Here on the East Coast, the leaves are turning, the birds are migrating, a fall chill is in the morning air. If you are like me, you are no doubt having that ongoing internal monologue about whether you should break down and turn on the heat. Personally, I am of the "breaking the seal" mentality. That is, once you turn it on there is no turning it off till April. And so I postpone and postpone; wearing three shirts to bed with socks and a wool cap, and finding myself feeling like I'm back in Scotland where no self-respecting Scot would ever turn the heat on in their bedroom because "its not good for you and its a waste of money to heat yourself while you sleep." You THINK I'm kidding! My entire childhood is one big memory of waking up cold with my feet on a now-frigid hot water bottle that was toasty the night before. Most Americans are certain I was a child in 1933 when I mention the hot water bottle and lack of heat, but that was just the way it was in the 70's, kids. It's only now looking back that I ask my parents how they feel about having abused and neglected their children in such a shocking manner. Their response is deafening silence as they no doubt try to figure out where they went wrong with me that I want to do something as dangerous and wasteful as heat my bedroom. ;)
Anyway, as all of my stories usually do, this one is taking us on a wee journey through the recesses of my mind. As you recall this entry is entitled Fat Pants. So why am I discussing the thermodynamics of Scottish beaudoirs circa 1979? Because it leads us back--clearly--to the fact that this time of year is also when women across the land are doing the Winter Clothing Switch. For my California friends and my male friends, the WCS is when women put away all of the tank tops and cute shoes of summer, and unpack all of their winter sweaters, pants and boots. It's a bona fide rite of seasonal passage. Trust me.
So. I did the WCS this past Monday. And had you been a fly on the wall you would have seen me in my underwear in my closet. In tears. Yep. I'm woman enough to admit it. I was crying in my skivvies because I tried on my "fat pants" from last season----and they fit. It was a meltdown like you have not seen since Chernobyl. J was leaving for work, yelled goodbye up the stairs and I yelled back through those gurgly, sniffly, gaspy tears you cry when you are inconsolable: "I'm a fattie and you're not helping!" To which he responded, I'm sure, by debating calling the nice men with the nice white coats to come take me to a place where I could wear elastic waistbands for the rest of my life without fear that it made me one of the Golden Girls.
As I look back, I am of course quite embarrassed at my complete loss of sanity. If you are a guy, you know exactly what J was feeling. And if you are a woman reading this, you know exactly how I felt. That feeling of total disbelief that you could have gained those 6-8 pounds without even noticing, and yet knowing in your heart that it's your own damn fault that your previously outer-limits-of-weight-pants now fit you just right. I was, in a sure sign that I am completely out of the societal mainstream and just this side of the overindulged bourgeoisie, acting as if someone had died when all that had happened was that my a** expanded by about an inch.
Short Story Long: Gentlemen, if you are near that special woman in your life, turn to her right now and tell her those three words she needs to hear regularly and with feeling in order for peace and tranquility to reign. Say it with me: "You're Not Fat."