I never thought that it would happen to me, that I would become one of those people...you know, the ones that lie to themselves? But suddenly one day it had hit me - I was blaming the dry cleaner for my pants being too tight, the dryer for my shirts being too tight, the cow that made my leather belt that was now too tight. I had become one of those people that lie to themselves so they won't have to admit they're fat - Don't Get Me Started.
Once I discovered that I was lying to myself it occured to me that I hadn't looked at myself naked from the neck down in months. In fact, my entire body below the neck could be completely gangrene and I'd never know. Each morning I would shower, shave, moisturize and look at myself in the mirror - was that another gray hair? Was it a bit puffy under my eyes? Did I shave well enough? And once I had asked myself these questions, I told myself that I was looking as good as I was going to get and went to dress and face the day.
First the underwear, gosh I must have left it in the dryer too long, they're really getting tighter. Next the socks - safe, they stretch and always fit. Now the pants and shirt...tougher, if I go straight to the pants that I know are always loose I'm bound to feel better. No tucked in shirt - go for the hanging shirt tail, it's all the rage and if it's not, it's going to be. The shirt out also alleviates the belt. All I need are shoes and I'm safe for another day.
But more and more it became clear to me that I wasn't just troublehooting my wardrobe, I was actually asking myself to believe that the fault was in the dryer, dry cleaner and not in the amount of Oreos I was eating. How did I become this person and did I really believe that leather belts just shrink on their own?
So one brave day, I did it. I got out of the shower and before wrapping the towel around me, I looked. There I was, naked - ouch. I had a couple gray chest hairs, who knew? And then I did the sucking in, the kind that pinches your nose so yours looks a bit like Michael Jackson's nose. Moving down my body I was more than shocked and appalled. I was standing there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief. There, right there they were, the remnants of some actual definition on the outer edges of what had now become my father's stomach on my body. Crying to be seen and sadly barely even visible, the years of chocolate cookies had wiped away all traces of my abs on the plentiful sandy beach that was now my stomach. And as I tilted my head back to curse the gods above, I felt it..."bloop"...like one of those neck pillows riders on planes use, a roll of skin had "blooped" out on the back of my neck. ARGHHHH!!!
They say admitting you have a problem is the first step. How could I NOT admit it when it was staring me in the face. So I've joined the gym and I'm limiting my intake of all things caloric but when I look in the closet those pairs of evil Kenneth Cole pants look at me as if to say, "Come on, like you'll ever fit into us again?" I walk the lonely streets looking at mens asses, not getting a cheap thrill but to see what size waist is listed on the back of their jeans. I'm depressed to see someone who looks larger than me in the same waist size or worse, smaller.
So, instead of sewing smaller labels on the pants I own, shirts will be worn out this season, I'll keep the really baggy jeans on for most of my life and someday, just maybe I'll be able to get the courage together to have another look at myself naked. Until that time I'll continue to camouflage without ending up wearing caftans.
It reminds me of a story from when I was sitting in a production meeting for a Christmas show years ago. We were going over notes and said that the Drummer Boy's pants were too short. Without missing a beat, the costumer said, "Well, it gets a hat." As if the hat was going to make the pants longer - I guess they thought the hat would distract the audience from seeing the boy's pants were too short. Gotta go get a hat - Don't Get Me Started!