There was a time, not all that long ago, when I still tried, I swear.
My wife is beautiful and sexy and all of that, and so I wanted to make sure that she felt like I was giving a crap when it came to the clothes I wore, the shoes I put on my feet.
And, to be honest, I don’t know what the hell happened. Seriously, I don’t.
I mean, I know I’m not the first guy to start schlubbing it a little at a time, cutting corners here and there, slowly substituting something cheap and lame for something form-fitting and not from Walmart, but I can’t say that I take much solace in that fact because I do not.
When I met Monica, I was thin and on stage damn near every night, with my band. I wore a nice tailored vest with some dressy button-up shirts.
I wore pants that I had bought in an H&M over in London, so it was a REAL H&M (is that even a thing?), and they were like a size 31 and were so tight that half the time I was walking two or three inches off the ground, hover-walking(!), thanks to the helicopter-ish static energy being created by my chaffing thighs rubbing together like two caveman sticks at the dawn of fire!
But now, ugh.
What happened to me?
Some guys get married and make it a real focus point to remain yoga-bodied and decked out in nothing worse than George Cloney’s hand-me-downs. Having a subtle sense of style and staying in decent physical shape allows for a more self-confidence and helps portray you as someone who actually gives a shit, both to the undulating masses of humanity you pass in the office and on the street, as well as to the woman/man you
tricked into marrying you married.
And, that’s probably a good thing, I figure, especially since it seems as if the more successful people in the world/in the bedroom aren’t decked out in coffee-stained wife-beaters and coasting down past the frozen French Bread Pizza aisle on one of those electric bad knee carts they have charging up for certain ‘someones’ when you walk through the front doors at Walmart.
So, the other day I was standing there naked as a baby bird in my bedroom, flipping through my closet, when it occurred to me that I have systematically allowed the passing years to dictate the smashing catastrophe that is my present physical/fashionable state. You need to step outside your comfort realm to do this, mind you.
It isn’t easy, I’m not going to lie. But the truth is the truth and if you tend to allow your truths to brew down through a filter of sharp cheeses and Hanes V-necks (six for 12 bucks) and cold cans of Miller Lite and woodland camo cargo shorts, then, like me, you might soon find y0ur pudgy self staring in the mirror at a vision of slovenliness.
Now, lest you think I’m being hard on myself (and I thank you for that gracious grant) allow me to introduce to you the fact that, like a lot of dudes who fall down the physical rabbit hole and fail to climb out, I, too have spent a few years now placating myself with the same old mantras that we all tend to utilize when we are guilty and deny it.
Exhibit A: “I’ve been busy as hell since the kids were born.”
This is true, of course, and there is no denying that fact. Having rugrats is the fashion/gym equivalent of blowing yourself up in a lot of ways. hell, at least if you strapped on a a half-stick of dynamite and went out into a cornfield to explode you’d be winning the weight battle, right? You’d be down to your birth weight in no time at all. Yet, few of us want to resort to the more radical diets like that and so we tend to chug-a-lug along, making sure our work gets done and the kids get fed and by the time the day hits 8pm it’s all we can do to flop on the couch with a frozen burrito and shoot ourselves up with a dose of crappy TV.
I know this because I have been living the lie now for a while. It’s just easier for me. It’s that simple. I don’t make time for the gym or cooking healthier or dilly-dallying around in Macy’s on a Sunday afternoon looking for something to wear that isn’t the damn equivalent of a sad male muumuu because I am busy and I don’t want to make time for it.
Exhibit B: “Parents should dress their age and not worry so much about fashion.”
Well. Listen. I’m not saying that this fashion thing is all about a bunch of us beer-chugging NASCAR-aholics showing up in the lobby of the main hotel at Paris Fashion Week and losing ourselves in the remote possibilities that upper-echelon fashion seems to offer. All, I’m saying is that we don’t, that I DON’T, have to be constantly walking around in the very same shirt that I used to check the mower engine oil level two days ago.
Now, maybe you don’t sink to my level, and if that’s the case then I applaud your efforts. But, if you can read this and know exactly what I’m talking about, if my voice is like a menthol breeze blowing down out of the proverbial skies and wiping your brow down with the bandana of brotherhood, well then, we are in this together, yes, but we can climb out of this together too.
You don’t need to ruin yourself in Ed Hardy and skinny jeans to be a little more attractive to your spouse, my friend. Yes, to try and mimic the younger set, to buy a bunch of their hipster hats and tight fitting numbers would only serve to make further mockery of ourselves. What we have to do is very simple and precise and actually, quite easy.
We have to ask our wives/husbands what we look good in. And we have to buy that stuff and wear it as if it’s going out of style. Because believe me, in three weeks it will be.
Exhibit C. “This is just who I am now.”
Oh, this one hurts.
This one hurts the most because, let’s face it, when we whisper this to ourselves, we’re just giving up, aren’t we. I know, I know … we get exhausted and money’s tight and there are a trillion other things to worry about other than the spare tire around our bellies and the favorite t-shirt with holes in the armpit that we’ve been preserving with museum-curator care and skill (and Febreze) since college.
This is where I was as late as two weeks ago. But guess what? I was sitting there feeling sorry for my ass because … get this … my sex life hadn’t been exactly setting any local records lately when I decided that I had to get tough. I needed to know why I wasn’t getting the hoochie that I personally need three or four times
a day a month in order to feel satiated in that basest, yet most fulfilling of ways.
Laugh at me if you want, go ahead. But if you are amongst the ranks of married folk whose love lives have suffered a few dents since the ‘I-do’s’, then I beseech you to do what I have done here lately. Step outside of yourself and ask this question:
“Would YOU be psyched to be climbing on top of you?”
If you honestly answer that with a resounding yes, then more power to you. But if you see things the way I am seeing them here as I write this, with just a pair of Crazy Dukes (Daisy Dukes for men) and an old AC/DC shirt separating my flabby lazy body from the light of day, then I say it’s high time we get off our butts and get hot once again.
Or, maybe lukewarm, but you know what I’m saying.
Hey! Stay Tuned For PART II of this thing later this week: wherein I show you pictures of me and my fashion/physical no-no’s!
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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