For those who know my parents, they know that they are what some people call “relationship goals.” Before delving into their story together, I must first share a bit about my mami (pronounced mommy). My mami is the strongest woman I have ever known. She has gone through so much pain and humiliation, which has caused her to be the resilient and determined woman she is today. When my mami was a little girl she was fat, defined as “having a large amount of excess flesh.” During her younger years, my mami exceedingly surpassed that of a healthy weight. When I was little, I asked my mother why I had never seen pictures of her when she was a little girl. She responded with, “Well, I destroyed all the pictures of me.” As I was merely 7 or 8 eight years old, I didn’t quite understand why she would do such a thing. That is when she finally shared her story …
“Mija, when I was a child I was heavily overweight. In fact, your lito (grandfather) would have his friends come over to watch me eat. He would bet his friends that I could eat 10-15 McChickens on my own. He treated me as if I was a mere act, a form of entertainment. This brought me to become psychologically damaged. In middle school, I was fatally bullied. My nickname was applecheeks … even to this day I am embarrassed by my fat cheeks, that is why I rarely smile with my teeth. Anyways, I remember one day in junior high I had to rush home to babysit your tia (aunt); therefore, I went out the front door of the school, instead of the back .. like I normally would do to avoid the tormentors. The instant I stepped out the front gate, I was met with several bullies with rocks in hand. They began to chant things like, “Oh applecheeks you know you’re not welcome on this side of campus” or “applecheeks there’s no one to protect you.”
That day mija, I was sure I was going to die.
The bullies began to chase me home, which was only a few blocks away, but for me (the fat kid) it seemed like miles away. I ran as fast as I could as the bullies threw rocks at me. I could barely see, as I was blinded by tears and sweat (At this point in my mami’s storytelling she began to cry, something I had never before witnessed). Flashforward to the end of junior high, I made a promise to myself that I would lose the weight, be it in a healthy way or not. I called my tia and begged her to take me in for the summer because I knew that she would help me lose the weight. I begged her not to tell your lita (grandmother) what my plan was: to lose over __ pounds over the summer (I don’t know what the exact number of pounds was, that is why I left it blank, but just know it was a hell of a lot!). So, I went to live in another part of LA for the summer. Your tia made me exercise for the majority of my stay, only feeding me carrots, celery, granola bars, etc etc. It was an extremely unhealthy way to lose weight, but I lost it. I remember coming back home, and your grandmother was so angry she was brought to tears. I was paler than ever, but in my mind pale was okay because it meant I was skinny. Flashforward to my first day of high school, a day to remember. I walked in and all I could hear were people whispering, “Wow, that’s Mary she looks hot!” I sat in my first class and there was your father. I had known your papi a bit in middle school, he had always treated me with respect and never brought up my weight. Thus, I knew when your papi asked me out on a date he was being genuine when he said he liked me for me.”
Hence, my parents were highschool sweethearts. They began dating their freshman year, separated for a year, got back together their junior year, and have been together ever since. The year that they “separated” (their sophomore year) my dad told my tia “I don’t care if we’re separated for years, I will wait. She is the one I want.” The fact that he was so confident in their love at 16 years old … shit, if that’s not beautiful I don’t know what is. Now, in present day, (and I mean like right this second as I sit in a cafe in SSF with my parents across from me) I appreciate and see my parent’s love flourish. Afterall, they have been best friends since they were thirteen. I love witnessing their inside jokes, and when they bicker but then make up a minute later. I also love how now that my sister and I are older, they are doing more things for themselves. For example, right now they are busy planning a mini vacation for just them two. Although, I have to admit I’m a bit jealous they won't be taking me, (lol) I am happy that they will have time alone. They deserve it.
Well … I have decided to make this post a two parter because this is getting too long (lol .. again). See you in my next post where I will explain why, despite growing up around my parent’s love, I still have some serious “trust issues” (I mean who doesn’t). Love ya’ll.