May I have your attention please . . . attention, please!

Raise your hand if you know why Professor Harold Hill is trying to get our attention.

Raise both hands (and get a gold star) if you know that it's not actually Professor Harold Hill, but instead my father dressed up as Professor Harold Hill that's trying to get our attention.
It's true, my father was a splendid Harold Hill in our church production of "The Music Man" (yes, I grew up in a time where people actually put on theatrics for fun)
-- dead serious here --
so good, in fact, that in my mind it's hard to separate
the two things.

He just sort of is Professor Harold Hill. I can't really explain it.
Growing up with a dad who was also Professor Harold Hill was probably a little like growing up with an alcoholic father, I guess, except that instead of wondering if your dad would come home drunk you wondered if your dad would break into "Trouble Right Here in River City" at inopportune moments.
Which sometimes happened.
Sunday dinner was interesting at my house.

But back to the point -- why Harold/Dad is here today -- is that
I have been closing my eyes to a situation I do not wish to acknowledge.

(Here's where I hope everyone grew up reenacting scenes from The Music Man so that you will be familiar enough with the dialogue that this allusion is resonating for you . . .)

The reason I would like your attention is that today I am
announcing that I have actually started my diet.

Before you click the red "x" and close the blog, let me beg your indulgence because
a little online community support would be nice.
I mean, some people write entire blogs about dieting. I'm only asking you to stick with me for one post.

Anyway, approximately 30 minutes after Chelsea got married last August, I started eating. It's easy to mark the exact time because it was at the dinner we had after the wedding. (I was wearing a stretchy dress and I knew I would be able to take it off soon and would never have to wear it again.) Funny thing is, now I'd actually like to have the option of wearing that dress (or anything else in my closet) again, if the opportunity presented itself, and so now, a year later,

. . . . We've got Trouble Right Here In River City.

Why am I acknowledging the situation now? Because I can no longer close my eyes to the tightness of my pants. "Sure, Susan," you say, "but you've been threatening to do this for 6 months." To that fair skepticism I can only reply that now I have a blog, so I hope to use it to motivate (or publicly humiliate) myself to be a better person.

So today I offer my Top Several Reasons for Dieting,
Starting . . . Now.

#6--I can pretend I'm on a hunger strike until the ridiculousness of this election season is past. As evidence of the direness of our national situation I offer the teaser I saw for Entertainment Tonight that promised "Exclusive footage of Sarah Palin -- AT HOME!!"

Here I was going to paste Sarah Palin's head on this body,

and then I realized that would be childish (funny, but childish) so I'll just let you imagine what that would look like.
(funny, right? but childish.)
But honestly what other kind of footage would Hollywood possibly have to show us of Sarah Palin at home to demand our attention? They certainly can't present anything relevant to the election.

(I haven't watched ET lately, but I seem to recall them being better at things like underwear than at the economy, war, the Bush Doctrine, etc.) So here I'm going to assert that, like chocolate and bacon, Hollywood and Politics need to stay in their separate universes.

However, in all fairness, I have noticed (in my vintage magazine perusals) that Eleanor Roosevelt used to plug movies.

(let us note that she was not
actually in office . . . )

Unfortunately it isn't that big a stretch to imagine this scenario:

There are so many problems on so many levels here, I'll just illustrate with this sketch for an old piece, which was titled, "Who Turned Out the Lights?"

Perhaps if I deny myself of food I can feel a little righteous indignation, because at least I'm taking some kind of action in response to it all.
Wow -- number six took a long time -- let's move a little faster:

#5--You will be more understanding of my cranky and complaining personality. Or you will quit reading. (If that is to be the case, please notify me by email and I will promptly eat something yummy to feel better and, therefore, be happier.)

#4--You will understand when I get so hungry that I start posting recipes like this, because they actually sound good to me.

Creamy Tomato Soup Jello!!!????

#3--I can quit spending so much time on #*%@ exercise machines.

Hannah gave me this card some years ago and I should show you the back as well:

You'll notice I refused to sign. Although I have to admit that exercising is where I indulge in many of my most guilty non-edible pleasures (see prev. post referencing Electric Six) , like this:

#2--I can justify sharing more excellent vintage women's undergarment images with you.

After all, this is "a true story
of modern figure control."

And the number one reason: I can finally post what is perhaps my all-time favorite comic strip, (which used to live on my mirror but has now taken up residence in the studio):

Actually, I think he poses a legitimate question . . . I've done this dieting thing before (too many times) and I believe it would go better if I had an incredibly delicious "farewell meal" of some kind. Or maybe a "farewell weekend?"

You can talk all you want,
but it's different than it was --

No it ain't, no it ain't --
but you gotta'
know the territory!

Let's hope I'm covering this familiar territory for the last time.


Amelia and Justin said...

So, is your farewell weekend going to be the weekend that you are here/in Albuquerque?? :) I can't wait to see you!!!

Ann said...

Best of luck with the dieting but PLEASE do not stop posting vintage underwear ads! I love them! We are also trying to eat better. My babies like to leave me 20-30 lbs to remember then by (as if the constant nursing was not memory enough). You are going to do great though, and you looked fabulous this summer! Brian just said "why does Susan need to diet? She is skin and bones?" I just finished a bag of the low fat microwave popcorn, since a whole bag is 1 or 2 weight watchers points and am enjoying a lovely hot beverage. We very much hope to get the Russ and Susan culinary tour of Albuquerque someday. Anyhoo. . . all the best and don't get too hungry! We also love (and hate) the diet Slurpee's. They are intense! Keep us posted and we will be there with you trying to control our gluttony.

Jake and Chelsea said...

jake is bringing me home a candy bar from work today.

what a husband.

.....but you can do it mom!!! here is what has worked for me out here:
1) be really poor (probably the most important step)
2) have the grocery store 30 miles away so it is hard to go
3) don't have a car so even if you wanted to go you can't
4) live on bread and jam from the farmer's market, and the occasional packet of ramen.

susan m hinckley said...

Chels -- thanks for the tips. Now if I could get some really good bread and jam from the farmer's market.... I'm hungry.

Amanda and Christopher said...

Hey, I will be in your support group! I am starting weight watchers today actually, and this time I am going to try and eat healthy rather than eat a few slices of pizza and nothing else for the whole day. I may even try and drink more water, cut out the Diet Coke and go running.....yikes! You can do it, you've done it before and you will do it again!!!! I love the underwear adds too, such pointy boobs they all had....I hope I can see you when you come down in a few weeks!

Flannery said...

Chelsea, ouch! How was that candybar?
Here are my top ten reasons why Susan is just fine the way she is:

#10 She has such a wickedly wry sense of humor

#9 Nobody can surpass her in creativity

#8 She can write like nobody's business

#7 She is a good listener

#6 She gives practical advice

#5 She is willing to try something new (generic but true)

#4 She got me on prescription meds
Yay Lexapro!

#3 She is a good mother and wife (again, generic but nothing to sneeze at)

#2 She has a strong sense of self, when she chooses to

#1 She can go berzerk when seeing and touching new fabric and threads, and who wouldn't love to see that?

So you are great how you are but if you must diet, good luck.

susan m hinckley said...

Just a wee little 10 pound diet, and that was perhaps the nicest thing anyone has ever written to, or most certainly about, me. Thanks.

april said...

ok, susan, good luck. i'll even join you since i've been saying the same thing the past six months myself AND i've been exercising for the past two months or so (just ran 10 miles today) and haven't lost a pound yet. (yeah, i love food too much - especially the sugary, buttery kind). so good luck - and hopefully, putting this comment here means i'm announcing to the blogging world myself.

yeah, those ten reasons are awesome. keep posting those vintage pics and the old family photos are fun (you're dad did look like a great harold hill. i love that he would break into song.) oh, and now i want to watch remington steele (especially since i also saw mama mia). i loved that show!

susan m hinckley said...

April -- I think I have the first 3 seasons if you want to borrow them (Hannah is also a fan)! And I can't believe you can run 10 miles. WOW! I bow down to your superior fitness. I've been running for 8 years but I'm stuck at the 4 mile mark. I blame my joints (which is very convenient...)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin