Alma Gill

By Alma Gill
NNPA Columnist

How Can I Dump my Sister?

Hey Ms. Alma,

I’m getting married and I want everything to be perfect. We’re getting married at my childhood church and I got the reception hall I wanted. Everything is falling into place perfectly except one thing. My sister is in the wedding and she’s fat. I love her but I can’t help but feel like she’ll mess up my wedding photos. How can I excuse her from the wedding party without hurting her feelings? What would you suggest?

K.K.; New York

Dear KK,

Clearly you just exited the bridal bus at the intersection of naïveté and foolishness. Are you serious, really?  I understand when you’re planning your wedding, there are many rivers to cross, but I’ve got to ask sweetie, have you lost your oars?

This is a special moment that should include the people who love you, no matter how tall or wide. Love comes in all proportions, you’ve got to know that. Scratch perfection off your to-do list.  Stop judging your sister based on her size and be grateful you have her in your life. Your priorities need adjusting. Stop using reality TV and music videos as a barometer for what you should value in life.  Lean in close and hear me when I say, fat is better than dead. Twenty years from now at your anniversary party when you’re forcing your kids to watch your wedding video, for the umpteenth time, your sister’s size won’t matter.


My White Mother Doesn’t Like Black Fiancée

Dear Alma,

I’m very lucky to be with the most supportive, kind-hearted, smart, hardworking and genuine person I’ve ever known. We’ve been together for two years. Recently he proposed, and I said yes. Here’s the problem: I’m white and he’s African-American. My parents have been extremely negative since we become engaged. My mom agrees that he’s a great guy, but she remains judgmental. She and my dad have kept our relationship a “secret” because they think it would cause my grandfather, who is already dealing with multiple illnesses, horrible emotional pain if he found out. This puts me in a terrible bind. And it’s unfair to my boyfriend, who has always been wonderful to my family and me. I don’t know what to do.

Name withheld

Don’t you just hate unnecessary drama? I mean it’s bad enough when it’s legitimate, but when it’s totally uncalled for, that makes for a bat-ass waste of time. Your email is not unusual. The same thing happened to my friend, Bethonie. Scoot up a chair and allow me to share the short version. We were out at a bar when Beth met Mark. She’s Black, he’s White, and they became inseparable. Six months later, they got married. They were one of the happiest couples I’ve ever known. They had a son, Ryan, who is cute as can be. Mark didn’t tell his parents, who lived in another state. Evidently, it would have killed the grandfather, just as in your case. His mom liked Beth, but said she wasn’t marrying material, if you know what I mean. During the third year of marriage, Mark suffered a brain aneurysm and died. Beth called his parents.

When they arrive to claim his body, she took them to her home. They saw the wedding and family pictures on the wall. She introduced herself as Mark’s wife and introduced them to their grandson. They were shocked. The pain of Mark’s death was unbearable, but the ability to reach down and pick up a mocha-colored, curly haired, mini-me version of Mark was, well, priceless. His parents realized over the years that they had wasted precious time because of closed minds that led to closed doors and unfulfilled relationships. MLK said it best: Life is too short to judge folks by their race rather than on their character and conduct. My intent in sharing this story is to encourage you to do what you’ve gotta do. It’s simple: Marry the love of your life. You can’t control others, only yourself. Always, listen to your stomach and follow your heart down the pathway of happily ever after.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to:  Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.


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