Summer is ending and the parks have closed their swimming pools. Even more sadly… my garden is starting to wane. I am very depressed except for just one thing that I have all winter to change. It’s my annual pilgrimage of terror, horror and humiliation to buy a bathing suit. It’s when a store dressing room becomes a chamber of horrors for me… Here’s this years account.
Generally I wait until after the Fourth of July just to ensure that I have exercised and fasted my way into a smaller size. Being the eternal optimist is one of my nobler qualities. The fact I have worn the same size for more than five years tends to escape my attention. I am not a detail person.
These were my humble requirements for 2013, fewer than $35 and making me look like I took off 25 pounds. That end result would leave me looking like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model — sexy, but not sleazy, and hopefully with my budget intact. Do you think that was just a tad unrealistic?
I arrived at the store and picked out eleven different styles and sizes. None of them had the bras or construction that the suits of my youth possessed. I still remember those little numbers. They were engineered to pull in your waist with clever little stays on the sides and the built-in bras pushed up and filled out your endowments. Those babies when lifted towards heaven resembled pointed mountain peaks. Heavy girdle like material kept your blubber tight. They did a decent job.
Today’s stretch numbers seem to be made of thin, almost-see-through latex similar to the stuff balloons are made from. They all looked undersized; I was sure they would become transparent in the water. I feared my nipples and belly button would show, so I picked out some other styles as well. Bikinis were out, but a two-piece was added to my stack. I briefly considered a maternity suit.
I headed towards the dressing room and a frowning attendant counted out six suits — informing me that was all that was allowed at one time. “Can you bring the next six to me?” I pleaded. She looked from me to the suits and grudgingly agreed.
I couldn’t see myself walking out in one of them for replenishment with my unshaven white legs and unpainted toes. I was still in winter mode.
Pulling the curtains tight, I undressed and fought my way into the first number, squeezing my eyes tightly. When I opened them, I was horrified. The lighting in those places turns a person yellow and most people look like they are in a police lineup, minus the numbers around their necks.
I gasped — my bosom was flat and my speed bumps had moved. One was under my armpit and the other was somewhere near my rib cage. The rest of me oozed out of the top, back and sides. I was certain that the three-way mirror had to have come from a fun house.
Dressing rooms should be lit by candlelight and the full-view assessment of the mirrors rigged to create a more slender you. Why have the marketing people not gotten that yet?
I cleverly covered myself with the curtain and called for replacements. A black suit with a see-through waist looked sexy and held my roll in check, but when I turned to see the rear view, I was oozing out of the deep V-line revealing where it all had ended up. And by the way, what fool decided on the term “love handles,” anyway?
Then there was the one that looked like a handkerchief with little black pants cut so high that I would need to wax my eyebrows as well as other unmentionables.
Most of the suits were designed for 17-year-olds who have never given birth. I considered having a tattoo artist paint a swimsuit on my body so I would never have to suffer this heartache and trauma again. Humiliated, I brought all of them back to the attendant.
“Did you find anything?” I hated the smug look on her face when I muttered no to her.
There is always next year.
That’s all I have to say about that.
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