Self-pity is an unattractive trait. Would you agree?
I suppose that, occasionally, I enjoy the attention garnered from someone feeling sorry for me. For instance:
When I’ve got a nasty fever and body aches, I appreciate the gift of non-Safeway, brand name raspberry sorbet.
When my child freakishly vomits into my mouth a bit, I'm grateful to be the beneficiary of sympathetic dry heaves from another understanding parent.
But I don’t expect your sympathy, your kind words or your understanding, when I require stitches for attempting to open a beer without a bottle opener or tear a hamstring because I was racing my daughter to the faster go cart.
And most certainly, I am petitioning no one to convey pity toward the following revelation, which I learned on Thursday:
I am, technically at least...obese.
Like most middle-aged men, I visualize myself far younger than I look. Upon hearing the sound of my voice, I feel no different than that mall-cruising, mesh-half-shirt-wearing, lean prince with backne (that's pimples you don't see when you're checking your shirtless self out), who inhabited my body thirty years ago.
Naturally, these days, the lumbar aches a little in the morning, a couple of new facial developments tend to get nicked by my Gillette Sensor, and the whole concept of the thirty-two-inch waist appears to have been reconfigured by the denim industry. That metric system must've finally caught on.
But, other than that and some bladder skirmishes, I feel absolutely fine-ish.
Last week, a couple of the medications on which I rely—excuse me, which I’ve chosen to maximize my health—were denied refills pending a physical exam. Always taking the half-full approach, I interpreted this pharmaceutical blackmail as an opportunity to touch base with my physician, much like an oil change and lube, where you can't really count on the oil, but you're certain about the lube.
Since I’m closer to fifty than forty, and I’m not naive, I had fully girded my loins for the traditional “straight to third base” physical, the kind where, after a thorough exploration from rain forest to desert savanna, the final chapter involves a spelunking excursion into the stalagmite caves.
The doctor's feedback of my topographical area went something like, "Okay, this, this, that, this and those are moles. They'll always be benign, so don't worry."
I wanted to say, "Yeah, but what about this one over here that's growing eyes and the beginnings of hooves?" I kept quiet.
And then, the elephant in the room made his presence known. It was time.
Earlier, as I entered the exam room, I had noticed two Costco-sized tubes of personal lubricant on the counter. One appeared to have never been used, and the other had squeeze marks all over it, like a four-old-had been handling it. I may have reprimanded my kid about wasting toothpaste this way, buy I decided I didn't give a rat's ass whether or not the doctor started from the bottom of the tube or not. I wouldn't be watching, anyway.
As I mentioned, I was as hygienically prepared as going to a dentist appointment, except this time, only flossing was obligatory, and a certain part of me was clean enough to play Yahtzee on.
Once Dr. Spelunker led with the cold, gooey advance party, Cavequest 2011 was underway. I tried to play it cool, thinking that women endure this type of exam far more frequently than my whining self, so I attempted to toughen up with thoughts of baseball. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I was imagining being the new kid at prison.
Finally, the doctor was finished, and we agreed to still be friends and see each other in another year. After putting out so easily, it's really all I could have hoped for.
"And by they way," he added, peeling off his latex gloves, "your body mass index indicates that you are .5 over the "obese" cut-off mark. If you lose five pounds you'll be down to "overweight," so let's shoot for that. Take care, now."
Nothing quite like being told I'm just barely obese, and that with a little work, I'll be overweight.
As I slowly re-applied my clothes and my dignity, I resolved, I don't care what anyone says. By this summer, I'll make it even further and just be fat.