Saturday, August 31, 2013

Being the Skinny Guy

I'm pretty sure the heaviest I've ever been was back in 2008. I was on vacation, staying at a friend's grandparents' house after hitchhiking with him across hundreds of miles in a few days. Needless to say, we were hungry. His Grandparents were very kind, rarely letting a few hours pass without saying "HEY! EAT! EAATTTTT!" 


I weighed myself after a week of eating prodigious amounts of food, during which I exercised an unremarkable amount (none). I tipped the scales at just above 160 pounds, but I think I was wearing boots. 


When I was young, not only was I very skinny, I was very short. I remember being in first or second grade, and we were measuring everybody's height for some reason. I was the shortest in the class! I remember thinking, "What does this mean, is this good?" I guess at that age nobody really cared, and hey I was the most something-est! Then a few years later, in fifth grade or so, I started noticing that I was still shorter than basically everyone. But no matter, we started learning about puberty and all the wonderful height and weight gain it entailed, so naturally I assumed I'd get tall and fill out just like everybody else. Except I didn't! 

Pretty soon, everyone my age started to think "ok, let's develop into actual humans now" and I was left in the dust. I actually remember the moment I started thinking my shortness was really becoming a problem. There was an assembly at school one day, so the whole class crowded into the auditorium. At one point I was walking right in front of the girl I had a crush on, and she STEPPED ON ME BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T SEE ME BECAUSE I WAS SO SHORT. 

Haha, no but actually I had tiny legs and I guess I was moving too slow, because she yelled "move it short kid!" to the delight of her friends. A crushing moment for me to be sure. But, I wasn't doomed to be a modest pillar of ineffectiveness forever. I'd have to get taller at some point right? 

End of 9th grade. Hooray! By then I had shot up to about my current height, "tall-ish". So what if it was years later than everyone else? But a problem remained. I was still about the same weight. I had merely stretched. 

I was in denial for awhile. "I'm not that skinny" I thought to myself, somehow ignoring the fact that basically everybody my height seemed to weigh about 30 pounds more than me. I would look at someone that looked "skinny" to me, and then covertly compare something like forearm width and notice I always came up short. Eventually I thought, "Okay, enough of this shit, it's time to start working out." So in high school, I started going to the gym. The only thing was, I wasn't aware that to actually bulk up, you needed to lift more weight fewer times, and eat a fuckload. I didn't exactly eat a balanced diet, and my strategy involved lifting not very heavy shit the wrong amount of times, so despite a steady increase in the amount I could lift, I looked basically the same, whilst going from "able to beat 1% of the world in armwrestling" to "able to beat 2% of the world in armwrestling." I even remember senior year, thinking that although I was still pretty skinny, I'd put on a small amount of weight and was more normal sized, until one day after cross country practice, it was really hot, so I took my shirt off, and one of the guys on the team remarked "wow, I think you're about the skinniest person I know." Annnd defeat.

So you might be wondering. What are the advantages and disadvantages to being the skinny kid? 


Because I carry less weight, it's easier to lift myself, so I can appear tougher than I am if someone asks me to do chinups or pushups or something, which is basically never.

If I ever forget how many ribs I have I can just look down and count cause they're fucking right there. 

I can fit into small spaces. Crowded train? No problem. I can usually wedge in there. Only a tiny bit of space to sit on the bench on the subway? Also no problem. I can usually squeeze in, although I've noticed some plus sized people are entirely undeterred by the fact that they have no business trying to squeeze into a space previously occupied, snugly, by someone 1/5th of their size. 

The ability to turn sideways and become completely undetectable. 

Dressing up like a skeleton for halloween is way more realistic.

I only need a modest sized umbrella.

MUCH more stamina while masturbating.

I'm much more aerodynamic when flying through the air horizontally. This hasn't really been helpful to me yet but I'm thinking it will at some point.

Riding a large dog isn't totally out of the question.

If they ever run out of medium sized shirts, I can usually fit into a small shirt too, and hey maybe I'll even opt for that anyway cause it's less fabric and I can help save the earth.

Getting drunk is way cheaper.

If you ever need someone with skinny arms to reach into a gopher hole to pull out your wedding ring, I'm your man. 

I metabolize caffeine awfully quickly, so though I might not have a caffeine buzz for as long, the amount of time I do have it is fucking legendary.

The ability to spring up a flight of stairs with the grace of a forest nymph. 


Having to constantly field the question "How do you stay so thin?!" when someone observes me eating the one unhealthy snack or large meal I've eaten that week.

If I ever break the law and a cop tries to grab my wrist and says "come with me!" he'll be unprepared for just how thin my wrist is, and it will startle him, giving me a chance to get away. Hmm, I should be a felon.

A stiff breeze will frequently blow me into oncoming traffic.

If anyone asks me to lift a car off their baby, I'll probably only be able to lift if halfway and then I'll drop it again and oh god I've just made everything worse.

If I ever stumble into a protruding object, my bony frame offers absolutely no padding, and instead of a slight *thud* the impact will create a resounding *THWACK* which will draw all sorts of unwanted attention.

Every time I carry something remotely heavy looking, people panic and shout "OH GOD DO YOU NEED HELP?" No it's fine I just tripped over the ruffle in the carpet a bit, my body isn't collapsing beneath me.

If I ever have a bad day, I'd love to take out my aggression by "axe tossing" or "boulder rearranging" but it's just not realistic.

I get nervous if someone hands me too many helium balloons.

The only time I'm ever not the smallest person at the gym is if someone couldn't find a babysitter.

If I ever go skydiving above a forest and my chute fails to open, instead of the branches violently but slowly breaking my fall, my narrow frame will probably slip right through the branches and I'll slam into the ground. 

If I turn on a powerful hose I fucking go flying all over the place.


I'd say being skinny when I was younger may have caused a bit of insecurity to bleed into my later adolescent life for awhile, but overall I feel fine about it now. And why shouldn't I? Basically, nobody cares. I don't think I've got any deep psychological scarring from it, and besides, literally everyone has their hangups about how they look, and coming to terms with how you look becomes easier once you realize that. 

Oh god I sound like the end of an episode of Family Matters.

Have a good day everyone.