No, That Shirt Doesn't Make You Look Fat Brah

So my co-worker Brendan is kind of my heterosexual life partner. So much to the point that he had a bad afternoon yesterday, and I was upset because (and I said this to him out loud at a meeting) I couldn't make him laugh. Don't worry, that didn't concern the other people in the meeting at all (or my girlfriend either. HA! I don't have one, and I have NO idea why after statements like this to other men in meetings at work). Better yet, there was an email sent out by our admin the other day about a rain coat that had been floating around the office a few days, and I legitimately wrote back within 3 minutes to ask if it was the black RVCA one that Brendan used to wear last winter, because I think he'd been missing it for a while (umm...wow). Anyone who has a nine to five job knows how this goes: the people you work with almost become like siblings. You know way too much about them. Their daily routine, the people they are seeing or songs they are listening to. They are family in a way. So about a month ago, I noticed that Brendan had been eating a little healthier. And it concerned the bejesus out of me.

Drew: "Wow, you're preparing a salad for lunch? Are those heirloom tomatoes? Look at YOU."

Brendan: "Yeah man, I'm seeing a nutritionist."

Drew: "Whoa. So like, you are seeing them for a little bit to just eat a little healthier?" (keeps looking for "hot pocket" button on the microwave)

Brendan: "I'm actually thinking of just, you know, changing my life. Eating healthier, exercising. Whole new me."

Drew: "Oh...cool!" (slowly puts hot pocket back into it's plastic pouch, places back in freezer)

I feel like this conversation exposed something that no man wants to talk about: we are just as, if not more, concerned with dieting and looking good as girls are. And, while we will never admit it, we are JUST as competitive. The minute he told me he was seeing a nutritionist, a few fears creeped into my head:

  • His telling me that he was "seeing" a nutritionist made me feel like he had been hanging with a bad crowd and he was leaving us to go off with a new, sexier girlfriend who had her life together. It was like him saying, "look, I just think I need to be with someone who takes better care of themselves and values what I value."
  • Hot Pockets, while the answer to the question "When I'm thinking about a meal without a big deal, what am I going to pick?", may not be the answer to "things that I want to eat that won't make me fat."

Everyone focuses on how into their looks girls are. We love to act like guys don't give a crap about what they look like and pick on girls for freaking out about what they eat. But that's just not true. That guy in the marina won't admit it, but he's totally checking out his friend's aggressively unbuttoned striped shirt and totally likes the pattern. That goes for you too, hipster who is jealous of his friend's new Mr. Rogers cardigan sweater. I mean, I hang out with a guy every day whom I have conversations with about how we look and if we look fat. We notice each other's new wardrobe selections. I notice when he gets haircuts. Worse yet, a conversation this past Monday exposed that I noticed that his nutritionist had really been helping, as I'd seen that his face was slimming and he was losing a few pounds.

So because we are practically girls as previously stated, I have become jealous of Brendan's weight loss and have decided to implement some changes as well in my diet and exercise regiment.

  • Everyday, I have decided to consider exercise, which is better than not considering exercise. So far, this has resulted in watching other people play sports on tv without drinking beer. In some way, I feel like this is a win.
  • I eat cereal for lunch now. I almost feel like this was a lazy knee-jerk reaction to Brendan's actual gameplan he has going for him and it was the first thing I saw in the pantry at work that was not made of cheese, which for some reason to me equates to dieting. I also think this is called "manorexia"...so I'm pretty jazzed about that.
  • I have been attending more low-key social events. For instance, tonight I went to a nine year old's birthday party. It turns out she's nine and isn't watching her figure, so we had pasta with butter and meatballs, with cake. YOU JUST WANT ME TO LOOK FAT, DON'T YOU NINA. DON'T BRING ME DOWN WITH YOU.
  • I drink less. This means I have not really drank for about two or three days. Okay I had some wine last night. Okay I had a lot of wine last night. Okay the wine asked if I wanted some frozen pizza we had tucked away, and I listened, but only because it asked politely and in a pleasant tone.

All this has made me realize, though, is that just like women, seeing another man lose weight and get healthier has caused me to completely become a crazy girl and start to panic about my own looks. So maybe it's time to lighten up on girls, because i'm pretty sure guys are exactly the same. Except for the part where we are perfect and can totally punch things and grunt.

As long as I don't end up like Jesse Spano, i'm feeling okay about my competitive nature with Brendan. I'm gonna go pour a glass of wine now. It told me it won't talk about pizza tonight.

I believe everything that bitch says.

Drew Hoolhorst

San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

I have a black belt in feelings.