By Lily Gillespie
Shakespeare, who said everything best, and often first, authored a line dieter's must think was written for them: "O! that this too too solid flesh would melt..." surely the dieter's perfect lament. Who cares that it's actually the mournful musings of an indecisive prince who's sick to death of himself!
Halloween hasn't even arrived but already there are Christmas decorations on display in stores. Obviously it's not too early to bring up a topic that's on a lot of people's minds as the year slides inevitably into the winter solstice and preparations for the ancient celebration escalate.
Self-loathing is a sentiment a lot of people share once the festive season is over and it's time to pay the piper, whether it's the Visa piper or the one that sends its message via the bathroom scale.
Most people throw their diets out the window during the Christmas season, figuring the temptations will simply be too much, and what the heck? Christmas comes but once a year and isn't giving and hospitality what it's all about?
I too am on a perpetual diet, a "get fat" diet. So the season holds special hope for me, hope that I might actually gain a few precious pounds.
Being unable to keep weight on is not a problem that generates much sympathy.
I simply have a strange metabolism that seems to run on overdrive and doesn't allow an ounce of extra weight to settle in for the long haul. This is the same metabolism that keeps me awake until 3 a.m.
When you're at the point where a massage therapist could actually count your ribs while massaging your back (or a Brit could use your back as an aid in washing their smalls, which, by-the-way are undergarments), you know it's time to get your skinny butt in gear and run, not walk, to the nearest Shoppers and stock up on Boost.
My sister once told me I walked like a 15-year-old boy. Nobody ever told me I looked like one-- although an aspiring inamorato, slightly tipsy at the time, told me I had a "fashion-model" figure, which could amount to the same thing.
He must not have noticed the scholarly hunch.
But that was a few years ago. Lean is not so appealing with age. The Aunt Hetty look is not as happy a look as the pleasantly plump -- say, the Goldie Hawn-at-53 (or is it 54 now?)look.
Those of you who are on a real diet should keep this in mind as you politely demur when you approach the "groaning board" this holiday season.
A friend of mine, who also bears a resemblance to a vertical two-by-four with limbs and a head, says the only two men she ever seriously considered marrying ended up with women who were about five inches shorter than she is, and at least the same number of inches larger in the two significant measurements.
Men seem to have been left out of any surveying that has been done recently regarding the popular female body shape. It's my contention that they still lean more towards a Titian model body-type than a Twiggy. They like what they like.
My daughter has essentially the same body shape--let's just call it the tall, willowy type. I may have been lucky to have reproduced at all.
Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase most often attributed to Darwin, namely, "survival of the fittest," should maybe have deleted the "i" and replaced it with an "a".
So, enjoy preparing for the season without guilt, knowing your potential for contributing to the survival of the species is greater with that bit of extra padding. Go forth in the next month and buy with the expectation of eating, drinking (even if it's eggnog without anything in it) and being merry.
I know I will. Chocolate covered cherries, here I come!