So… what the hell happened?

The GAP logo.
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Last week, I posted this short paragraph to my Facebook account:

Just had an experience that is making me re-evaluate the way I live my life. I need to make some changes, post-haste. For now, though, I’m going to spend a quiet night at home.

The comments, emails, text messages and phone calls that followed were overwhelming.  In a good way.  Without even knowing the source of my dismay, my friends from far and wide reached out to me with words of comfort and encouragement.

Mom and Beth, sorry you are hearing about this firsthand– I didn’t include you on that post– I didn’t want to worry you.

So… what the hell happened?

Well, in hindsight, it seems kind of silly.  Really.  I wasn’t held up at gunpoint or told I have some life-ending disease.  I wasn’t fired from my job or evicted from my home.  Nobody was maimed or harmed in any way, shape or form.

Only my ego.  And maybe my self-esteem.  But it’s really my fault.

OK, enough with the setup– here’s what happened.

On Friday after work, I was preparing to meet some friends out for drinks and then head to a fundraising event for the chorus.  I was looking forward to the events, mainly because in the very near future, things were about to get really busy with the chorus show.  A last hurrah, of sorts.

So I decided to go shopping and buy a new outfit for the evening.  I needed some new shirts, as I’ve worn my short-sleeve shirts to death.  The most logical stop was The Gap, since there was one just a block away from my first stop for the evening.

I went in, and I found a couple really nice short-sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans.  I also looked at a new jacket, since it had suddenly turned colder that day and I didn’t have one with me; and the jacket I already have is starting to look a little worn.

I found XL sizes for the shirts, because that’s been my size for years now.  I had been working to change that, but in the past few months I haven’t been so good about going to the gym.  We’ll talk more about that in just a few minutes.

Anyway, I proceeded to the fitting rooms to try my new selections on.

NOTHING fit.

Absolutely nothing.

Not the shirts, not the jeans, not the jacket.  They were all too tight.  In fact, the shirts were so bad I couldn’t even bring the buttons together with the buttonholes, and I had a hard time getting my arms in the sleeves.

Now I could see if one shirt was bad, but two?  That’s just weird.  I’ve worn XL Gap clothes for years and they always had ample room.  But not with these shirts.  At the first attempt, I thought, “This has to be mis-labeled. ”  It felt like a MEDIUM, not an XL.  But I took it off, and it was definitely marked an XL.

Dejected, I stood in the fitting room and started at myself, then at the clothes.  What was this telling me?

  • I wasn’t going to buy anything that day.
  • I needed to fix this problem.

How did it get to this?  I was doing so well just a year ago.  And now I can’t fit into new clothes.  How did I fall so fast?

Then I started to feel humiliated.  All I wanted to do was get out of there and go home.

So I patiently gathered up my things, brought the clothes back to where I found them, sauntered out of the store, and went straight home.

That’s what happened, and that’s why I was feeling so low that day.

Now, in hindsight, I have a few thoughts:

First, there has to be something amiss with those clothes and the sizes.  I could see if they were a little snug, but to be so tight that I couldn’t even bring the buttons together seemed ridiculous.  I have never had that happen before, and I’m sorry, but I haven’t gained THAT much weight.  In fact, I had a doctor appointment the following Monday, which only proved that to me– I am still well under the weight I was at when I started my workout regime in May 2010.

Second, I don’t usually resort to the tactic of “Vaguebooking” to elicit responses from people… but I felt pretty vulnerable that night.  I almost deleted that post shortly after I wrote it, but after the responses started coming in, I actually did feel a lot better.  I can’t thank those of you enough that reached out.  You helped me greatly.

Third, I have made a promise to myself to get back to the gym once and for all.  It’s going to be tough at first, I know; but I did it before and I know I can do it again.  I can’t help but think of how well things were going last year and how great I’d look now if I had only stuck with it.  So I need to stick to it and keep thinking of the end result.  It will come.

Now I need to actually JUST DO IT!  Getting started is the hard part.  But I know that (second) first day back is coming very soon.  It will happen.

And a year from now, who knows… I may be wearing that MEDIUM after all.

But let’s just take things one step at a time.

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I Try (A Lyrical Parody)

Cover of "I Try Pt. 2"
Cover of I Try Pt. 2

I was just going through some old papers and found this parody lyric that I wrote while I was working at Crate & Barrel (it’s on Crate stationery) in probably 2000 or 2001. Pretty funny. It wasn’t finished so I added some more lyrics. Of course, given my current weight loss/diet status, this is not exactly true. I’m doing quite well, thank you!

(To the tune of Macy Gray’s “I Try”)

Weight gainin’ again
Can’t seem to lose it now
When will it stop?
I believe that fate
Chose me to be
Bigger than an elephant… elephant!

I burn it off but I gain it all back
I lose my cool ’cause I’m dreamin’

I try to drink Slim Fast but I choke
I try to walk a mile but I stumble
My clothes may try to hide it, but it’s clear
I’m too weak for a diet, I fear

I tried out Jenny Craig but I quit
I tried Seattle Sutton but I’m broke
Weight Watchers wouldn’t take me, it’s clear
I’m much better off fatter my dear.

I may appear to be sane
But I’m just a prisoner of my glut
I may seem alright, and smile when I eat
But my smiles are just a front
Just a front

I eat it all while I’m dreaming of you
My pants are so tight that I’m dizzy

I try to drink Slim Fast but I choke
I try to walk a mile but I stumble
My clothes may try to hide but, but it’s clear
I’m too weak for a diet, I fear

I tried out Jenny Craig but I quit
I tried Seattle Sutton but I’m broke
Weight Watchers wouldn’t take me, it’s clear
I’m much better off fatter my dear.

Food is my obsession
When I’m in possesion
I love it so much
Candies, cakes and such
With all my might I try
But I just can’t deny
Deny….

I burn it off but I gain it all back
I lose my cool ’cause I’m dreamin’

I try to drink Slim Fast but I choke
I try to walk a mile but I stumble
My clothes may try to hide but, but it’s clear
I’m too weak for a diet, I fear

I tried out Jenny Craig but I quit
I tried Seattle Sutton but I’m broke
Weight Watchers wouldn’t take me, it’s clear
I’m much better off fatter my dear.

RcktMan: POWER SHOPPER!

I don’t go shopping for new stuff very often.  I make do with what I have for as long as I can stand it, and then I do what every good gay boy does:

I power shop.

I’ve known for quite a while now that I needed new shirts.  Badly.  I’ve been wearing the same old, tired short-sleeved shirts for the past 3-4 summers and they have all seen better days.

Problem is, you can’t go shopping for short-sleeved shirts in the winter or early spring.  Everything available is jacked up to their full retail price in preparation for the upcoming summer months, so buying at that time is not only a bad idea, it’s plain stupid.

So I decided to wait a while until the summer sales started.  I kept a few gift cards from Christmas (talk about self-control!) and set them aside for summer shopping.

Last week, I decided it was time to start shopping.

I started at Old Navy, since I had a gift card for them and, historically, I’ve found some nice things there for really great prices.  I didn’t have any cash on me at the time, so I did a preliminary run-through to see what I could see.  I found a lot of nice shirts at between $7.99 and $14.99.  Hot damn!  I was in luck.

So yesterday, after I got paid and I had a little extra flow, I decided to make a return trip.

Problem is, I drove in to work yesterday ’cause I was running late.. of course… and I had to get my car out before 7pm or I’d have to pay more. So I got the car out, and drove around downtown to find parking so I could go to Old Navy to get my shirts.

The only spot I found was a handicapped spot behind Macy’s.

Now, I don’t usually condone the taking of a handicapped spot by an able-bodied person. It’s wrong and you should not do it.

But I did it anyway.

So I took the spot and bolted toward Old Navy. I ran in, found the shirts I wanted, chose 7 that I liked the best, headed to the register, paid for the shirts and bolted out the door.

I raced out of the store and crossed the street, hoping my car wouldn’t be ticketed.

As I approached my car I saw a cop a few cars ahead of mine, writing out tickets. My heart skipped a beat. Then it skipped another beat. Shit! I was doomed. But I kept on walking.

She hadn’t reached my car yet! There was no ticket on my windshield!

So I hopped in and zoomed away so fast it made her head spin.

From the time I parked the car to the time I go back to the car, a mere 45 minutes had elapsed. And I got 7 shirts for less than $80, and no parking ticket.

So yeah.. I sorta rock a little bit! 🙂

Ever have one of these days?

So I woke up on Saturday and got myself going a bit faster than usual.  I had to get out and buy myself a long-sleeve black dress shirt for a chorus gig I was scheduled to participate in later that night.  If I didn’t hustle my ass, I’d be the only one there without one.

Now, of course, this begs one to ask, “You didn’t have a black dress shirt already?”  Well, no.  I didn’t.  I just never thought I would need one– until now.

So I zipped out to the new Target store that opened a few months ago, less than 10 minutes away from me.  I didn’t need high fashion.  I just needed something now.

Luckily they had one in my size.  I grabbed it, along with a few other things, and headed to the checkout.

Naturally, when I got to the register, the checkout girl (who didn’t remind me at all of SNL’s Target Lady) couldn’t find a price tag on my shirt.  So she looked inside the shirt at its manufacturing tag and keyed in the code.

It rang up for $4.95.

FIVE BUCKS.

I didn’t say a word.  She kept on ringing.

Now, when I picked up the shirt, I clearly saw the sign on the display that showed the shirts were being sold for $24.99.  Is it wrong of me to not say anything?  No… she could have easily done a price check and had a manager confirm it.  But she just kept on ringing… and I just kept my mouth shut, paid, and left.

Score one for me!

So I get home and park the car across from my apartment building.  I get out, and catch sight of something on the ground, just behind my car.

A folded-up $10 dollar bill.

There was nobody around.  And there were no cars behind mine.  So I scooped up the bill, checked it for authenticity (you never can be too sure), and slipped it in my pocket.

Score TWO for me.

So let’s recap here:

I bought a shirt and paid only $5 for it, then came home and found a $10 bill.

I got PAID to go shopping on Saturday.

Life is pretty damn good!