There is a question that, sooner or later, every married man must face. It is a question fraught with hidden danger, and the fate of the marriage and the family can hang in the balance. That is to say, it is a question of cosmic importance, but it is not like the more trivial questions of life and death and the “meaning of it all” that are normally posed by the cosmos. Rather, this cosmic question is posed to a man not by the cosmos but by his wife, and the great cosmic question is, “Does this make my butt look big?” More in a moment on the cosmic importance of this question. For the moment (and for all the bachelors out there), some advice on answering this question.
The superficial will say that the answer is always “no,” but this is completely wrong, and ignores totally the purpose of the question. Rather, the right answer is not so much an answer as a performance. The first thing to do is to appear to take the question seriously, which is mere courtesy since the question is posed seriously. The next step is to squint one's eyes and gaze thoughtfully at the object in question. It may help to take a step or two around the subject to make the scene more convincing. Finally, and only after due consideration, does one give the correct answer, which is not merely “no,” but, “No, not at all. I don't think so. No, it looks fine.” If one really thinks that the dress is wrong for her, it is okay to add, “But I don't think that color suits you” or “I don't think it hangs right” or some such comment. But in no case should the sensible man ever suggest that there is any kind of clothing that could make her derrière look anything but delightful.
There are some fools, of course, who, in fancying themselves to be “honest” men, will say that you should answer “yes” or “no” as the occasion warrants. These fools are usually working on their second or third marriage and still haven't got the hang of it. The problem such “honesty” is that there is no “honest” answer to such a question because there is no standard of objective truth by which to answer. The question seeks affirmation, not information, and the man who does not understand that would be better off as a celibate. For all I know, the knowledge that one cannot answer such questions has been a source of vocations to the priesthood, and the whole reason for the shortage of vocations is an insistence on such lying “honesty.”
But while there is no truthful answer to such a question, there is nevertheless a great truth to the question, and by great “truth” I mean great “mystery.” A cosmic mystery. Throughout history, and in many diverse cultures, curvaceous women have been more attractive to men the the anemic models favored by the mis-named “fashion” industry. Why this is so is a mystery. It has nothing to do with childbearing per se; broad-hipped women do not do better than narrow-hipped in this department. Further, it is a unique feature within the animal kingdom; no other species exhibits this predilection towards saddlebags in the female. It is something purely physical, yet is unconnected with man's physical neighbors in the evolutionary scheme of things.
However, while this is a great mystery, it does not mean that it is divorced from the physical order of things; women's saddlebags, as it turns out, carry something very important, something crucial to the human race. Indeed, science has finally done something useful, something that will actually help us answer an important question. Two scientists, Dr. Steven Gaulin and Dr. William Lassek, have studied the correlation between the Hip-to-Waist ratio (WHR) and found that a lower WHR correlates to smarter women who have smarter children. There is a very particular reason for this, as Dr. Gaulin explains:
Most body fat is like a checking account, where you make regular deposits and withdrawals. But hip and thigh fat is more like a certificate of deposit; you can’t just take it out whenever you want. It’s event dependent. The event this fat is waiting for is the third trimester of pregnancy, when the fetal brain begins its most exuberant period of growth, and which also seems to be the only time in life when women easily lose this fat. The brain is 20 percent fat, and not just any old fat—not French-fry fat. The brain is made up of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. These two fatty acids can’t be substituted; brains are literally built out of those two things, and women store those in the hips and thighs.
The fats carried by women in the hip and the butt are the very fats from which the brain is formed, and they must be present at the precise time that the brain is formed. Of course, this is still insufficient to explain the preference for Rubenesque women. When a man looks at a woman with longing, his thought are not usually of the IQ of the offspring. Or at least, this is not the case in my case, the only case about which I can give reliable testimony. But I have reason to believe that this is true of other men as well. Nevertheless, it is another example of the coincidence of the physical and the spiritual in the remarkable animal that is man. And besides, it gives us another way to answer the question, which which should satisfy both the shrewd husband and the “honest” fool: “Why no, my dear; I think it makes you look very...smart.”