Tag Archives: Childhood

Pears and Apples

29 Jun

Suzannes’ Perspective

Pears and Apples.  Two well known body shapes, to which most women are assigned.  Possibly invented by the same nameless twits who came up with “endomorph” and “ectomorph” – or maybe it was someone who was trying to explain “endomorph” and “ectomorph” to someone dim and disinterested.

how do you like dem apples?

We loathe these labels for several reasons – for me it is the sheer finality of it.  You are a pear.  No matter how well you eat or how much you exercise, you need to face the reality of your large arse and small tits.  If you try to get more than your share of tits – you will get an extra helping of arse.  If you want less arse, it means no tits and a scrawny, bony upper body to boot.
If you are an apple, you get a big fat lumpy gut to carry around with you and a fat back soft enough to ooze around your bra straps and make any sheer fabric blouse, so flattering to the pear, completely impossible.  If an apple gains weight they will continue to grow humptier and dumptier while their legs and arms remain stubbornly skinny.  Also to be expected, particularly later in life;  a flat arse that looks sullen and beak-like in tight pants.
The apple and the pear.  I understand where they got it from – really I do – as much as it offends me.  It’s a shape thing and the visual comparison, is, I begrudgingly admit, appropriate.

"Besides being from the same family, the apple and pear don’t have much to remind one of the other despite both being fruit."

My sister is a pear and I am an apple.  Besides all the horrific physical incarnations that come with that (much much more about that later), I think the analogy can be taken quite a bit further when it comes to the two of us.  Besides being from the same family, the apple and pear don’t have much to remind one of the other despite both being fruit.  It is the same with Heather and I, or so I used to think. Up until about a year ago I believed that we couldn’t have been more different.  Heather, it always seemed to me, was a product of my mother in both temperament and desire, and my father had used my mother’s womb to incubate me.  Of course, things are never that simple.
We grew up in the same home with the same parents – what happened that made us so completely different?  Heather and I are certainly one hell of an argument for the nature vs. nurture debate.  I am sure you wouldn’t place us at sisters,  and I am not talking purely about mass difference here.  Weight was always an issue, but there were always bigger issues behind it  – bigger fatter issues – that neither of us had the equipment to appropriately deal with.  We are writing this book together as adults and I hope it helps heal us a little.  Maybe we can forgive ourselves, and each other, for a few things said, done and eaten, along the way.

"hey look.. we can both shine!"

Heather is an artist, both musically and graphically.  She can take what is in her head and present it as a picture or as a string of musical notes.  This has always been her gift.  She doesn’t like boundaries, restrictions or rules, and rebels when cornered.   She never took to school, although her academic progress was more remarkable than mine in the early years (check the report cards!).  Something put her off it, and when that happens for Heather, there is no turning back.  She is a brilliant friend and a loyal and supportive sister – a bond, which we only discovered, was worth pursuing once we were both married and out the big house.  She is married to a great guy and has two small, cute children.
I am a workaholic I suppose.  The little choo-choo train that could or whatever.  The one that has to win, that has to prove everyone wrong.  I finished matric and did my degree through correspondence while working full time.  It was deliberately matryish – which is this thing that I do (lots more about that later).  I overdo things, and pick away at them until they explode in my face.  I have been equal parts successful young exec and broke dogs body in my life (during the recovery periods from one crazy scheme or another), never quite managing to find a healthy balance.  My relationships seem to follow a similar track.  I love to write and it is my way to be crazy creative, but I don’t do it enough, because when I do.. it’s never RIGHT.
You will meet the rest of the family on the way down the road we are about to travel together, but let me summarise by saying my father is a workaholic (no, not a coincidence) pretending to be semi-retired who is remarried to a much younger wife and has another two daughters, one acquired, one made.  Dad is a determined impatient man who does not suffer fools but he has his own way of showing us he loves us.  My mother was a homemaker while we were growing up and is the idea fountain from which we both caught the creative bug.  She is a lover of hugs and kisses and wants to save the world through her work with the church.  She went through a lot in her life, but has found a new lease on it since her divorce which involved swearing off men and living on a plot of land in the wild wild South African west in pursuit of her dream.
This book is about lots of things, some of them can be eaten, others are hard to swallow.  A less important fact but one which in the context of this book needs to be noted : I currently weigh 59kgs, half a bag of dog food shy of my all time heaviest weight of 65kg and am 1.7m tall.
I am the little sister.

Suzannne (far left), Heather (far right), 1978