The Arrival of the Fat PantsThe saga begins each year around Thanksgiving, a time of culinary abundance intertwined with the Puritan’s stern disapproval of wastefulness. This inevitable collision ushers in a steady expansion of our waistlines. Then come the holiday soirées, replete with delectable hors d’oeuvres and tantalizing cocktails. And let’s not be fooled—Christmas is merely a pit stop on this gustatory journey. Food gifts and festive leftovers continue to beckon, prior to the inevitable vow of culinary restraint that accompanies New Year’s resolutions.

Throughout the year, they hang silently in a forgotten corner of your closet, nestled between the wall and your collection of winter jackets. Dormant since their last wash in February, these faithful garments harbor no complaints about their prolonged hibernation. Much like firefighters on standby, they stand sentinel, poised for duty when the call arises.

With their warm corduroys and woolen knits, some exhibiting fibers thinned in the crotch by the longing of upper thighs, they’re prepared to reunite as you move. The accommodating waistlines croon soothing falsehoods to your senses: “Indulge, savor that slice of cake. We won’t squeeze or chastise you.” Your clothing, a co-conspirator in this time of plenty, becomes an accomplice to your desires.

Then arrives the post-January 1st awakening—a jolting revelation that Valentine’s Day looms a mere six weeks ahead. As you slip into your go-to date dress, the reality of the situation dawns upon you. Thus begins the cycle of dieting and fasting, akin to a trading season where a partner switch may be in the cards—a motivator amplified by the stakes at hand.

Around the midpoint of February, you miraculously fit back into your regular attire. Perhaps a minor bump or roll, but at this juncture, you console yourself with the notion that he ought to be more captivated by your personality anyway. The rest of you, you reassure yourself, will gradually recede with the arrival of spring. With renewed determination, you retrieve your freshly dry-cleaned pants and reunite them with your winter wardrobe, preserving them just in case—because you never know, right?