Clothes

Clothes: (n) items worn to cover the body.

“The clothes make the man.” Unless she’s a woman.

Why do the clothes make anything?

Here’s the truth:  clothes look very good on people who would look very good without them.

If you do not look very good without clothes, draping cloth over you does not do a lot to jazz your appearance.

It can communicate wealth. I suppose it can pass along the image of style. But if you look fairly rotund without clothing, clothing is like putting drapes on a wide window.

People who are slender can put on a suit and look very proficient and businesslike. People who are portly always have to worry about whether they should unbutton the coat when they sit, for fear of launching a button.

Women who are lean can wear a dress and make it look pretty much look like the hanger it was hung upon, while women who are more “Greek” in their shape can take a perfectly lovely dress and make it appear very broad at the beam.

We are happy to wear clothes simply because they hide a multitude of fleshly sins. Yet there is no outfit that can completely disguise what lies within.

I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes and I’ve spent a little money on clothes–and at the end, the tally was, “what you see is basically what you get.”

 

 

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Appetite

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pe·tite (n): a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food.

I stumbled across a conversation on the Internet between two women, arguing with one another about food.

Each of them had posted a picture of herself, so I had a quick visual of the combatants.

The extraordinarily slender woman was piously offering advice on better food choices that her “friend” might want to select to escape the rigors of obesity.

The “friend” in this case, who was a plump lady with a big smile, lamented in her diatribe about people who judge her by her appearance, offering way too much advice on how she could become more attractive and meet their standards.

It fascinated me in this day and age, when people are so convinced that we are “born a certain way,” that we excuse all of our prejudice against one another based on the necessity of consuming food.

For I will tell you this–because I am a fat man, I know more about calories, good food choices and what is healthy than twenty skinny people. I can tell you exactly how much I overeat, and how those particular carbyhydrates or sugars affect not only my plumpness, but also my mood.

There is no chubby person in America who couldn’t apply for a license to become a dietitian.

The sooner we realize that our appetites are primal, if not genetic, the better we will be able to address them, bringing them under our scrutiny if not our control.

I have the metabolism of a sloth, so I also have to fight to escape having the exercise regimen of the same creature. In other words, I would much rather hang from a tree by two claws than fall to the earth and run about hunting bananas.

Add to that the fact that I do not eat because I’m hungry. I tend to eat because the refrigerator has not yet been emptied. It seems to be my mission.

I don’t expect someone who’s thin and burns calories by looking at a book to comprehend this dilemma. But I do think one of the more cruel aspects of human prejudice is to squint at the weaknesses in others as we smirk at our own.

Appetites are what confirm that somewhere along the line we had a merger with the jungle. Addressing them, acknowledging a problem and controlling them is what confirms that we have a divine lineage.

 

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Appeal

dictionary with letter A

Appeal: to be attractive or interesting: activities that appeal to all.

Attractive.

For a moment, let us escape the normal interpretation of being beautiful or handsome. Attractive actually means “to attract.”

Many years ago, I was at a convention and a beauty queen sat down next to me and we started a conversation. She was very relaxed because…well, honestly, I’m not very good-looking. I had no intentions of hitting on her because I was married. I seemed safe.

As she related the story of her life and situation, her eyes filled with tears. At length she said, “Do you know what really pisses me off? I never really know if anybody likes me because all the men want to make love to me.”

I was startled.

Moments earlier, I was convinced that this young girl had everything. She was pretty, slender, poised and obviously a winner. But these physical attributes were so plentiful that she wasn’t really able to attract anything in her direction except male bees trying to invade her hive.

It was disconcerting to her. It was unfulfilling.

I walked away from that discussion with a strange sense of peace. Even though I will never attract anyone solely based upon my visage, I have decided to use my brain, talent and spirit to be the means by which I welcome others into my life.

Attractive does mean “to attract”–and being attractive means that we have a certain amount of appeal.

But wisdom is deciding what we should lead with.

Because what we use to attract others always determines the type of individuals we snag.

 

 

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