My husband and I have both been complaining about what an especially elephantine winter we've had this year. We've pouted over our pants, fussed about fat-rolls, and yet for the most part haven't done anything about it. What do you do . . . ten pounds here or there isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and I can certainly be a good sport in the spirit of fluctuation. All in fun, right? But when the moment comes that the buttons are popping off, well . . . that's the moment, isn't it?
Okay, well. There haven't actually been any buttons popping off. And, to be clear, neither of us look any different. When I complain to anyone else about the small amount of extra padding, they are inevitably surprised to hear my assessment of my own body.
So. We've had quite a bit of snow these past few weeks, and several inches of fresh snow in the past several days. My mountain-climbing, bungee-jumping, hiking/skiing/camping, and generally outdoorsy husband decided that it would be Great Fun to go snowshoeing around our farm.
Out came the skisuit, and out came the special insulating underlayers purchased against the day. The special layers that, incidentally, have not been used since last year. I walked into the bedroom to find my husband standing in the middle of the room examining a few inches of exposed belly in confusion.
"That looks a little snug, my love."
Now, had he said that to me, I probably would have cried. But, being a man, he actually laughed and agreed. Perplexed, he tugged at the hem and inched it over his navel as far as it would go.
Not very far.
He abandoned the effort as a lost cause and--letting it all hang out there--asked how long it had been since he'd worn this particular piece of his snowshoeing outfit.
I thought about it for a second, and could not remember a single occasion since last year. He couldn't think of one either. But, how was it possible that he'd gained this much weight in a year? All his pants still fit. All his other shirts still fit.
And yet: holy Britney Spears' midriff, Batman.
Nothing daunted, he kept pulling out winter clothes for his snowshoeing adventure, and with crinkled brow continued the process of getting dressed. He seemed to be thinking really hard about something . . . I could just imagine the calculations going on in his head: "Last night's dinner: tacos. Night before: spaghetti. When did I eat a bowling ball? I can't seem to recall."
Resigned to the tight squeeze, and surprisingly cheerful, I saw him raise his arms to shake out another shirt and hold it up, testing it's size without actually putting it on. More belly.
I watched fascinated as a struggle ensued between my entombed husband and the second layer of insulating liner. It was then I decided that maybe I should leave the room to give him some privacy. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to witness me wiggling in (or out!) of clothes in that fashion.
With one last transfixed look at the tangled mess of elbows and bare tummy--I couldn't really tell what was going on; was he coming or going?--I reluctantly started to the door. Shamelessly, I paused to pet the cat so I could sneak one last peek. Hey, we're married, remember?
Apparently my dawdling created enough time for him to decide, "Screw it!" and start wiggling back out. Just when I made it out the door I heard him exclaim in incredulity:
A Women's Small!
I whirled around and flew back in just in time to see him vehemently hurl my blasted shirt onto the bed in bitter, astonished relief.