A grandmother of 5 at 60, she is unusually critical of her oldest grandchild.
"I always tell her, she is so ugly. Her mother was so pretty at her age, I don't know what happened to her!" She would say this to anyone who would listen, and even those who didn't want to hear.
Despite harsh warnings from her daughter and her sisters, my aunt refuses to change. If you hear her lamenting about her granddaughter's unfortunate looks, you would have thought it completely genuine until you meet her and realize she is far from ugly.
At a family gathering during the Chinese New Year, my aunt couldn't help herself again.
"Mummy! Grandma's calling me ugly again!" my niece cried out loud. Her mother ran to her defence, and my aunt retorted, "But it's true, she's really ugly and I don't know what to do with her."
Yesterday, my mum came to picked me up after work and my aunt was in the front seat.
"Meiyun!" She exclaimed, the only person in the world who calls me by my Chinese name. "I didn't know you dressed so well! You are getting more beautiful the older you become."
"Well aunt, I am 26 already, not so young anymore."
"You are NOT 26... are you?!!"
I sighed in my head and braced myself for more.
"Come to think of it, my granddaughter really looks like you. It's amazing... some mornings she wakes up and I see her and laugh because I think she's you!"
I gave a half-smile, remembering all the awful things she had said about her granddaughter before.
"But you know, when I tell her she looks like you, she gets upset and says she doesn't want to look like you, she'd prefer to look like your sister instead. Not to say that you are not beautiful, but she'd rather have your sister's beauty than yours..."
I didn't know how to react, but I managed to laugh very politely.
A decade ago, I might have taken great offense at her words. But now all I can think is, I'm glad to be leaving.