The Law Of Averages.

The most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, according to the Institute For The Study Of Stuff That Happens Annually, or at least that’s what I read in their bimonthly report last week. It’s also the most broken resolution, or at least would be if those people who still think it’s worthwhile to make resolutions bothered to remember them beyond mid-January. The only resolutions I remember are ones I made and then broke a long time ago, like my resolution to make notes of things so I wouldn’t forget them, and I even went to the extra effort of writing it down, but then I forgot where I wrote it down. And I’d think losing weight in the middle of winter would be an easy thing to do because I have a theory that in cold weather your body burns calories just to keep warm. After all it’s called “burning calories”. And consider this: have you ever seen a fat Canadian? Maybe you have, but there are also a lot of skinny Canadians, even though their national food is fried potatoes and cheese slathered with gravy, but that’s another story.
This year I’m doing something a little different and making a completely different resolution to get fat. In spite of the cold weather I suspect this’ll be an easier resolution to stick to, although I’m not doing it because it’s easy. If anything I see it as a challenge, and I do love a challenge, especially if it involves poutine, but the main thing is I’m looking to make a major change. Currently I’m not really skinny, but I’m not really fat either. I’m about average, and I’ve realized that pretty much sums up everything about me. If I ever commit a crime I imagine the description the eyewitnesses give the police will go something like this:

Police: What was his build?
Eyewitnesses: About average.
Police: How about height?
Eyewitnesses: About average.
Police: And his general appearance?
Eyewitnesses: That was average too.
Police: Okay, so we’ve got to put out an APB for someone who looks like everybody else.

Or maybe the police will say, “This guy’ll be easy to find. Anyone that average is some kind of freak.”

There’s nothing good about being average. There’s nothing bad about it either, though, which is part of the problem. Average people never accomplish anything, and they’re never anything major, except for Major Major in Catch-22, and Joseph Heller says, “people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.”

The other thing is, as I was contemplating this resolution, I remembered an article I read many years ago when the internet was still young and I was too, sort of, in an average way. It was by a self-described fat guy and he was making a case that being fat really has its advantages. It was easier for him because he was a guy and, let’s face it, from Henry VIII to John Belushi society has celebrated fat guys, although I hope we’re now moving toward a world where everybody, regardless of gender, can be accepted and even celebrated for who they are. Anyway, because this was before blogs and comment sections I sent the guy an email directly and told him I really liked his article and asked if he’d ever heard Allan Sherman’s “Hail To Thee, Fat Person.” He replied, which was a really exciting thing to me because he was a published author, a group I desperately wanted to be part of, and he was reading my words. He said he hadn’t heard Allen Sherman’s bit but that he’d look it up and signed off with, “Rock on, sexy fat brother!”
And I thought about replying to him and letting him know I wasn’t really fat but I didn’t. I felt like we’d had a moment, albeit electronically. I felt guilty about being mistaken for something I wasn’t but I also felt accepted, like I belonged. Even if it was only in someone else’s imagination I was still part of a group that was cool.
So now I want to do something to really be part of a group, and I invite everybody like me to join in. Come on, fellow average people, let’s do this!

9 Comments

  1. Jay

    I’m not a resolution-maker but I’d sure like to be a note-maker!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Note-making is a useful habit. It’s just one I’ve never quite managed to, er, get into the habit of.

      Reply
  2. Allison

    Yeah, as someone who has always been on the bigger end of the spectrum, I have never had problems gaining weight. My advice? Make friends with Little Debbie. Eat pancakes, then grab breakfast. In all seriousness, my nephew, age nine, really needs to put on some pounds, but like his Mom and Dad, he doesn’t care about food, and has a bunch of allergies. So, I send him lots of fattening treats that I myself would enjoy. And I think he just sort of picks at them. Oh well. Rock on, sexy average brother!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Some people are just meant to be small and some are meant to be large and some are meant to be something in between. And of course it’s always possible to change, and sometimes even good to change. I guess that’s what we all struggle with: what to change and what to accept.

      Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    We should all be so average, Chris. Thanks for doing this, way-over-and-above-averagely. every time.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad you dropped by to put a ring in the bell curve.

      Reply
  4. Red

    Ha! I love when people think I’m something I’m not online. Just roll with it… (or, past tense, just rolled with it.)

    Reply
  5. Arionis

    I was a skinny kid, a slender young adult, and then my metabolism went on vacation and my beer belly came home to roost. I’ve had way too much holiday food and not enough physical activity during the cold weather. So if this is going to be my resolution then I am well on the way to accomplishing it.

    BTW, I always ask my Canadian wife why they had to give something as appetizing as fries covered in gravy and cheese such an unappetizing name as Poutine.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The cold weather really does make it tough to get out and be physical, especially if you’re in that lucky part of the country that recently got hit by the serious arctic blast. I think, though, that the best thing is to figure out what you are and stick with it. Or change it if you want.
      And I think the unappetizing name Poutine–cue Ed O’Neill on Modern Family saying “I won’t be poutine it in my mouth”–is to prevent people from overdoing it.

      Reply

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