today as well, “including that picture of you your mum made.”
I felt intense guilt, but I also realised at that moment that my husband did me a huge, huge favour.
About ten or more years ago, my mum showed me an extreme close up photo she’d taken of my face at Christmas. “Don’t you look disgusting,” she said – “just incredibly fat and greasy.” I agreed – it was an intensely unflattering photo.
A few months later she came to visit me, with a beautifully framed picture. She’d had that photo of me framed. But so much more than that. She’d had it specially printed on to silk, and then had painstakingly hand-embroidered huge beaded Elton John style glasses frames onto it (I wear glasses) around my eyes. It must have taken many hours. As instructed, I hung it in my house.
When I met my husband, he was hugely disturbed by it. We moved after a while, and it never made it onto the wall.
Now it’s gone forever.