ASK ALMA: My awkward niece wants to be the next Gabby Douglas


Dear Alma,

My niece is all in love with Gabby Douglas and thinks she can one day tryout for the Olympic team. LOL, now that’s funny. She’s awkward, uncoordinated and too fat to be in the Olympics. Her laugh is so loud it makes my skin crawl and I have never, ever seen her exercise. Her mother is getting on my last nerve. She’s collecting money from the family for her daughter to start gymnastic lessons. She said it’s expensive and she needs help. Help? For what? A teenage fat farm? My niece is not, let me repeat, not Olympic material. I am embarrassed and I’m not trying to give her any of my hard earned money and neither should anyone else in the family. I’m sure I can use Facebook, but how else can I let all our friends and family know they should not contribute to this disaster?


Keepin It Real with My Niece

Oh my, my, girl, I hereby nominate you as runner up for the worst aunt in the world! Why would you speak such negative comments about your niece? What you think and what you feel are just your opinion and your feelings are note facts. Speaking again of your comments, I just gotta say, they sure do look ugly on you.

Your niece has the right, in this country at least, to pursue her dreams without your permission. Passions are personal and grow inside the hearts of each of us, individually. You don’t get to pick which dreams work best for someone else. When a child shows interest, your role is to lead the way. When a young person becomes absorbed in a particular sport, artistic endeavor or reading activity, it’s your responsibility as the adult, to assist them in said particular pursuit – positively!

Lookahear Auntie Unlucky, find your path to patience and take a long, long walk. Clear your mind and ponder, not everything that pops in your brain needs to trickle down and spill out of your mouth. Move out of your nieces’ way, and stop trying to block her blessings. If you can’t control your negativity and shush your mouth, just write a check and keep your distance. She doesn’t need your wrong wind beneath her wings to fly to success. Change your attitude or get out of her way.

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.