Exercising the demons

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“This here’s a public market, son. Put some pants on.”“This here’s a public market, son. Put some pants on.”

It’s almost time to start shaving my legs on a regular basis again, which can mean only one thing: I’m fat and it’s been a long winter. That’s actually two things, just in case you were counting. Obviously, I don’t math.

I judge the severity of the dark months we’re turned away from the sun by how fat I render myself during them. I’m not much of an exerciser. I don’t like Zumba, I’m not home enough to go to a gym regularly, I suck at yoga, and I hate a treadmill. So I get the majority of my exercise by walking and looking around. Let’s face it, when it’s colder than a dead man’s eyes and everything is covered in snow, I don’t get a lot of exercise. This year, I quit gutting it out and walking around the tundra about the first week of January, and have been hermited away, either in the truck or my office, since then.

Traveling out of the glacier that has been Ohio and most of the mid-west this year quickly reminded me it will be time to take the hoodie and yoga pants off and step out into the sunshine well before I’ve walked off the 20 pounds I gained staring out the window this winter.

My hoodies and stretchy pants are the only consolations I give to winter time. I love my give-up-on-life pants and the freedom to let my belly hang out as far as I want, because the pouch of my baggy hoodie hides it. The thought of having to put t-shirts and shorts on with nothing to hide behind is frightening and seems like a personal affront to the kind Goddess, Hanes of Spandexia, who invented loungewear and sanctioned it as a consolation prize for dealing with cold weather.

As much as I love my loungewear, I’d like to take a moment here to note that just because you can put shoes on with it doesn’t make it appropriate to wear in public. I am so tired of walking into truck stops and seeing everyone wandering around in different versions of their underwear. Hey, guess what? Fleece pants with smiley faces all over them are not meant to be worn in public by grown men, especially if you choose to go “commando.” Look, if I have the decency to put on a bra and pants with a zipper to go inside, the least you can do is cover your Johnson properly before entering a public market.

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The addition of tennis shoes, with no socks, does not make it an outfit. Ladies, I have one word and it is “bra.” If you undulate like a lava ocean, put a bra on. Just because you’re not at a shipper or receiver doesn’t mean you can go around half-dressed. Truck stops are where the general public get about 80 percent of their actual observations of truckers, no wonder they think we’re a bunch of slobs.

I grew up in the South, and it wasn’t ever OK to leave your home half-dressed, or in your pajamas, unless your momma was sick in the emergency room, and even then you had a cousin bring something up for you to put on before anyone came to visit. It’s not OK to take care of your daily business in your jammies, unless you’re a spoiled writer who can sit at home and shoot posts off about how everyone else should look.

For the love of God, put on some real pants and have a little pride.