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Waist watchers

Hudson Cooper - Columnist
Posted 11/5/20

During this life-changing pandemic, things we used to do are diminishing. Shaking hands, dropping in on friends or going to an office for work are temporarily on hold. Likewise going to a movie …

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Waist watchers


During this life-changing pandemic, things we used to do are diminishing. Shaking hands, dropping in on friends or going to an office for work are temporarily on hold. Likewise going to a movie theater, eating in a crowded restaurant or squeezing into a seat at a sold-out ballgame are currently impossible.

The only thing we squeeze into these days are our pants. Studies show that on average, people have gained 5 to 15 pounds since March. Exactly how that study was conducted is a mystery.

Thousands of workers canvas door to door trying to get an accurate census count which often falls short. Imagine a pollster knocking on a door and saying “I see you're wearing sweatpants and eating from a near empty box of Samoas Girl Scout cookies. How much weight have you gained?” That might result in either the door or a fist being slammed in his face.

Stumbling away from the house, he bumps into the arriving delivery person from Domino's balancing two pizza boxes and a bag of cinnamon bread twists. Taking a wild guess, the pollster circles 15 pounds on the survey form.

Eventually it is time go out for necessities such as toilet paper, beer and Pringles. Time to shed the sweatpants and put on real clothes. That is when reality smacks you in your enlarged butt because nothing fits! Your favorite sweater now feels like a straight jacket.

The buttons and buttonholes on your shirts are an inch apart near your stomach. Sucking in your gut it is a struggle but eventually you button up. As you exhale two buttons fly off barely missing the sleeping dog. Making a mental note to add clothes shopping to your list of chores, you reach for a pair of jeans that have been draped over the handlebar of your exercise bike for months.

As you try to pull them on, curse words that even a pirate would not use spew out of your mouth. Nearing your waist, you give up realizing that you might have put on a pound or two. Peeling them off, you change back into your sweat clothes and find your shoes.

Since you have not left the house in months you have worn nothing but socks on your feet. You are crushingly reminded of that when attempting to bend over to tie your shoelaces.

After three failed attempts to hold your breath long enough to tie them, you make another mental note to buy loafers and a long-handled shoehorn as you slip into a pair of flip flops.

Once in the store you select some shirts and go into a try-on room. You hang your sweatshirt on the one hook in the room and place the new items on the narrow bench. Nothing fits so its back to the rack.

This time you take the next larger size and the “just in case” even larger one. The latter size is just in case you have underestimated your weight gain. Trying them on, you decide the “just in case” size will do.

Now it is time for some pants. Pants are neatly folded on wall shelves separated by styles and colors. Unfortunately, supervisors in the pants department of any store make the same glaring error. The eye-level top pile has tiny waist sizes such as 28 inches that are made for thin people who have the appetite of a fern. The waist sizes increase as you move down the shelves.

Since March, my waist has expanded from a snug 36 to a comfortable 40. Now when I shop for pants I must bend over and reach all the way down to the bottom shelf where the waist size 40 is lumped together with the high numbers ranging from 42 to 48. The more weight you put on the harder it is to bend over to tie your shoelaces or buy large waisted pants.

So here is my suggestion for those responsible for organizing shelf space for pants. Flip the script. Put the larger sizes on the eye-level top shelf. Those shoppers with the smaller waists will have no trouble bending over to select pants from the bottom shelf.

They probably do a similar pose in their yoga class that might be called the Limp Noodle. In fact, if the clothing supervisor rearranges pants according to my suggestion, and I see a 30-inch waist shopper bent over selecting pants I might ask them for a little favor. I might ask them to tie my shoelaces while they are down there.

NOTE: If you want to help your local Girl Scout troop during this pandemic you can purchase their cookies online by going to: www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/How-to-Buy.html.


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