The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

February/March 2005 Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best Very Short Humor!

Yo–Yo Dieter and Her Prince Charming


Robin Clephane Steward

The history of my fluctuating girth involves more ups and downs than a bad afternoon soap—a really bad one. The kind of soap you can go twelve years without watching and then tune in one lazy afternoon, incredulous to realize that Thor and Anastasia have moved but two feet from the leather sofa they were writhing on in 1987…and still wearing the same outfits.

Not me. I can't wear the same tennis shoes I wore in 1987, let alone clothing. In fact, last week I happened across a lovely white dress hanging at the back, and I mean the baaaack, of my bedroom closet. It looked somewhat familiar—–especially the thirty–foot train—–but I just couldn't put my finger on why I would go to the bother of storing a Barbie gown in a protective sheath of plastic. I called to my husband for clarification.

"What?" he says, entering the room. "I was up the ladder, replacing the furnace filter."

"In the middle of a stifling heat wave?"

He grimaced. "Uh, never put off until November what you can do in August?"

I saw right through him and he knew it. NASCAR was having some kind of ‘out"—shoot–out, blow–out, wipe–out. Something. Every Sunday afternoon he found one excuse after another to spend four hours in his garage watching grown men turn left…and left…and left.

For money.

"Speaking of dresses," I said in all seriousness, pulling the gown from the closet and watching his eyes cross, "have you any idea why I would keep a size–four Christening gown with a thirty–foot train of seed–pearls?"

"Perhaps because you married me in it?"

"Get out," I replied. "I was never this small!"

"Yes you were and you know it," he chided. "Don't you remember? You promised to love, honor, obey and put some meat on your bones. Worried me sick. You never ate. Never. If you'd had mice in your apartment they'd have staged a strike."

"Wait. You're right, it's all coming back now—I started eating that summer your mother insisted on staying with us round–the–clock to make sure I didn't over–burp the twins, and then took root until they graduated from medical school."

"Thank God they made it on the first try."

I smiled at the memory of the small mercy. "Amen. But I lost all that weight on the Vicarious Diet, the one where you only watch other people eat until you're thankful to gnaw on a small piece of crackled cardboard," I frowned. "How did it find its way back to my thighs?"

"I think your thighs are…fine," my husband said, wiggling his eyebrows and flashing a crooked grin.

Heaven help me, I blushed. "I've been a yo–yo for nearly three decades, gained and lost enough weight to smite a wooly mammoth, and you still think my thighs are…fine?" I flirted back.

"Want me to prove it?" he challenged with a gleam in his eye, sounding like the hero he was, inching across the room we've shared since way back when the Barbie gown actually fit.

"What about your race?" I nodded to the garage, flirting like a shameless, wide–thighed hussy.

He grinned, looking not a year over seventeen. "What race?"

And here I'd been worried that with this spin of the yo–yo, with this spin that found me doubting my worth, I'd never again find the elusive upswing.

That Thor and Anastasia have got nothing on us.

©2005, Robin Clephane Steward

Robin Clephane Steward is a ninety–seven year old stay–at–home mother of three (four, if you count the dog) who writes when she can and cleans when she must.

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