Saturday, August 25, 2007
We Gain Weight As We Get Older
Once a friend of mine got mono and dropped about fifteen pounds. It was 1996, and he showed up to our Shakespeare class in acid-washed jeans. "I knew if I kept these, they'd fit again." All proud, he squeezed every ounce of himself into those old jeans, clearly a relic from the halcyon eighties, and his stomach inched over them, creating the dreaded "muffin" stomach that fashion editors worn against. To add to this effect, my friend was about an inch shorter than me with red hair, causing many unkind souls to speak of leprechauns in his presence. But he didn't seem to know he was short and he didn't seem to know his jeans were too new to be retro, too old to be cool, and just plain butt ugly. Even so I admired his confidence, but not enough to give into his advances. Just out of my marriage, I did not take his lines all that seriously, "You're hair looks great. Are you using a new conditioner?" My buddy Hank laughed heartily at this one, but the weird part was my would-be amour was correct. I had just switched to a summer conditioner with lemon and thyme. Who says men notice nothing?
One day the debate before class turned to the behavior of artists, whether it was exempt from the rules of regular morality. Never a fan of society's rules, I came down on the side of the artist. Sure, Beethoven could be a jerk, but can you write the "Ode to Joy?" Hank agreed with me, but he would never test his argument given that he was one of the truest romantics/cynics I knew and could no more be unfaithful or immoral than he could drive. Our little friend in the acid wash drawers said that he thought the whole thing sucked, this license to sin, but that he wished he could write something that would let him off the hook whenever he wanted to do something bad. Hank, legally blind, but able to see enough to critique said, Those pants you've worn every day for a week are a sin and you should be punished. In his defense, Mr. Mono said, I just got into them. I haven't been able to wear them for years. Not missing a beat, Hank replied, There's a reason we gain weight as we get older and it's to stop us from wearing old bad outfits. I looked down at what I was wearing, a flowered sundress that I wouldn't touch these days, garishly decorated with big green flowers. I was a garden in those days instead of a grave, and I made pronouncements easily with the grace of someone who knows that things will come back.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It's not a good idea to put your wife into a novel; not your latest wife anyway. "Norman Mailer
Drinking memoir suggestion: A Life In Smoke Julia Hansen
Benedictions and Maledictions