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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Say Cheese

Of all Mother Nature’s gentle and endearing creatures, I most identify with the groundhog. He waits patiently underground all year, feasting on delicacies and delights, only to appear in the gloom of a February morning to decide if he needs to reinforce his self image with six more weeks of romance novels and chocolate chip cookies in order to face the world.

I feel the same way when I try on bathing suits.

Something happens to me in between the time when the autumn leaves start falling and the spring seedlings begin to sprout. Cold weather brings the opportunity to stir up sweet snow cream and savory soups. Winter holidays that taste of cornbread dressing and pumpkin pie whip past, and I while away the demi-days of the season gorging myself on cream-filled snack cakes with delicious layers of artificial flavoring. Before I know it I’m two Ho-Ho’s and a Ding Dong away from fitting into my stretchy pants.

Suddenly Puxatawney Phil pops up to remind me that the days of carrots and calorie counters are waiting just around the cold front. And here I am without a recipe for groundhog pie.

And so, I dig in my closet to the bottom of the pile of Things Left to Die, past the leggings, past the belly shirts, past the sports bra that proved just how indecisive elastic can be, and pull out—gasp—last year’s swimsuit. It took three paramedics and the Jaws of Life to remove the thing last summer, and it will probably take my weight in bacon grease to slide the wretched thing on now.

My family cringes outside the bedroom door gnawing on fingernails and popping their whitened knuckles. Will their life be full of pot roast and potatoes or are they headed toward tiny plates of lettuce and low fat cheese? If the spandex snaps into place, defining my shape like a pushup bra that is Victorias' real Secret, a bounty of bread and dessert will fill our table. If, however, the material pins my arms to my sides like an elastic straitjacket, they’ll have only memories of fast food french fries to keep them warm.

Inside the bedroom, I’m struggling to free myself from the evil grip of a tank suit that has snapped around my legs and is binding my thighs together like two teenagers at an after-prom party. I can’t turn the other cheek because there’s no room in front of the mirror. Even with all the advancements in modern engineering, three inches of material cannot be arranged to cover four decades of biscuit and gravy. The tenacious grip of spandex renders me unable to walk.

Suddenly a news flash comes on the radio. The groundhog has seen his shadow and retreated back underground. I hop to the closet, wrench the wretched garment off and gleefully hit the speed dial for pizza delivery on my cell phone.

I have six more weeks to eat real cheese.


the Bag Lady said...

Were you spying on the Bag Lady...?
Love your writing - makes the Bag Lady nod and smile, and sometimes laugh out loud! (also makes her freakin' jealous - how come she didn't think of saying that!!?)

Janna said...

Okay, I've tagged you, Amy. :) But this one is fun and unique. See my post, Page 123. :)