The bat­tle of the bulge

I am by no means obese now, but I have no­ticed my body tak­ing on a dif­fer­ent and more rounded shape in an area that may be de­scribed as the navel and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

The Covington News - - Local news -

I made a ma­jor de­ci­sion re­cently. I de­cided to buy my­self a pair of blue jeans.

A 41-year-old man should not take on such a thing without first giv­ing it a great deal of thought, which I thought I had done.

First, I asked my­self if this was a first sign of mid­dleaged crazi­ness.

Men do a lot of strange thingswhen af­flicted by that con­di­tion. They quit their jobs at the bank and go off some­where to be­come wood-carvers or fish­ing guides.

Oth­ers leave their wives and buy them­selves sports cars, while still oth­ers have hair trans­plants, date girls — girls whose first names end in i (Tami, Debbi, Staci) — and wear gold neckchains.

But, I de­cided, none of that could be hap­pen­ing to me. I’m not looking to quit my job, I have plenty of hair, and I took out Tami, Debbi and Staci (one at a time) and none worked out. I had un­der­draw­ers older than all three.

Sec­ond, I had to ask my­self if I could still fit into a pair of jeans.

I stopped wear­ing jeans af­ter I grad­u­ated from high school. I was quite thin in high school and my jeans fit­ted me per­fectly.

I am by no means obese now, but I have no­ticed my body tak­ing on a dif­fer­ent and more rounded shape in an area that may be de­scribed as the navel and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

It’s caused, I thought, by fallen chest arches.

But don’t they ad­ver­tise those jeans with a “skosh more room” for the ma­ture jean-wearer?

I went to the depart­ment store and found the menswear depart­ment.

“How may I help you?” the sales­man asked.

“I’d like a pair of jeans,” I replied.

“And what waist size?” said the sales­man, eye­brows raised. “Thirty-four,” I an­swered. “Let’s start at 36 and see where it takes us,” the sales­man sug­gested.

I couldn’t get the zip­per all the way up on the 36s.

The 38s fit okay in the back, but they were still a bit too tight in the front and gave me the dis­tinct look of be­ing about three months preg­nant.

I even tried on a pair in the 40s. I have a rather small back­side. There’s enough room in the seat of that pair of jeans for a small com­pany of Chi­nese sol­diers to bivouac.

“I’m afraid, sir,” said the sales­man, “you have the two-bel­lies.” “The two-bel­lies?” “In­deed, sir. What hap­pens to some men who reach mid­dle age, they de­velop two dis­tinct, shall we say, mid­sec­tions?

“They have one just above their belly but­ton and then an­other one be­low it. The two-bel­lies make is al­most im­pos­si­ble for one to fit snugly or com­fort­ably in a pair of jeans, even one with ex­tra ‘skosh.’”

So I had only been kid­ding my­self when I thought I could still fit into blue jeans.

I’m a two-belly, and my blue­jean days are sadly be­hind me.

“Could I in­ter­est you,” the sales­man asked, “in a fab­ric with more give? Say, polyester?”

God, the rav­ages of age.

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