Body Parts 

The things you learn from good, clean living.

Last weekend my honey and I went to a bar in town we love for people watching. As soon as we sat down, he pointed out a woman with a shirt proclaiming, "I DO MY OWN STUNTS!"

"I'm getting that for you," he said. I might or might not have been regaling him with the tale of how I fell UP some stairs when going to lunch with some coworkers. Or it could have been how I took my wedge sandals off to walk out to the mailbox, replaced them with Sensible Shoes, and still managed to turn my ankle by stepping into a sewer grate. Wait, no. We were most definitely talking about how I tried to turn my pillow over to the cool side the night before and punched myself in the face. Which is NOT the same story as the time I was having a dream I was cornered by a beaver and decided what the hell, I'll just punch him, and punched the headboard in my sleep.

I am not a delicate flower. I'm tall and always on the chubby side. But the recent additions of a desk job, a severe vitamin D deficiency, and treatments for a yet-to-be-diagnosed brand of arthritis have created a delightful pile of manure in which full-on obesity has blossomed. Being in my mid-40s has something to do with it. As do tacos. I have been taking one particular medicine that makes it seem sensible to eat an entire box of oatmeal cream pies because it's either that or, you know, punch walls.

click to enlarge Have you seen my center of gravity? - PONTUS EDENBERG | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Pontus Edenberg | Dreamstime.com
  • Have you seen my center of gravity?

But the thing is that I don't move the way I used to because my center of gravity has shifted. To Cleveland, apparently. It's rather like how, when you're pregnant, you have to have someone you trust to tell you whether you're wearing matching shoes because you just have to slip into whatever you feel on the floor. If you bend over to look yourself, you'll end up rolling head-first into the back wall of your closet.

Now that we totally bypass spring in favor of summer, this issue presents some wardrobe challenges. Slim ankle pants are a good look on most people except those with no bones where their ankles should be. My never-slight ankles have now been replaced by fat deposits the same consistency as perfect brioche dough. Ankle pants now make me look like a human Go-Gurt tube busted on both ends.

I check out plus-size catalogs which have become almost fashionable in the last couple of years. I say "almost" because what, at first glance, seems to be a perfectly innocuous peasant shirt ends up being a style called a "cocoon blouse," which involves elastic at neck, elbows, and hem. Also things called "elegant embellishments" — lace, trim, and ruffles, the likes of which I have only seen on the christening gowns of Victorian-era babies. Printed denim jeans with matching jackets is apparently a thing again. Which is great. Because I genuinely enjoy going calf roping on the weekends just like millions of other women do. I guess. I mean, that is the only legitimate reason I can think of to wear a Canadian tuxedo.

Office looks are scarce. Unless you work at an office where an off-the-shoulder ruffled tunic worn with a pencil skirt is the height of professionalism. I know those jobs exist, but I don't know anyone with one. Except for my friend Pernilla, who is awesome and wears skull-print leggings to work. No, an off-the-shoulder blouse requires the kind of undergarment sacrifices I am not willing to make. And the pencil skirt is a no-go now that we're out of black tights season.

There are only two solutions to this issue. One is win the lottery and hire someone to custom-make my clothes. I'm working on that one two bucks at a time. The other is, you know, don't be fat. That right there is tough, too because it's not necessarily based on luck, but on the idea that one exercises and does not keep Pringles in one's desk for a snack during conference calls. I have a great ballet workout video with this beautiful ballerina from North Carolina. She's got the most soothing manner, and if I ever meet her, I'm going to rip her adorable ponytail off her head and beat her with it. She has no mercy. She's like a really cute dominatrix.

It's just that I have to take a break from Mistress Toe Shoes because the last time I did the workout I fell over during an unsuccessful arabesque and knocked myself out when I hit the corner of the coffee table. I didn't know one literally saw stars when one got knocked out. The things you learn from good, clean living.

Susan Wilson also writes for yeahandanotherthing.com and likethedew.com. She and her husband, Chuck, have lived here long enough to know that Midtown does not start at Highland.

Speaking of Susan Wilson, Center Of Gravity

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