I blame my grandma for making me fat.
Not fat in the morbidly obese sense…more like, fatter than I’ve always wanted to be. The other day I overheard a girl (my age) say she used to weigh 80 lbs. (now she’s “fat” and weighs 100) and I wanted to slap her. I think the last time I weighed anywhere near double digits was in the 5th grade.
My grandma used to feed me so much during meal times that I would have to take “breaks” and then resume eating when I had enough room in my stomach again. That’s right. I was taught not to stop when I was full, but to rest until I could fit more food in. To “nengyuh” (i.e. leave leftovers) was bad. After all, there were so many starving children in the rest of the world and I needed to eat their share too.
Perhaps it’s because my grandma grew up poor and had to raise her kids in war-torn Korea. She probably never knew where her next meal was coming from. I believe it was her mission in life to make me as fat as possible. When guests would come over and say, “Amy, so tong tong-eh!” she would beam with pride. (I used to think “tong tong” meant healthy but I later learned it meant big and chubby. I learned to scowl and flip the bird whenever anyone said that to me thereafter.)
So so tong tong.