Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Crack Problem

I have a problem with crack.

And once you have a problem with crack, you will always have a problem with crack. It won't go away. It's just a matter of how well you can cover it up.

Some people have no idea they have a crack problem. They go through the course of their life as if nothing is wrong. But, if you truly have a crack problem, that's all anyone else will see. They won't see you as a person, they'll just see you for the crack. So, one of the first steps in successfully dealing with a crack problem is admitting that you have a crack problem.

I know I have a crack problem. My wife has been great in helping me with my crack problem. She has stood by me, not been judgemental, and offered to help in any way she can. And, she has come up with the best solution I have yet found for dealing with my crack problem: Really long shirts.

(I am, of course, talking about my butt crack problem.)

I've always thought of myself as a normal-ish looking guy. As I've said before, if you took 50 guys at random, I would not be one of the ten handsomest, nor would I be one of the ten ugliest. I would be one of the 30 guys covering the middle ground. I'm a fairly big guy, standing at 6' 2" and 240 pounds. Those numbers would be pretty good for an NFL linebacker or running back. (Unfortunately, my belly fat-to-muscle ratio numbers would not be anywhere near good enough for the NFL.) (Besides, as someone once said, "you gotta be fast to play linebacker.")

I never thought of myself as having an unusually long torso. But then, I met my wife. I'm a full four inches taller than her. (Which is a good thing, because standing at 5' 10" she made the decision that she would not date anyone shorter than her. I know it sounds a bit discriminatory, but I'm okay with it because it meant she was still available when I came around.) (Sorry, short guys.)

Even though I'm four inches taller than her, our legs are the same length. This is great for driving, because we never have to adjust the seat in the car. As opposed to when I was young and got in the car after my mom had been driving. I don't know how many times I whacked my knees against the dash and steering wheel because I didn't pre-adjust the seat. (My mom is 5' 2".) (Although some of those poofy 1970's hairdos bumped her up to as much as 5' 5".) So, I don't have to adjust the seat, but, because of my unusually long torso, I do have to adjust the mirrors, because when I get in after my wife has driven they seem to be pointing straight into the ground.

At first I thought that my wife and I having legs the same length was because she had unusually long legs. But then I thought it might be my unusually long torso. (It's probably a little of both.)

It took me a while to admit that I had a crack problem. Sure, I would feel that occasional breeze hit me between the bottom of my shirt and the top of my pants when I would bend over or sit down, but everyone gets that sometimes, right? I would think that my shirt wasn't reaching my pants in the back because of my oversized gut in the front. Maybe it was because my pants weren't tall enough. (The Wife actually thinks this is part of the problem. She thinks I wear my pants too low. It's a fair criticism, but I really doubt she would like it if I went full Urkel on her.) (No one wants to hear, as my aunt once said to my grandpa, "Hey, are those pants a little tight on your armpits?")

So, before I fully came to terms with my crack problem, The Wife was trying to fix it. She started buying me longer shirts. My regular shirt size is "extra-large." (XL) You would think if they made a shirt that was "extra" larger than regular large, that some of that "extra-ness" might go to the length of the shirt. No. All of that "extra-ness" is used to get around the belly and the chest. Adding another "X" (as in XXL, XXXL) doesn't help the length of the shirt. (Besides the fact that those bigger sizes seem like names for future Super Bowls.) (Maybe the Vikings can finally get a win in Super Bowl XXXL.)

The Wife was able to find a shirt size called "XLT," which stands for "extra large tall." These shirts were a godsend. I started wearing them and suddenly I wasn't noticing that butt-crack breeze as much. I could sit in a vinyl chair without having to peel my lower back off of it like a piece of fruit leather. It didn't take long for me to notice the difference between the "XLT" shirts and the "XL" shirts, and start seeking out the "XLTs." I think that is when I finally started to come to terms with my crack problem.

Unfortunately, the "XLTs" are pretty hard to find. Most stores don't offer them. The Wife usually has to scour the interwebs to find them. And even then, not all "XLT" shirts are created equal. Some "XLTs" still aren't long enough for my unusually long torso, especially after a few washings. And some of the "XLTs" are actually a little too long, seeming almost more like a tunic or a muumuu than a shirt. (But, and I think this goes to show how much I am determined to beat my crack problem, I would rather wear a tunic than expose my butt crack anymore.)

There are a lot of people who could benefit from "XLT" shirts. (I work in the truck driver industry. Believe me, there are a lot of people who could benefit.)(And not just the ones who wear the shirts.) I'm surprised an enterprising "XLT" shirt manufacturer doesn't set up shop at a plumber's convention. "XLT" shirts could also find huge sales if marketed as "tramp stamp" covers, especially as the bodies of those women who fell for the "tramp stamp" fad begin to age and sag. (Sorry for that image.)

So, yes, I have a crack problem. I know it, and I'm working on correcting it. It's going to be a lifelong problem. I'm going to have to be diligent about it for as long as I live. Because no one wants to see my butt crack. Not even (maybe even especially) my wife.

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