How to do the wrong thing right

_Howard-Russell-logo-copyDear Howard,
You may file this question of mine to you, Mr. Howard, under the tagline heading of, “Happy Marriages Equal Chubby Bliss.” My new wife and I got happily and legally married the first chance we could back in June. I’m almost ashamed and mortified to admit that only six months later now, we’ve each somehow larded on about 25 additional pounds apiece — my gluttonous truth is that Carlie is just such a darned awesome cook; worse, we both love to eat. Rather, I mean, Carlie loves being basically a ’50s housefrau, and I revere everything my amazing wife loves doing for me. So herein lays the crux of my new marriage anxiety:
Neither of us were exactly willowy super models when we first met (we’re both well into our late 40s now), so I know shedding our newly acquired “muffin tops” probably isn’t going to get very much easier down the road unless we (meaning the two of us, Carlie and I equally, together!) make some sort of New Year’s resolution here fast. I “reasonably” suggested to her that we try maybe just cutting out, like, white stuff, for only a month or two, and see how that goes (you know — flour products, rice, potatoes, milk and the likes).
Well, that suggestion sure did not exactly elicit honeymoon rainbows and romping unicorns. Carlie instantly decried she’d rather divorce me and handcuff me starving to a runaway freight train of snickerdoodles than give up pasta, potato chips, cake and/or ice cream temporarily. “Besides,” she moaned, “we’re married now and off-the-market; we’re supposed to go to seed. In any case,” she reasoned, “who’d even notice, say nothing of mind, if we are a bit chunky, so long as we’re happy? For once, just let’s screw New Year’s unsustainable weight loss resolutions — we’re married now, finally, and I want to enjoy getting fat. Anyhow, even if we are a bit paunchy, so what? We’re both very healthy girls!”
Howard, should I just throw my hands into the air, buckle to all Carlie’s caloric temptations, and continue down this junk-food strewn wedlock road into a possibly cancer-riddled, diabetic future alongside my beloved new bride toward total heifer-dom? — Tifanie

Dear Tifanie,
OK, Tif, here’s the deal: I don’t know why Lesbyterians like your lovely are such bellicose, extremist, yakety-yak-yak drama queens. But as you admitted yourself, you and Carlie are both well into middle-age now. Whatever delusions you may still harbor of retrieving any formerly imagined sort of Kate Moss gloriana, well, those days are simply never coming back. Regardless, Tif, were you even to try surviving now on but little more than, say, oxygen, cocaine and spring water from this New Year’s Day forward to next Christmas, you’d still manage to achieve but reflected glory. As Twiggy herself, that former paragon of mod emaciation, once bereaved, “When perfection is achieved it’s hardly congratulated; when perfection isn’t achieved, it’s hardly noticed.”

Eat and be merry with your new wife, sweetie. Enjoy your life together. Don’t fret every calorie. Celebrate on this New Year’s Day the stunning, shining, stupendous marvel of being able to actually live together ’til death do you part, legally wed under the laws of the United States, here in the heart of (Ted Cruz) Texas.
Dear Howard,
I played exclusively in the lady pond most of my adult life through college, but the closer I get to 30, the more I’m lately starting to think about my clock a-ticking: I’ve begun dating men. I desire children; I want them to have a father figure in their life. Howard, how quickly is it respectably decent to text or phone a man back I’m interested in, following our first date, if I truly like him and want to go out with him again for a second date? — Laurie

Dear Laurie,
Whoa, there, girl! I don’t know what the dating tactics used by women on other females may be; however, I do know that regarding males in the realm of passion, if a man is interested in seeing you for a second date, trust me, you’ll be contacted by said dude for a second date: What men are attracted to, men will pursue you… voraciously.
Dear Howard,
What would your porn name be? — Blackjack Preston

Dear Blackjack,
My first pet was named Rosemary, the street I grew up on was Lorna Road; therefore, my porn name would be, wait for it: “MISS ROSEMARY LORNA!” Sure makes you wanna just cream your britches, don’t it?

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 1, 2016.