Some guys have all the luck. I am not one of those, but I always tell people, I have been very fortunate the second half of my life, maybe to make up for the fact that I was very unlucky the first half. I won’t go into the sordid details, but I assure you, life was a bitch.
However, since age 40 or so, or with the advent of my serious running, fairly wondrous things have been happening. Regularly! Some might call them miraculous. When I speak at AA meetings, I have to be careful for fear that it may sound like fabrication, or at least exaggeration. And surely it can come out like bragging when i just describe the transformation from drunk to sober, fat to fit, homelessness to magical property owner. And finally, but so important that the others appear mere trivialities, lonely single man to happy and wedded.
Now, of course the “happy” adjective in this last phrase comes with the usual caveat of most couples. Our union has included highs and lows, bumps and bruises, moments of ecstasy and slides of despair. Never ever perfect. Whose is? Nothing new about that, and at times we have resorted to visits to counseling to help unwrap our differences. No big surprise to that; no shame either. Thank god for the professionals in this area.
For Jane and I are different. I am a jock and she is an artist. We are many other things as well, of course, but these two are the disparate characteristics that are most obvious, and often require some explanation. Some gentle understanding. Or tolerance, if you will, since I guess I am way over the top athletic, and most of my interests are over in the tumult and shouting with the sporting crowd.
Thus, imagine my surprise and delight when after all through the midst — the theatres and stage, greasepaint and plays, Jane discovered running! Hark! A lovely bird is singing its siren song.
Here was a lovely bridge to our two different worlds. We both enjoyed running. So along with our love of good books and nature, laughter and children and pets, we had something we could do together. And while I was over-the-edge competitive, she more enjoyed it for its simple celebration of health and fitness. Oh, she enjoyed racing as well, but along the way was more apt to look around and smell the roses.
And like any woman, she reveled in the fact that it made her look good. What already was a good body became better, as running reshapes the anatomy in all the right places. Already born with good glutes, she developed a perfect ass. And I would tell her this enough times so that she finally believed it. For a woman nearly 61, this is no small achievement. (and for a man 71, very much admired — there is life in the old boy yet)
On the whole, women in general care more about how they look in their running attire. I have noticed this over the years in my countless running classes — women more carefully dress the part. When women’s running shorts had the square design of a man’s body, they quickly demanded more lissome shapes; thus the invention of the running skort — a hybrid of a short skirt with abbreviated tights underneath.
Whoa, MOMMA ! Way too long in coming! This sexy new clothing item quickly flooded the active wear aisles of all the department stores, hungrily grabbed up by fashion conscious women, sick and tired of the baggy old grey sweats of yesteryear.
Finally, finally, they could look cute running, their butts twitching along the highways and biways as god intended.
Well, there are skorts in red, there are skorts in blue, there are skorts in pink, and now, there are even skorts in polka dots or plaids. High fashion does not tarry when it hears the high clarion call of a ringing cash register!
Now understand, if you will, that the Falmouth Road Race is our lovely local peninsula’s Boston Marathon. It is popular, crowded — 10,000 and more runners fill the tiny little Woods Hole starting line– and throngs of famous runners give it a gay and festive air. Everyone is in a party mood, and wants to look their Sunday best.
Now all of the above is said by way of preferencing the letter Jane wrote the Moeben Company recently. As usual, she knew just the right words, just the right approach to take to appeal to the inner soul of the feminine mystique. In short, a caveman like myself could never have written the letter.
Here it is:
I’ve been salivating, hungering,to buy your stars and stripes running skirt for a long time. Finally, this past February, I promised myself that I could buy it IF I lost weight- my goal was 118 lbs, 10 lbs in all. Guess what? I DID IT! The minute the scale read “118”, I raced to the computer to buy from Zombie Runner, and what a disappointment- no mediums, just small size. I called Zombie Runner to ask about it. the woman who answered said she’d been waiting for a medium too. I don’t know what a small size means to you. I am a small woman but small-sized running skirts don’t fit me.
The race I am training for is The Falmouth Road Race, August 12, in Falmouth MA. It’s a very famous race and just down the road from where we live. I’ve run marathons but never this race. Oh how great I’d look and feel in your cool skirt. I was even planning to buy the star arms too. Women runners would stop and ask me where I got the skirt and I’d tell them: MOEBEN MOEBEN from ZOMBIE RUNNER. Please don’t you have a medium lying around some corner, or, if you’re done with yours, I’ll buy it used. Would you see what you can do for me, please?
That sigh of 11th hour relief you hear preludes the answer. With no further angst, let it be known that just yesterday, right in the nick of time (with but two days to go before the starting gun), the UPS delivery man knocks at our door.
High excitement, gleeful hurrahs, prayers answered!
It fits perfect.
~ Pete Stringer