Highlighted by Patrick Newman

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Fred’s lack of interest in my life became clearer to me as I grew up and realized that he was a narcissist. All of his relationships revolved around what others could do for him. If an individual could not provide him with some self-serving value, he was disinclined to associate with them. As a child, I provided little to no utility to him, as an adult, even less. Hence, he lacked even a remote desire to carry on a relationship with me. Everything in life revolved around him and his image. He condescended to almost everyone and always wore an air of superiority. I often joke that the highest compliment that Fred ever paid my father was that he “did pretty good for an average guy.” The last time I saw him — about four years ago — his first comment to me was about how much weight I’d gained. No “it’s so good to see you,” no inquiry into my life or my kid’s lives, just a comment about how much fatter I was since the last time he’d seen me (which was at my wedding 10 years earlier). It didn’t hurt my feelings — I had 4 kids and desk job, what did he expect? — but the exchange was awkward, and in an effort to change the subject I asked him how things were going with him. I immediately regretted the question as it resulted in a 45 minute monologue about how great his life was down in beautiful Phoenix (editor’s note: Phoenix is a Dante-esque hellscape enjoyed only by octogenarians and the mentally insane). Our conversation was cut mercifully short when one of my cousins came over to greet and chat with him, otherwise, I have no doubt he would have spoken at me for another 45 minutes. That was the last time I saw or spoke to him.