Part One of my two-part Fat Old Guy Diet, nicknamed the “Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at my Son’s Wedding Diet” has ended in success. (Pt. II, the "Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at my Birthday Party Diet" has begun)
The diet was launched two plus months before the wedding, after I caught a glimpse of my profile in the mirror and hit the scales to assess the damage.
I weighed 245. I pledged to lose 25 pounds by wedding day, come Hell or high cholesterol. Two months later, I reached my goal weight by my goal date. So I canceled my forklift stretch-limo. I stopped worrying about my overstressed pants popping a fly-button and eviscerating a wedding guest.
Tummy deflated, Ego inflated. Happy camper time. What could go wrong? I soon found out.
When I went to be fitted for my Tux, things went south with with one, cruel, word.
Here’s a letter of complaint I sent to the CEO of the tux company.
Dear Mr. (name redacted)
I have a bone to pick.
Not about the tuxedo I rented from you. As rental tuxes go it was just peachy. No soup stains, no unseemly seam rips, cigarette burns or malevolent odors. It held its press. Zipper zipped. No lint in the pockets, no hint of frayed lapel or shiny bottom.
I would wear it as Father of the Groom, so I really wanted to look good.
A couple of months ago, I noticed I was fat. Not superfat fat, but large enough to risk being the fattest guy at the wedding. I had the fat old guy’s deadly combo of skinny legs, no ass, and a beer gut. I looked like a pair of toothpicks smuggling a bathtub.
So I began a crash diet. I am not inexperienced at such an event.
A week before the wedding I hit my goal. I’d lost 25 pounds, from 245 to 220. At 6’0”, that’s not a bad weight for a man of my age and willpower.
I went into one of your stores for my tux fitting. Tailor was competent, all business, and kept his hands off my business. I thought I looked pretty good in the tux. I almost looked svelte. Okay, semi-svelte.
Then I was handed my receipt/claim check. Name, claim number, sizes--all listed correctly. But there were six additional letters that knocked the wind from my sails, stripped the gild from my lily and sucked the gas from my bag.
My cheeks flushed as I read the insult. The pangs of earlier weight related affronts returned, my self-worth plummeted, my confidence caught the last train for the coast.
I was not a valued customer nor cherished client to you guys. Nope.
I was a “46 Portly.”
Portly? Portly!!! Port-freakin’-ly??? Who the heck calls somebody portly these days?
In an instant, I was no longer a proud father who had busted his rear end to look his best on a most important family occasion. I was just another fat guy.
Why would anyone with a lick of sense, humanity or desire for repeat business do that? Unless…. Perhaps the word “Portly” had mutated meaning—like the word “Bad,” which can now mean “Good.”
Yeah, that’s the ticket. The receipt was actually sending me off with a jaunty “Devilishly Handsome” designation. At that point I’d have settled for “Stylishly Stout” or “Not as fat as you’d think.”
So I looked it up. Sadly, “portly” still means “rather heavy or fat,” or “corpulent” according to my Funk & Wagnall’s
I waited until I returned the item to point out the insult to a manager . Did he apologize? No, he said, “It should have read Executive,” adding, “It didn’t refer to you as Portly, it referred to the suit as portly.”
How about that, I was not only Portly but too stupid to interpret a receipt.
I thought you really ought to know about this. And I do hope this letter wends it way up the chain to your desk, and doesn’t result in some customer service rep sending me “Idiot Letter # 5” and a $5.00 coupon for my next purchase of Argyle socks.