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I gasped. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. I should have seen it coming from nautical miles away. As I slid my right leg through my freshly washed white jeans, they felt more snug than they did the day I handed the J. Crew sales associate my credit card.
A look of horror plagued my face. I turned white. Almost as white as the pants themselves.
I could feel the sweat building on my brow and was immediately taken back to 2006 when my then-girlfriend lied on her bed, legs outstretched, asking if I could help her button her recently purchased skinny jeans. It was at that moment that it had become completely evident — I had partied myself out of my summer wardrobe.
Normally this occurs later in the season. Labor Day, not the ides of August. With my head hanging in shame, I reached down and grabbed a pair of my old faithfuls – a pair of faded blue jeans with a waist that’s more forgiving – and slid them on while a notification made me well-aware that my Uber arrived.
As I looked in the mirror, I stood there a defeated man. My beard hid the double-chin that has undoubtedly developed. My arms filled the sleeves of my size large t-shirt more than they had in June, even July. I could no longer chalk it up to simply being bloated. I had officially partied myself out of my summer body.
These thin, garment-dyed tees? They show everything. Shorts that hit squarely around three inches above my knee-cap? Tight in the waist. My ankle tan? Will be covered in socks before pumpkin-spiced everything starts hitting the shelves. I’m staring autumn in the face, and frankly, it’s heaven sent.
These vests covering my skinny-fat-but-actually-just-fat body can’t hit my torso soon enough. I need to set aside some money for a cashmere-cotton scarf to hide the neck bulge that my beard simply won’t. Dare I say it? It may actually be time to invest in a turtleneck sweater that you only see in 90s romantic comedies paired perfectly with a pair of pleated khakis.
They say, “If you can’t tone it, tan it.” But when the days begin to shrink and the sun sits beyond the horizon on your way to and from work, tanning simply isn’t an option anymore. I need reinforcements.
Mid-summer, going to the bar wearing just a swimsuit and a ratty t-shirt is considered acceptable. Sure, you can replace them with joggers and a college crewneck sweatshirt during football season, but you can only look like a washed-up ivy league poser for so long before people mutter “grow up” after you order your eighth Two Hearted of the afternoon while watching a rainy B1G game between two teams you have no investment in.
Time isn’t a flat circle when you spend the entire summer drinking mixed drinks out of plastic cups to the point where you have to revamp the very fall wardrobe that covers the damage you did through June and July. How am I supposed to find time to work out when there’s playoff baseball, regular season football, college hockey, and I’m-going-to-stay-inside-forever a Netflix lineup just waiting to get watched? It’s unreasonable.
Cherish the seasons. Embrace the layers. Remember that when you feel the crisp air bite your nose, you still have time to shave the pounds before next summer comes to play.
And if you don’t, there’s always The Wedding Season Diet. .
Image via YouTube