Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Fifty Shades Of Michael

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 14•17

If you’re anything like me, you’re in total disbelief that it is fall already. Where did the summer go? Where did the warm weather go? More importantly, where did the rest of my wine go? But I digress. Time seems to be flying faster than it used to. We wake up, go to work, come home, watch Will and Grace, go to bed, and then do it all again. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. And if you’re lucky, you may get to squeeze in a decent slice of pizza every now and then.

Sad but true, as the temperature drops, we are nearing the end of that time of year where people shed their clothing and show more skin. Those that did their push-ups during the winter months last year are still strutting their stuff peacock style at the beach, in the locker room, and around the office. “Yes sir, we see your fourteen muscles.” These people really need to be voted off the island at the next tribal council. Don’t tell them I said it.

For those of us who are allergic to push-ups, we’re excited that winter is coming. Matter of fact we’ve already started taking every opportunity to put more clothes on. Yes, that’s me at the pool and in the sauna with my sweater and winter coat on. Hey, I’m just trying to protect you from being exposed to what’s going on underneath these clothes. Trust me. Once you’ve seen it, it can’t be unseen. It’s like the eclipse. If you don’t have on the right type of glasses, you can totally lose your sight.

Although my journal shows that I did one pull-up on February 12th, and a half of one on April 8th, I somehow went into the summer of 2017 with a few more pounds and bulges than I had intended. I noticed this when I innocently tried on my Speedo in the comfort of my own home not long ago. I tucked. I dipped. I jumped up and down. I even lathered myself up with Crisco and gave myself a running start, but nothing I did helped me slip into my swimwear. Perhaps I must accept the fact that I will never be an extra small. Maybe I should stop trying to shop at OshKosh B’gosh.

Once I figured out that I had too many folds and bulges for a Speedo, I decided to try a different approach. However, my first attempt to hit the pool while wearing only a pair of board shorts was met with a few groans. Several people quickly evacuated the area. I had barely sat down on a towel before the lifeguard wagged his finger at me and yelled, “Nope! Shirt on!!!” There really was no room for confusion or discussion.

After putting my shirt back on, I thought the incident was over. However, a few days later I was served a summons to appear in court for indecent exposure. My rental office then sent me a rent increase notice because several of my neighbors no longer felt comfortable or safe living in the apartment complex knowing that I was lurking around and at any moment could show up shirtless and disrupt their barbecue or Bar Mitzvah. I understood the concern. I mean, there are kids around and they certainly did nothing to deserve being forced to see me in all my glory. After all, this isn’t the Playboy mansion.

Instead of taking the risk of being evicted and escorted off the premises kicking and screaming—again, I decided to break out of my comfort zone. If there was one place where I knew I would be amongst people who looked like me, ate like me, and refused to exercise like me, it would be the beach. There, if I decided to slip out of my Snuggie or take off my sweatpants, no one would care or judge me. With that in mind, sunblock in hand, I gassed up the car and hit the road.

Once I got to the beach, I was delighted to find people who had average bodies just like me. It felt like family. It felt like home. It felt as though we were all members of the Cheesesteak and Chicken Wing Tribe. Before I could overthink it, I slung off my coat and Snuggie. There I was, a man with a dad bod and no children. My belly glistened in the breeze.

As I laid there on the beach, looking out at the sparkling water and handing out high-fives to fellow tribe members, I made the mistake of thinking it was a good time to capture a few harmless selfies. Wait. Before you start judging, I did not use a selfie stick. I had it with me, but I was smart enough to leave that in my bag. Instead, I posed for a very reasonable hundred or so candid shots of myself. Don’t worry. Only a handful of people on the beach saw me doing my best Kardashian poses. Oh, and I did remember to suck in my three stomachs.

Unfortunately for me, and much to my surprise, I am not a Kardashian—although I hear Rob’s spot may be open soon. Anyway, when I innocently posted a few pictures of me online, you would have thought I had committed a felony. The villagers came with fire and pitchforks to let me know that my legs were entirely too pale to be put on display without the use of a filter and a public advisory notice. Some even attempted to take my Black card, and I don’t mean American Express.

Ok, I’ll admit that I am aware of how extreme it may look to have tan arms and super pale legs. It’s kind of like I’m Black on top and White Walker down bottom. Every summer people gather around and take bets to see whether the north or the south are going to win the battle. For the record, neither ever wins, but my goal to be tanned on the top and the bottom has led me to do some things that are considered illegal in 42 countries.

First I’ve tried self-tanning lotions, but I often miss spots or don’t apply enough, so I end up looking like a tie-dyed t-shirt. Making matters even worse, the color can bleed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost several layers of coloring due to a firm handshake, a light drizzle, or a little sweat. I was playing hide and seek the last time this happened. They found me simply by following the brown trail. No fun at all.

I also must admit that I’ve tried full-body spray tanning at a salon. This works better than me doing it myself, but I often go a bit overboard and get a few “extras” if they offer airbrushing too. I often end up ordering “the works,” and before you know it, they are painting on abs, biceps, chest and calves. I even request some strategically placed dimples. I walk in with the body of a toddler and leave looking like The Rock. You should hear all the grannies whistle as I walk to my car—even my own granny.

Fortunately, now that it’s getting colder, the pressure to be tanned and beach-ready is fading in the wind. I have already packed up the board shorts, Speedos and the Crisco until further notice. As unlikely as it is, I may begin taking steps today to make sure I am ready for the summer of 2018. For now though, I’m just going to strut down the street and around the office wearing my Snuggie with pride. We, the Cheesesteak and Chicken Wing Tribe, couldn’t be any happier.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram and Twitter handles: @mikeyllo

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