Not the one about how the Amazing Bat Boy was advising the President on intergalactic foreign policy. Not the magazine promising to help me catch up on all the soap operas I may have missed. Not the TV Guide magazine that, if you read it, you don't have to watch television, since you'll already know what's going to happen.
No, I was distracted by one of those magazines that feature a scantily clad celebrity on the front cover, surrounded by story-teasers about things I won't begin to mention in a family newspaper.
The young lady in question once starred in a show to which Miss Rhonda was addicted. I generally tried to find something else to do for that hour or so per week.
This starlet has, like so many others, apparently decided that there's something sexy about a skeleton. I was so shocked by her appearance-not by her dress, since I am becoming somewhat numbed to such things-that I wondered if she was sick or something. Then I scanned the covers of several other similar publications.
I counted four such starlet/model/celebrities, all of whom were appropriately trying to entice the reader.
If you weighed all of them, soaking wet, in heavy clothes, at the same time, I have to doubt they would have tipped the scales with an aggregate weight of 200 pounds.
In an attempt to retain some masculine pride here, take note I scanned the covers of such books, not the insides.
Now, I take pride in being a gentleman and a responsible writer. I also have a certain almost Victorian reticence, either inherited from or deeply imbedded by my father, and that reticence that forbids one to broach some subjects in polite conversation, never mind in a newspaper column.
The whole skinny-mini thing is a going too far. I repeat: there's nothing sexy about a skeleton.
Let me be clear: I am not referring to women who are naturally slender or have what used to be called a 'willowy' figure. I am talking about those whose bones stick out, who look like someone with whom a starving African orphan would offer to share his bowl of rice.
I was raised to believe that one should compliment a lady at every opportunity, even if (as is rarely the case) one has to squint and try to find something complimentary. In 99 percent of the cases, one doesn't have to prevaricate and generalize to say something praiseworthy about a lady. If you have reasonable powers of observation, you will find a positive change in almost any true lady from one day to the next.
I can honestly say that I have never asked a lady if she has lost weight when I have not, truly, thought she had.
Most either deny it gracefully, or almost blush when they admit that they have done so. In many cases, the loss is just gilding the lily.
But the vast majority of women I know are bound and determined that they are overweight, although they simply are not. There's a world of difference between fat and, dare I say it, cuddleable. A much better writer than I described this as the softness of a true woman, a term that could be used equally for a wife, a mother, or an attractive stranger.
At the risk of crossing my own lines of decency, I cannot adequately describe why a certain softness is to be preferred over protruding collarbones and angled shoulders. A soft wife is warmer, nicer to hug, and much better company than a borderline bulemic who makes Twiggy look Rubenesque.
And while a mother's embrace is the same no matter the size of the mother, there's a certain additional level of comfort and security when a mother is a little bit soft.
I am not, by any means, suggesting that obesity is a good thing; nothing disgusts me like a person who has allowed themselves to grow pure-dee fat through a lack of discipline or self-respect. There are some cases where nature plays a part, of course, but I'll always feel the majority of cases where both men and women are overweight is simply a lack of discipline not to eat so much.
Having once weighed 100 pound more than my current 180, I can make this somewhat harsh statement. But I digress, and that I was once a candidate for that weight-loss reality show is a column for another time.
I have yet to figure out who decided stick girls are more attractive, desirable, or aesthetically pleasing than real women. Said person should be chased down and forced to shop for clothing marked three sizes too large whilst being told by some foppish fashion maven that she's grotesquely, insanely, disgustingly fat, and even her dog doesn't love her. This would be after several weeks on a diet designed by the Spanish Inquisitors, of course.
So ladies, please-don't worry about being skinny as a rail. You get cranky, it's not natural, it makes your feet cold in the winter time, and if your husband truly loves you, he won't really care how big you think you are.
If you don't believe me, then I would suggest you go to an art museum. I don't mean one of these flashing neon pastel places with old household appliances welded into odd shapes and named after pet gerbils (Note: I really saw that in an art gallery).
Wander the halls of one of the classic museums where real art is hung, and find me a single picture of a stick-woman. It's possible there's one hanging somewhere, but I doubt it.
Rubens, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Cellini, da Vinci, even that poor tortured varmint Van Gogh-they knew that the truest and most beautiful art is found in a woman with a real figure.