Spring is in the air! Of course, the next day the snow returns, but the occasional warm day sure does lighten the mood, doesn't it? Makes me think of doing some gardening, opening the windows, taking long walks and buying a new swimsuit.
A few years ago my skin started to really show the wear and tear the sun brings, and I had some pretty scary spots removed. Last summer I stayed completely out of the sun, and lemme tell you, it was the longest, most miserable summer of my life. So this year I'm going back in, under cover, of course. Sunscreen and hats. But it's time. I need a new swimsuit. And that particular shopping trip, take one, was such a bad experience that it's comparable to the misery of no-sun summer.
I'm of the age, and frankly, of the size, where I can't go grab a suit for 30 bucks or because I think it's "cute.” I haven't bought "cute" since baby number one. I am a huge believer in one thing in life, ladies: just because they make it in your size, doesn't mean you should wear it. Might be trendy to have a huge floral pattern or horizontal stripes across a midsection that needs no attention, but I know because I OWN A MIRROR that isn't the look I should go for. So, what is it I do look for? Besides, of course, something with the name "miracle,” "slim" and "magic" in the name.
A scuba suit. The most miserable, impossible to put on, underwire, Lycra-ed, skirted, two-piece that I can find. Two-piece, you are thinking … a bikini? Haha, never. Two-piece meaning a long, uncomfortable top and skirted, uncomfortable bottoms, for one reason only: I bought a one-piece several years ago and it took me 45 minutes to take it off when I had to go to the bathroom. I was wondering at some point when I had it half on if I shouldn't get a girlfriend to come in to help strap me back in. Plus, that’s just an unacceptable amount of time when you have to go.
So it begins. I started a few weeks ago, looked online at several brands that I know have worked for me in the past. Like I said, it's been a couple of years, so I had some serious sticker shock. Saw one possibility, but I would really like to not take out a second mortgage to buy this summer’s torture device. Then I figured that since it's been awhile maybe I ought to go in and actually see how I look in a couple of sizes and styles. I've had some rough experiences in my life. We've discussed them here. This one, though, is going to go in my top ten worst.
I arrive at the department store. Head to the most dreaded section there is. Pick three or four. All of them are stupid-looking. All of them turn my stomach when I look at the price tags. I am immediately cursing myself silently, thinking about every plate of nachos, every bite of birthday cake, every "meh, why not" moment I had over this impossibly long winter. Then the sales lady approaches and asks if I need help. The list of things she could help me with is long and impossibly dumb, so I say no, but ask for a dressing room. Then she says, "Oh, I know you. You write that column." My reply, "Uh, hum, ah, I guess." So now she thinks there is something wrong with me. I giggle. Maybe she thinks I'm drunk. But, she shows me to a dressing room. I go in.
As all females know, the lighting in dressing rooms, along with the 360-degree view of your entire body, does not make for a fun experience. Too stunned to even laugh at how hideous I looked (beyond pale, beyond old, beyond dumpy) I picked the first suit and got to work, leaving my granny panties on, for obvious sanitary reasons.
I pulled, I prodded, I jumped and I fell over. Sort of a sideways slam into the door, not a complete sprawl on the floor. Just enough to startle the entire department store. This caused great panic from the sales lady who exclaimed loudly, "Did you hurt yourself? Should I call someone?" As she began to bang on the door while I leaned, precariously, half-naked and completely humiliated, against the door, again giggling, "UHHHH, yeah, I'm fine.”
Needless to say, I did not come home with a swimsuit. I guess that I'll order them from the ridiculous websites, because private humiliation is something that I am used to and I live with on a daily basis.
Good luck, ladies. Get some baby powder, some sort of anti-depressant and rob a bank. Anybody up for making the burka a new swimsuit trend this summer?