I suppose no one is ever satisfied with the hand their dealt by their familial gene pool, but, growing up, I seemed to look so different from the rest of my family. They have brown hair; I was blond. They’re short and stocky; I was tall and lanky.
The worst part, though, I had no butt. I’m talking flat as a pancake. When I sat down, it sounded like bone grating against wood. In fact, my behind was practically concave. You could have laid me face-down on the snack table at a party and served salsa where my ass should be.
By middle school, when girls started checking out guys’s bodies, I noticed their eyes gravitated toward the seat of the other boys’ jeans. One day while reading a headline of a magazine in the checkout lane of the grocery store, I saw confirmation. “Do you see that,” I said to the woman behind me, pointing to the headline: WOMEN SAY BUTT IS MOST ATTRACTIVE PART OF MEN’S BODIES. “I’m going to die alone.” I turned around to show her my emaciated rear. “I might as well turn gay!” She snickered, which I didn’t understand. (It was a year later before Matt Jordan explained gay sex to me while dissecting a frog To this day, I can’t see a frog flat on its back with it’s legs in the air without blushing.)
While the rest of my body caught up with my peers during puberty, I never developed much of a butt. Of course, it didn’t help that I never even saw it. I always felt it was nearby, perhaps following me, but whenever I turned around, it was always gone, although I did sometimes feel I got a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.
““I’d like to fill a pair of jeans in the seat,” I said to a friend.
“‘I saw in a magazine, they sell this underwear that has butt pads,” she said.
““Maybe I could just stuff Kleenex down the back of my pants.”
And so it went on for years.
Recently, I ordered the Insanity Workout from Team Beach Body. I wondered whether or not I’d be able to do it, since the exercise program was marketed as being insane; however, I followed it religiously, and at the end of the eight weeks, I’d lost one pound, but I had gained some awesome definition and muscle. One day as I turned to flip off the light in the bathroom, I finally saw it in the mirror: I had a butt! It seems all of that jumping and glute work had finally paid off. It wouldn’t stop traffic, but compared to what I started with it, my butt was big. I no longer feared sitting down on a chair and hearing the sound of fingers raked across a chalkboard; I had some cushion to sit silently now. The world, it seemed, was my oyster, and I was now sitting on it.