A Class Picture from 6th Grade
As she idly searched for something on Google, her father had invited a neighbor into the house to give him tomatoes or whatever was ripe from the garden. While talking, the father and the neighbor looked at pictures hung against the living room wall. They searched for her 6th-grade self in a class group photograph. When they found her, her father exclaimed,
"There she is. She went from beautiful to ugly."
Does he really think I'm ugly? she thought, stung at the obvious insult.
She considered getting angry about it, but remembered the circumstances. She was in the room, within hearing range of a hurtful comment. If he really thought she was ugly, why add to it by responding in an ugly way, angry and spiteful? Why bother getting provoked over such an insensitive move? Sure, it hurt. Her own father just told a neighbor that he thought she was ugly.
But how did her dad look now? What kind of father would declare his own daughter ugly, even as a joke?
She sighed softly and shook her head. How embarrassing. At least the neighbor had the decency to not laugh.
Swiveling the chair around, she picked up the plastic bags full of food and politely thrust them into the neighbor's hands. The neighbor said his thanks. Her father led the man to the backyard to brag but she stayed put and proceeded to busy herself with an online word game.
It was best not to dwell on her father's antics.
And besides, she thought with a wry smile, don't people say I look like my dad?