I am the Aunt Terri of my family.
I have never had children, and this has left me free to lead a reasonably interesting and unfettered life.
I am old and fat.
And there is very little that I truly give a fuck about; which makes it pretty damn hard to embarrass me.
In my 20s I walked away from part of my family (when they threatened me over living with a gay man – like what did they think was going to happen – he was going to teach me how to do my hair and dance better?); so there isn’t a whole lot you can threaten me with.
Want to hear the truth? Just ask. (How I deliver that truth depends greatly on how and what you ask.)
You farted in class or in front of your crush, I will laugh – but I’ll also encourage you to laugh too and hope you realize that everybody poops, and pees, and farts – and it’s just not that big of a deal; and mostly, when you think about it, it’s kind of hilarious. I’ll try to convince you that there just isn’t all that much about our bodies to be embarrassed about – the sooner you learn that, the sooner your life gets a whole lot less stressful and serious.
Mommy and Daddy too embarrassed to answer questions about sex? Go ask Aunt Terri. While she has not done it all, she has seen a good deal and read about the rest and is probably willing to talk about it (although, I admit I try to respect whatever boundaries the parental units have put in place – much as I may disagree with them).
Have body issues? Honey, let’s talk. I am all about self-identification and self-love.
I don’t care what equipment you have bouncing around in your undies; but I care very much about who you believe you are in your heart of hearts; and I’m there to talk about it. I think you get to define you. And I think you have the ability and right to be fluid – in fact, I would encourage it (the more data points to work from, the better). You don’t have to decide who you are and then be saddled with that decision forever. Life changes, you change and it’s okay.
I am excited about learning new things; and I’m excited when others want to learn new things. That doesn’t mean, I may or may not be excited about what you are learning; but I will respect the hell out of your decision to expand your horizons and put new stuff into your brain! (To paraphrase Rita Mae Brown, “Put your money in your head, that way nobody can take it away from you.”)
Need a hug? I got you (or at least I will once we’re not all COVID-y). Nothing like a fat old lady hug for what ails you.
Life is short. It’s a sad old world.
Love and be kind to each other, but first love and be kind to yourself.
Because Aunt Terri said so.