When I arrived home from school, my mother would be in the kitchen, preparing dinner. She employed the same energy with which she had once cleaned the house of her girlhood, stirring the pot, prodding the meat, peeling the potatoes with concentration and zeal. I hated the careful, exacting way she watched the food. I hated it when she patted my lower back or squeezed my shoulder and said, “Hi, honey” as I lumbered through the kitchen. My mother didn’t care if I was fat and ugly. She seemed to like it in fact. In my diary I wrote, “I fear my father’s anger, but I fear my mother’s love.” This phrase was destined to sink slowly and heavily to the bottom of my memory and to sit there, undulating like a baleful underwater plant.

–from Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill