he art of T-shirt selection is a delicate science. Just putting Batman or Star Wars on the front does *NOT* make it cool. The right T-shirt needs to say something about its wearer, while at the same time conforming to certain aesthetic sensibilities. If you’re ever standing in the aisle at Target contemplating buying a T-shirt for the dork in your life, you would do well to remember that.
For my part I like to wear superhero shirts (provided the tacky-factor is relatively minimal). The potential is there to be mocked by the “cool kids”, but I’ve learned that what makes “cool” cool is confidence. Your attitude has to say “This is what’s cool because this is what I’m wearing”. It takes a certain amount of swagger to pull off a Green Lantern symbol T-shirt as an adult.
It’s easy to have that swagger when you’re a 20-something with a 32” waist at the peak of your game. It’s quite a bit more difficult when the reality is you look more like Comic Book Guy than anything else.
I recently joked with my very pregnant wife that it took her 8 months to grow her belly bigger than mine. Just for fun we whipped out the measuring tape to see the actual numbers. Guess what. She was 8 months pregnant and I was *STILL* thicker around the middle. /epicfail
Two years ago I ran the L.A. Marathon (and haven’t run a single step since). 20 years ago I was the most feared ½ miler (800m, 2 laps around the track) and mile relay anchor (400m, 1 lap around the track) in the Monterey Bay League, consistently running the 800 in less than 2 minutes, and the 400 in less than 50 seconds. You’d never know it to look at me today. We’ve all seen that picture going around Facebook: “This is what I feel like when I run. This is what I’m pretty sure I look like”. In my case, this is what I *KNOW* I looked like.
It’s no mystery why. It isn’t my diet – I eat pretty well. With 2.9 kids and 11-hour work days the reality is simple: I don’t sleep and I don’t exercise. Simple. As far as work goes let’s get real, dentistry is a sport of sitting on your butt all day.
Looking on my calendar I’ve got a few things coming up. Next week I have my first real grown-up appointment with a physician. My family is scheduled to take portraits in about a month once the dust from the new baby has settled. On top of that, in 6 months or so I’ve got my 20th high-school reunion. These three events alone are enough to make me look in the mirror and loath myself. Then the other night my wife tells me she couldn’t sleep the entire night, not because she’s 40 months pregnant, but because my snoring was so bad. That, combined with the fact that I can’t physiologically take a photograph anymore without showing two or three chins presents an inescapable reality. I’ve got to get this house in order.
So today I did it. For the first time in 2 years I went out running – a piddly little 2.2 miles. I hated every step of it. But I did it. Today begins my transformation from Comic Book Guy to Duffman (minus Duffman’s nebulous sexual orientation).
PS: To my boy Andrew who was the Ring Bearer at my wedding and is now an 18-year-old stud at the peak of his game – Enjoy it while you’ve got it, ‘cause it doesn’t last.