Cot: (n) a light portable bed, especially one of canvas on a folding frame.

Possessing a plethora of stories and examples of how the phrase “one size fits all” does not apply in real life, I will now turn my attention to the common cot.

When I was a boy I was never little, so therefore, I was never a “little boy.” I had a man-sized weight for a child’s number of birthdays. Yet when funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
I visited relatives—since I was supposed to be a kid—they tried to fit me into child situations, spaces and even leftover pajamas from their beloved children who were now grown but were once obviously skinny and attractive.

All of these experiences are worthy of the horror genre. I have broken toys, disabled bicycles, split out pants and—oh, yes—destroyed a cot or two in my journey through childhood obesity. This was long before anybody talked about it—when you were considered “big-boned” so parents wouldn’t be embarrassed because their child was a fatty.

Aunt Wilma had a cot which she supplied each and every summer during a week-long visit, always insisting I had used it the year before, even though I explained that it was not only too narrow for me to lie on, but also not sturdy enough to withstand my bountiful booty. She pooh-poohed me, as grown-ups often do.

Each year I faced the same dilemma. Knowing that the cot was not going to work (because I had already broken it the year before) I assembled it every night while she was in the room giving her good-night kisses and hugs, and then, upon her departure, folded it up, removing the bedding, to sleep on the floor, trying to make sure I woke up early enough to arise and reassemble the cot to its former haphazard position before she came in to bring us all to the breakfast table.

It was exhausting.

It was a farce.

And what made it worse was that my aunt patted me on the head every single new day and said, “You see? You were wrong. The cot works just fine.”

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Chubby: (adj) plump and rounded.

Please do not feel the need to grab your thesaurus when describing me.

I am not portly.

I am not rotund.

I am not big-boned.

I don’t have a healthy appetite.

I’m fat.

And as painful as the word may be, and as many different negative associations it carries, it is still better than “chubby.”

Chubby removes all possibility of being masculine.

Babies are cute and chubby.

Furry animals are chubby.

Things that are cute are dubbed chubby so we do not have to comment on their rolls of blubber.

In the pursuit of gentle phrasing, nobody’s feelings are spared. Only the speaker feels self-righteous about placating through terminology.

I’m too old to be chubby.

I’m too manly to be chubby.

I’m too fat to be chubby.

Chubby things are acceptably fat, yet fat things are not acceptably chubby.

I don’t want to be a chub, so I certainly don’t want to be chubby.

So as painful as it may be to my ears, I am more comfortable being referred to as a “fat person” instead of a man who has “a big body to hold his big heart.”


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Albatross: (n) 1. a very large oceanic bird, some with wingspans of more than ten feet, found mostly in southern oceans. 2. a source of frustration: e.g. the albatross of marriage.

I have an albatross–something hanging around my neck, dragging me down, or at least, making my journey cumbersome.

I don’t like to admit it, because rationalizing the cause and effect is one of my great joys in life–of which I have become extremely proficient.

Yes, vice can quickly become our voice if we don’t silence its raging.

You see, here’s the problem–it’s not really an evil. It’s more of a condition. But what I fail to realize is that every condition is viewed by others to be a vice if they are not also plagued by it, but instead, stand on the sidelines and comment on the error in my trials.

I’m fat.

I’ve always been fat. Being born at twelve-and-a-half pounds, I got a jump-start on large diapers and husky pants.

When I was younger, it was intriguing because I could spin my obesity as “power, might and strength.” I don’t know if I was actually successful at communicating my image, but I convinced myself that I was just “big-boned and muscular.”

After all, it didn’t keep me from achieving my goals. It certainly didn’t hinder my interaction with the ladies.

But now I realize there’s a missing element in my understanding of myself, because I will never know exactly what I could have achieved had I taken the time to figure out how to “lighten the load” of my wagon.

  • How many people passed on hearing my message because they were even temporarily put off by the packaging?
  • On how many occasions did I burst into perspiration when others were standing around, cool as a cucumber, thus making it clear that I had strained myself due to my circumference?
  • And what is the mysterious number of decisions I made to avoid certain possibilities because inwardly I felt they were too strenuous for my frame?

An albatross is an awkward bird. It gives me pause today … how much higher I could have flown … as an eagle.