Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Expanded Middle Merriment

Your guesses about the above picture were certainly fascinating and entertaining; I just knew I could count on you guys to come up with some good ol' doozies. Here are the three main categories that the guesses fell into:

1. Nathan is engaged and the guys are getting their outfits together. (I must say that I gasped out loud when I saw that guess! I guess I could dub it a "gasping guess.")

2. Steve is getting his outfit ready to candidate at the church at the beach. (And you said it would be a great outfit as long as he stood behind the pulpit at all times.)

3. Steve is trying on Nathan's suit jacket and it's too small because he has gained weight. (Steve? Gain weight? You know not!)

All guesses were good guesses. And number three even came sort of, kind of close to the truth.

But now to lay all the guesses to rest, here is the rest of the story.

As I've mentioned to you before, Steve has gained some weight in the last year which he's actually been quite happy about. For his entire adult life he has been unable to put on any extra pounds, even when he's really, really tried. (I know. I didn't have much sympathy for him either.)

When he got into his early fifties however, his metabolism finally started to slow down. AND he started eating a large bowl of ice cream every night. AND a large, accompanying bowl of popcorn.

And you'll never guess what. He joined the rest of us! Things changed! Pounds arrived! (Which, by the way, he gets complimented about all the time.)

I can't say that I have ever been complimented on the arrival of protruding pounds on my person but hey, I'm not bitter. Much.

Well, a couple weeks ago, Steve started looking through some of the dress clothes that he hasn't worn in nine months. He wasn't too terribly surprised to discover that a lot of the stuff didn't fit any more. (Like the suit coat in the above picture.)

So what's a guy to do?

The first thing the guy did was to commence to call in the College Dude so that Nathan could be present for the "expanded middle merriment." Or maybe so that he could bring his own merriment with him. Nathan is all about merriment. (Although he has yet to experience the variety of merriment known as the "expanded middle merriment." Poor child; he is so deprived.)

The second thing on Steve's agenda was to start putting the "too small clothes" on his "just the right sized son." (I do realize that the tie still fits Steve, but he's a generous guy and was trying to create complete outfits for his merry-minded, non-expanded middled eldest son).

The bottom line here? (Or maybe I should say, "The expanded middle line . . .)

The bottom, expanded middle line is that Nathan has for a long while been wanting to "upscale" his dressy appearance. He's worn the same three shirts and one pair of Dockers to church for about fifteen years now and since he says that "spending money hurts his heart," he never had the gumption (or the finances) to go out and buy anything different. In fact, he's currently so "poor" at school that he's selling plasma to earn extra income. Doesn't that sound just like a college student?

While Steve was able to salvage several pair of dress pants and a few sport coats (by getting them altered) he ended up giving Nathan a whole bunch of dress clothes that fit him like a dream.

Good for Nathan. Bad for Steve.

Poor Steve stood forlornly in the middle of his closet and witnessed his entire dress wardrobe shriveling to next to nothing. And may I just say that shriveling wardrobes are not a real good thing for someone who's headed back into full time pastoring. Fortunately for him, however, a local men's store was going out of business so he hightailed it over there and found several great suits and sport coats for 70% off. (Woo-hoo for sales!)

So what has happened as a result of all this upsizing and downsizing is that Nathan has taken off for college with a church/business wardrobe that is far beyond what most 19-year old College Dudes own. And to make his wardrobe life even happier, one of our wonderful Smithellaneous readers has a son about Nathan's size who just cleaned out his closet and gotten rid of a lot of casual clothes. And guess what? This reader is sending the clothes to Nathan! Isn't that such a cool thing to do?

And so here is today's story in a nutshell. (And yes, there will be test.)

52-year old pastor gains a few pounds. (Which actually make him even more dashing than ever.)

52-year old pastor's dress clothes no longer fit him.

52-year old pastor has a 19-year old son who is the exact size that the 52-year old pastor was before gaining the aforementioned pounds.

The aforementioned 19-year old son tries on the aforementioned clothes of the aforementioned 52-year old pastor and discovers a whole new wardrobe.

The 47-year old wife of the 52-year old pastor and mother to the 19-year old College Dude sits happily in the corner and watches the 52-year old pastor and the 19-year old son try on clothes and laugh and enjoy each other's company and the 47-year old pastor's wife and college mom feels great happiness for weight gained (on other people), for blessings passed along, and for the happy sound of a pastor dad laughing with his merry son.

The end.

Oh wait. Not really the end. I have one more picture. Even with the coat stuck over the t-shirt, isn't he a really cute College Dude? Yes, I thought so, too.

8 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

Awesome on every side! I can just see the Lord sitting right next to you, Becky, laughing joyfully right along with you all through the whole thing!

Love - Guerrina

Anonymous said...

My two sisters, Mom and I used to share clothes. When my youngest sister went to college, Mom stood in front of her closet, started to cry and said, "I want my girls back!"

She didn't miss us as much as she missed our clothes I'm sure!

What fun pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

Connie F-G

Anonymous said...

Loved the last picture of Nathan!
What a wistful expression on his face. Can't help but wonder what he is thinking and feeling at that moment. Maybe something along the lines of what an awesome family he has.

Ann Martin said...

Glad Nathan got some "new" clothes and now he feels like a million dollars probably. Looks good on him. Steve will manage. You taught him well, Becky,--look for sales. I was able to purchase a $100 pant outfit at Belk's yesterday for $12.50! Now I just hope it fits so I won't have to take it back. Will have to hem the pants I know.

Catherine said...

I thought #2 was the answer. Since you're going to a resort like town, the madras plaid shorts and blazer just might be the right thing to wear!

I'm glad Nathan benefited from Steve's waist expansion. In our family, there is too big of a spread between my husband and our sons. But the 4 older boys are now scrambling over their clothes since they do pretty much wear the same sizes.

Anonymous said...

My dad could stand to put on a few pounds too. I'm always making fun of him because he has accidentally worn my mom's jeans and not known it because they fit so well. On our last camping trip, he managed to pack a pair of my pants (I'm a slim 17 year old), a pair of my mom's pants (they were a size 4) and a pair of his own. What's a man to do on a camping trip with only one pair of his own pants? Why share with his wife and daughters of course!

I'll be praying for the upcoming transitions.


Pam D said...

I just see God's fingerprints all over EVERYTHING that has happened and is happening in your lives. Steve is entering into a new chapter in his life and will surely benefit from an updated wardrobe, but he would never have done it if the old clothes fit. For Nathan, that IS a new wardrobe, and I have a feeling there will be several occasions where his ability to dress for the occasion will make a difference in the outcome, whether it's a presentation in class or a job interview. And God's timing will be revealed to be, once again, perfect. (I love Connie's and Robin's stories, too... you really DO have some great commenters!)

Unknown said...

i sold plasma too in college...not a bad way to make a few extra bucks. i also proof-read papers for people. i did all sorts of odd jobs - tell Nathan to check out his local craigslist for people who are looking for babysitters (if he likes children) or sometimes elderly companions or someone who needs odd jobs done around the house (i did this for a sweet single mom with 3 kids...I'd come over and vacuum, walk the dog, etc. There's always people advertising for it!