Today’s guest writer’s opening is a how-we-met story. It’s accurate, but I am going to add a little detail. CV from Cubicle Views joined Studio30 Plus. He was excited to dive in, but didn’t know any of the submission guidelines or anything for that matter. Links supposed to go to the site email address were sent directly to me, posted in a comment thread, sent after publication, and more. He kept apologizing, and I kept laughing. It’s now a let-down when he does follow rules. None of this should have been a shock for me because his blog is about misbehaving at work. The guy entertains me with each interaction and every blog post he writes.
I was shocked when Kelly asked me to be a guest writer on her blog Naked Girl In A Dress. I had “met” Kelly via the Studio30+ site many moons ago. I was trying to find my way around the site, being new and all, and contacted her with some questions…ok probably a dozen plus. As I’m far from a professional here, I tended to get some most of the processes they had in place at Studio30+ wrong. OK, so in reality for the most part I pretty much ignored them. This led to her labeling me as the “Rule Breaker”. She said, it was funny, but I really think she was more annoyed with me then she let on. So, when she asked me to post on her own site, I was both honored and freaked out about what I’d write. See, I tend to write about the happenings in cube-land, aka my office. That didn’t really seem appropriate for a site entitled Naked Girl In A Dress.
But, then it hit me…
A little while back, I’m in the cube-farm known as my office and I see Cubicle George, our company’s resident blowhard, wandering around in his own special version of Mom Jeans, company polo shirt tucked in firmly, and I’m assuming the requisite brown belt (although you can’t actually see it).
Look at that gut! That’s no muffin top, that’s like a full Dunkin Donuts store top. I never want to get like that.
Later that night I was talking to Mrs. CV, telling her about how most of the over-40 men at work have a body shape more like Homer Simpson than Ryan Gosling and how I never want to look like Homer. She says, “Well, it is natural for middle-aged men who spend virtually all day sitting to get out of shape and it usually starts with the gut.”
The next morning, I walked past our mirrored double closet doors, sans shirt, and caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
Whoa there…wait a minute. Is that my belly creeping out over my shorts?
Nah, couldn’t be. Must be my poor posture.
<A couple manly chest-pump, stomach-suck-in poses later>
Shit, I’m getting a gut!
“Honey, come here!”
<Standing in front of the mirror> “Does it look like I’m getting fat?”
Mrs. CV – “You are not fat. You look good for a normal middle-aged guy.”
“Wait, normal?! Normal in my office is pear shaped. I do not want to get like that!”
Mrs. CV – “Well do something about it then.”
Later that evening I got a text from Mrs. CV – “Can you stop and get some lettuce, milk and ice cream from the store on your way home?”
While at the store, I pass by the magazine section, see a Men’s Health and start thumbing through it. Page after page of guys who look like this:
Gazing down at my stomach.
I’ve gotta do something about this. I’m supposed to look like these guys. There’s no way I’m getting that ice cream.
After going through the checkout line with my milk, lettuce, Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness magazines and NO ICE CREAM I head home.
Later that evening, while watching TV, drinking a “light” beer (gotta start somewhere) and flipping through the channels…
Hot guy on TV. Young dude in rocking shape with super hot chick. Wait, what’s this?
Hmmm, hey it’s that Shawn T guy and his Insanity workout.
Those guys (and gals) are in awesome shape. This is like that XP70 thingie huh? I could do this!
10 minutes of watching the infomercial later…
There’s no friggin way I could do this.
A few hundred channels later, I come across an ad for one of Jillian Michaels’ workouts.
Hey there, how you doin? She’s hot! And, she has abs…nice abs! Hmmm, I could do this workout. And, since she’s hot, that will keep me motivated to keep doing her workouts.
A weekish later, I’m with the missus at the mall and, like usual, it’s packed with all kinds of humanity. We’re on a mission to get me some hip, younger looking clothes that hide the flab accent my physique. I need to improve my look along with my soon-to-be new hot looking body.
Mrs. CV – “Let’s go over to The Gap for you.”
“No way, don’t you remember when kidlet #2 said The Gap was for old people? We need something younger.”
Wandering around the mall looking for “younger” stores, I see lots of print ads in the shops like this one from Polo.
<Sigh, men stores selling clothes with pictures of guys wearing no clothes. Using their bodies as a commodity.>
Me – “Everywhere I look there are these hot, totally in shape, rocking body guys. Plus, he has dog tags so he’s some freaking Seal Team 6 God-like creature. It’s so unrealistic that “real men” could ever look like this. We’re held to such ridiculous standards.”
Mrs. CV – “It’s ok CV, let’s go back to The Gap and get you some nice khakis. I’m sure you’ll be the hottest guy in the cube.”
Me – “Gee thanks, that’s a really low bar.”
You ladies have no idea how hard it is to be man.