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“Sumi I had to come over and say hello because when I first saw you I had to ask who you were. The last time I saw you, you were chubby!”

My mother’s cousin seemed to think that this was an appropriate thing to say to me at a recent family gathering.  I haven’t seen this woman since I was a child, and I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by her lack of tact; when I was eleven years old her husband walked up to me with the sole purpose of telling me:  “You’re an ugly fat little kid!”

I won’t deny that I was a fat little kid. I will readily  admit that at age eleven I got my first pair of 80s-tastic glasses and had an amazing hair cut due to my first attempt at “mall hair,” which resulted in having a brush cut out of my bangs. I also know that I have an off-the-cuff sense of humor, which can be misconstrued as a lack of tact. However, I like to use my Captain Tactless powers for good (laughter) rather than evil (crying), and it probably has something to do with my “ugly, fat” childhood.  This is the reason that I graced my mother’s cousin with a forced fake smile and no response. I’m sure she will add  “mentally subnormal” to her list of all my shortcomings, but my mom taught me that it is rude to belittle other people; which is unfortunate because every fiber of my Captain Tactless being wanted to say:

“Well, I for one am glad that you are an asshole once removed, so that gene was probably diluted by the time it got to me.”

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