This is the game she plays . . . she says (to those she has not seen in a while and who were not at our wedding (we eventually cut off the people they could invite to our wedding (smile)) "And this is Sean and his wife Joy on their wedding day" and then flips to the picture of my family at Easter time and asks "and do you know who THIS is?"
And then she waits, anxiously, for two or three seconds as people confess they don't know or think perhaps it is my brother Ryan in the picture or just sort of look at her wondering why the people in the picture seem so proud to be having their photo taken with one dozen crushed Easter Eggs.
After she forces her friends and family to cry "Uncle" - she tells them that it is ME in the picture.
Insert their looks of shock or their giggles or their "no way" barkings immediately after.
Here's the thing . . . I love that my mother is proud of the weight I have lost. I love that she loves me. I love, frankly, that I don't look today like I looked on my wedding day.
I'm sure plenty of people play similar "before and after" photo games with their surgery-selves and with pictures of people they know and love that have had surgery. There is nothing WRONG with the practice and I'm not upset with her for playing but, truth be told, I really wish that the game was not so popular or that SOMEONE might win a round one of these days!
I've been saying to Joy more and more lately - and I mean every syllable of it - that I'll just be happy when I finally hit my goal weight and then a year or so can go by with just minimal weight gain and loss (settling, like the foundation of a HOUSE) so that I will just look like "me" - not the new me. Not the old me.
That is my birthday wish (a little bit early) . . . that - by a year from now - there is just one picture of me in my mother's brag book. And that her bragging will go back to her beautiful granddaughter instead of me!