With the weather changing as quickly the mind of a sugared-up nine-year old with ADD and expanded cable, I thought it might be a good time for a reminder from the rest of us to those of you who want to expose your midriff.
We’re not passing judgment on your body type or the current trend of fashion. We’re merely here to, as I stated, remind you of the fact that you are a middle-aged person, struggling desperately to look many years younger. That is not a bad thing. Congratulations for having the guts. It is that gut, however, that we, the rest of the world, the people with the gift of sight who are standing behind you at the cash register, would like to discuss with you. Still not sure if it’s you we’re talking to, in particular? Okay. Let’s have a test. If you can bury your pinky finger into your belly button up to the second knuckle, take that as a sign.
So, if you have a moment, please put down that Snickers bar and listen up.
We’re not here to be insulting. Please don’t take this that way. If it was just you, in your living room, crying to Adele, that would be just great. If, perhaps, you’ve found someone to share your life who, like you, enjoys seeing your flab, that’s wonderful. But, you see? Apparently, there’s some confusion going on in your head involving private and public space that we need to discuss.
When you step out of your house with your sized 18 buttocks squeezed into a pair of sized 8 hip hugger jeans that show your ample, rolling midriff, you are in public. The people you see in your neighborhood, retching and vomiting, pointing and giggling, are not some sort of cult. It’s just us. We live here, too, and we’d like to share something with you.
You’re too fat to be wearing that.
Please stop it.
There’s nothing wrong with being the size you are, unless, of course, it causes you physical harm. Being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, problems with joints and, in some cases, diabetes. We know all that. It’s preached endlessly. And yet, most of us, myself included, overeat from time to time, don’t get enough exercise and end up with a belly. Who cares? They’re our bodies. We’ll do what we want. Our bodies are a private matter.
Until we step outside, into the world.
The world, you see, is not a private, but a public domain, where private rules no longer apply.
At the baseball game this week I saw what I imagined to be a Mother and her two daughters. Perhaps it was one daughter and the daughter’s friend. It doesn’t matter. The point is, they were all wearing the same basic outfits – jeans with waistlines at the very precipice of butt-crack and, essentially, a t-shirt cut off just below the breastline. Is breastline a word? It doesn’t matter. The point is, they were all wearing the same thing. On the two girls, who were early teens, it was that odd blend of childlike cuteness and porn magazine sluttiness that I’ve come to fear as the end of existence. On the Mommy, the look was best described as, in a word, regurgitating.
I haven’t seen that much cottage cheese since I passed out drunk and woke up in the dairy aisle at Shop n’ Save. Her fat cells dove like lemmings over the waistline of her pants, dropping towards to the cement floor of PNC Park.
And then, she turned around. This is my daughter. This is my daughter’s friend. And this? This is a new woman I’ve been growing above my ass. I’m not saying you should have stayed home, darling. Lots of folks with the middle-aged spread are allowed in public, myself included. It’s not a reason to hide our beauty. Equally, there was really no reason on God’s green Earth to display that beauty in clothing made for bulimics, either.
We know it’s hot as August in Pittsburgh now. We know you’re excited to share any experience with your little girl, who could be growing away from you with each passing year of her teen aged life. But is the best solution to wear her clothes?
I look ridiculous in clothing that’s three sizes too small and twenty years too young. You know how I know that? I have access to a mirror. Trust me. I know some things from personal experience. It’s not the color that’s wrong. It’s not the style. It’s not that the dryer shrunk your jeans. It’s that big roll of fat around your waist.
On behalf of the others, I’d just like to say that we don’t mind that you’re not cocaine-heroin-thin. Neither are the rest of us. It’s not really our business, anyway. But now that the weather’s getting warmer, we’ve noticed that you’d like to celebrate the change of seasons by showing us your curdles.
It’s time somebody was honest with you.
We don’t want to see them.
And by the way… tell your son to pull his pants up, too.