My waistline has been telling me something the past month. And basically what it’s saying is, well, I’m fat.

I joke a lot about my stomach fat congealing over time, but I’ve had a repeated (and rather unpleasant) reminder the past four weeks — actually more like the last three months.

The first indication of The Incredible Expanding Waistline came from new jeans bought for me by my wife. I asked her to get relaxed fit, which I prefer to boot cut or the male equivalent of skinny jeans. She complied — thankfully — but within a wash they had already gotten a little snug on my thighs. Things did not improve after a couple washings, which is one of the reasons why (all apologies to my wife) I haven’t been wearing jeans lately. The other reason is it has been occasionally sweltering hot…

The other indication is also pants-related, or in this case shorts-related. My shorts have been tight around the waistline for some time, but I’ve grown (pardon the pun) accustomed to that. Unfortunately, I popped the button to one pair of shorts one weekend. And then within three days, another button was sent flying.

Remember the Subway commercial where people are eating all this fast food and their buttons look like bullets? You get the picture.

It got worse. I was covering a fire, bent over and completely split a pair of shorts. Seriously, by the time I got back to the station the rip was about a foot long. I was quite grateful that happened after sunset.

Then I lost another button, prompting Ginny to seek out larger shorts on the cheap.

I have been a 36 waist for close to a decade, and that number has served as a mental delineation point of sorts for me. Anything below that, I’m not fat.

Let’s just say I’m now to 38. And maybe beyond. I sent yet another button skyward with the new 38s Ginny brought home. Ugh.

Those shorts can’t be tighter than 36s. But they were. And I think I’ve got a couple more pairs of shorts — the new ones, mind you — about to fall victim to the forces of nature and overeating.

I think I’m gonna commiserate. With a pizza and beer.