#254 – Surprise, Fatso!

Jimmy, Ron and I had a roundtable discussion about weight loss programs this morning. In particular, the three of us debated whether a membership in one can ever be a suitable gift for one’s wife. None of us want to see our woman third-world thin; still, we’d rather forego having spouses whose dress sizes run in double digits. The question was, what can a man do when he sees his formerly svelte bride heading in that ominous direction?

All of us agreed, an unsolicited membership in a diet program is a definite no-no. Unless a husband wants to guaranty a month or more of enforced celibacy, he shouldn’t tell his beloved: “Honey, I couldn’t help but notice you’re getting a bit chunky, so I signed you up for ‘WeightWatchers’.”

The closer call arises when a wife complains about her extra pounds and expresses a desire to lose them. Even if he secretly agrees with her, the wise husband either keeps his mouth shut or answers “nonsense.” Jimmy, Ron and I were in accord on that point. But if the man inwardly applauds his spouse’s desire to shed her unwanted fat, can he help her along with the gift of a program membership? On that subject, the three of us differed.

I said I subscribe to the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus view of the situation. In other words, if your Mrs. doesn’t expressly ask you to obtain the membership for her, then don’t. When she complains about her weight, at most you can ask: “is there anything I can do to help?” Then hope she takes you up on the offer.

Jimmy disagreed. In his opinion, under certain circumstances a man can take action without offending his beloved. For instance, if she vowed to slim down at the turn of a year, he could present a diet program membership as her “New Year’s resolution gift,” and probably get away with it.

Ron couldn’t decide if my slant or Jimmy’s made more sense. As of this morning, he could only point out a method which definitely doesn’t work: “Even if your wife tells you ‘I’ve got to get rid of all this blubber,’ whatever you do, don’t surprise her with a ‘Jenny Craig’ membership on Valentine’s Day … like I did.”

Two traditional Valentine’s Day presents

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