Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Tale of T-Rex and the Sports Coat

There are a variety of euphemisms that can be used in place of fat. There is the fun and cutesy, Pleasantly Plump, but I ain’t that cute. I believe Thick is reserved for black women. Big Boned sounds good, but it does not explain my love handles or belly. Of course we have the ever popular Big and Beautiful, but frankly that just seems too desperate, like we are trying to convince the world that we can still be beautiful even though we are big. Although I agree with that statement, until Rubens makes a come back, I don’t think the world is going to listen. So, I use Big Boy. I am a Big Boy. This fact affects my life in many ways. It definitely finds its way into my poetry and music from time to time, and is always present at Christmas time.

Like most 35 year olds with a Master’s degree, a good job, a house, etc., I pretty much have everything I need. So, every Christmas this conversation occurs.

Mom: “Sweetie, what do want for Christmas, and I am not buying you CDs. I am tired of buying you CDs.”

Me: “Well, how about a DVD.”

Mom: “No…try again.”

Me: “Well, I could always use some clothes.”

This is not because I love clothes, more because I hate them and therefore rarely shop for them, as a result I could always use some new threads, as the holey undershirts and shredded skivvies will attest (okay it is not that bad, but they are worn).

Mom: “Okay, sounds good.”

It took me a few years to figure this out, but this is a horrible gift to give a Big Boy because the shit never fits. After trying on four shirts that look like a wetsuit when squeezed over the belly the emotions take a turn for the worst and the hatefest ensues. Before you know it, you are curled up in a ball with tears dried to your cheek and a slice of thick crust pepperoni and bacon consoling you. So I decided to get smart about it.

Mom: “Sweetie, what do want for Christmas, and I am not buying you CDs. I am tired of buying you CDs.”

Me: “Well, how about a DVD.”

Mom: “No…try again.”

Me: “Well, how about a gift card to the Big and Tall store (the need for clothes is still there, but this way I would be in control and could prevent the week of self-degradation)”

Innocent Pause

Mom: “But, you are just big, you’re not tall.”

Me: “Thanks mom. It is really big OR tall.”

Mom: “Well, sweetie, I am going to make a Short and Stout store.”

My mom meant no ill will by that statement. It was just her first experience with Big Boys-R-Us, and the reality is, she was right. The clothes at the Casual Male XL are really geared more towards tall people that are also big, rather than just Big Boys.

Flash forward to this week. I had a wedding to attend. Patrick, my musical chameleon from Pawnshop Testimonies, the Frontline, and now So Much Closer, got married last night, and I had a date to his wedding, not only a date, but a date with an extremely special girl, someone I have been pursuing for years…when you speak of me you will speak of my persistence.

I wanted to look cute for this event, hip, like all the thin 20 something hipsters at my office. I get this idea of sports coat, oxford, tie, and some nice dirty jeans, a look I wore for years when I was thinner and haunting the coffeehouses of San Diego. So, I busted out of work early one day to ensure I could get to the store on time. Casual Male XL knows they are our only real option, so there is no need for them to be accommodating with their hours. I rolled up in there ready to drop some serious coin on their ridiculously inflated prices and began the process. Two coats into it, and it was completely evident that while most of you are decedents of Chimpanzees, I evolved from the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Not one coat fit me. Not one. And I tried on every sports coat in there, even ones that I would never wear. Apparently with my shoulder to belly ratio I should also have arms that drag the ground. Seriously, there were times when I couldn’t even see my hands (Rachel, I promise if someone else was there to take photos, I would have shot them just for you). It was pathetic and saddening.

I went to the wedding sporting the standard Khakis, Blue Oxford, and Tie.

I know this is totally unrelated to the weight story, but it is about Christmas, and I wanted to stick to my poetry in every blog declaration.

Christmas in Arizona

The wind came in as jet wash
Cutting between Huachuca and Mule Mountain
The whistle and howl
Replaced by guttural growl
As if the underworld
Was trying to speak to the heavens
Tangled vines and thorns
Chase coyotes across common ground
While neighborhood dogs sound Centurion Alarms
Pacing fences with protector's strut and erect tails
Sinister clouds clothe a dawn sky
Like great cape of super hero menace
High Desert winter shower
Washes red dirt from exhausted buildings
Beat down by an oppressive sun
As the rains stop
Children emerge from deep dreams
Of sugar plum dances and wrapping paper
The wonder of twinkling lights
And bows reflected in innocent eyes
While parents pass out gifts
From Santa's workshop


  1. That story makes me think of my childhood. All my brothers were tall, statuesque people and I, the only girl, was short and stout. Mom mentioned it occasionally. Always nicely though.

  2. I totally relate to that. Growing up my sister was modelesque and my mom was maybe 105 soaking wet, and here I was this little round thing.

  3. I feel for you. Guys don't often admit to feeling the same angst that we girls feel in the dressing rooms of life.

    Although I did laugh a little at your mom's confusion about the big and tall store (was I supposed to laugh?).

    And sometimes word pictures are better than pictures. You did an admirable job.