Diet-Tribe by Lauran Strait

“You aren't really going to wear that, are you?”  Annabelle, my sixteen-year-old, feigned a retch.


“Stop being so theatrical,” I said, admiring the orange sweater adorned with a forest of red-leaved trees.  “Be happy I'm not wearing the one with the battery-operated appliqué.”  I smoothed a row of knitted trees across my stomach.  “Maybe I should switch to the one with the grumpy gremlins, purple pumpkins, and scowling skulls?  What do you think?”


“I think I'm gonna spew.”  Nose and eyes squeezed into a sneer, Annabelle flounced on my bed.


“No spewing in here.  Hurl in your own room if you must.”


Annabelle smirked.  “It's not funny.  What if one of my friends sees you wearing that hideous thing?  Trust me, Mom.  It's not a pretty picture.  You look like a ginormous pumpkin on a stick.”


“Well, of course I do.  So what?  By wearing a tacky garment like this, I'm telling the world that I love Halloween so much I don't mind looking like I've spent the year consuming nothing but pecan pies and pumpkin lattes laced with rum.”


“Since when have you loved Autumn that much?


“Since never.  But that’s beside the point.  I just want to look like I do.”


“That doesn’t make sense.”


“Sure it does.  Imagine how surprised my friends will be come January when I've shed these fall sweaters and the December holiday sweaters and no longer resemble a Christmas dumpling.  They'll wonder how I managed to lose all the weight over the holidays.  I'll be the envy of them all.”


“Yeah, riiiiiight.”  Annabelle rolled her eyes.


“I am right.  And you too can be the envy of your friends, regaling them with your own dieting prowess in January, if you wear nothing but stuff like this for the next ninety days.”


“You're wacko.  You know that, right?”


“I prefer crazy smart, thank you very much.”


Annabelle sighed.  “So about your ornamental ugly-sweaters. . . do you really think I should wear them?”


“Sure.”  Static electricity crackled as I pulled the woolen forest over my head and tossed it her way.  “A word of advice, though—don’t look in a mirror while you’re wearing any of these fashion nightmares.  Might make you spew. Talk about embarrassing.” 


The Linnet's Wings is an Irish Bases Literature and Art Magazine