Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bathing Suit Trauma

If you are a woman, I think I should recommend that you never, ever shop for a bathing suit.

I had promised Joey that I would go buy a new suit so that I could take him to the pool and I was determined that I was going to keep that promise, since I have broken so many promises in the past.  I managed to put it off until after the pool opened, but I told him I would definitely have one before the last day of school, next Thursday.

Yesterday, my best friend came out to see me and we had lunch first, because I wanted to be as fat and bloated as I could possibly be when I tried these torture devices on.  I wanted to make sure that no matter what I had done or eaten on any given day this coming summer, I would be able to fit into my bathing suit.  It wasn't pretty.

We went to Michael's first and then on to Old Navy, where I had a return.  We looked through the Old Navy bathing suits and promptly decided they didn't really have much.  I think this is their first year in the bathing suit market.  I also think their bathing suits are being marketed towards extremely thin high school girls.  I saw lots of bright bikini tops and little, teeny bikini bottoms.  I wouldn't even have considered trying those on because it would have been so traumatic, I might never have recovered.

Ross was right next door to Old Navy, so we went over there and started looking through the bathing suit racks.  They didn't have much - I guess June is kind of late to be looking for this year's suit in a total panic - but they had some.  We started kind of in my old size, even though I knew that size was not going to be close, and took one in that size, one in the next size, and one that was even two sizes bigger.  I thought no way is the one that is two sizes bigger going to fit me.  Uh huh.

I got to the dressing room and my friend patiently waited for me to show her.  She had to be my guide to whether or not I looked like one of those people you see on the beach that make you wince and go, "Oh my God, what was she thinking when she bought that bathing suit?"

I wouldn't even show her the first two.  The first suit was a pretty black number and black is supposed to be slimming, right?  It was the one in last year's size and I couldn't even get it over my hips.  Oh, GOD!  Thank you so much, surgeon who yanked out the organs that kept me skinny all my life.

The next suit was a size larger and I got into it.  But it was one of those looks great on the hanger and ridiculous when you put it on kinds of things.  It had a tankini top and a bikini bottom with a ruffle.  I felt like a fat cupcake.  Best friend didn't see that one either.

The last suit, biggest size.  Pretty, purple and black, but come on!  Two sizes bigger than last year, really???  I put the suit on and, depressingly, it fit.  I finally opened the door and said, "What do you think?"  BFF was prompt with the praise and telling me that it played down my flaws (uh, flaws may be a little on the subtle side for what has happened to my post-hysterectomy body).  So I finally gave in, agreed that the biggest suit fit, and we went looking for a wrap to put around my ever growing mid-section.  No wraps.  I was so depressed at this point that I said, let's just pay for the suit and get out of here.

I must have looked as sad as I felt when we got up to the register, because the woman behind it said, "Oh, I just hate shopping for bathing suits!  I lost 60 pounds last year and bought a bunch of suits in size 1, but I can't fit into them anymore!"  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY????  Why don't you really just shut the hell up and ring up my purchase, lady?

That woman was lucky I don't believe in hitting.

After I got home, BFF went on her way and Joey came in to the kitchen while I was contemplating that whale of a bathing suit and the depressing fact that it fit me to say that he had something to tell me.  He had gotten perfect 600's on his math and his history standardized tests.  Um, what?  Perfect 600's?  Are you freaking kidding me?

All of a sudden, my bathing suit size seemed pretty inconsequential.  I asked him what he wanted to do, anything at all, to celebrate.  Yep.  He wanted to go to the pool. 

So, we went to the pool.  There was no one there and we had it to ourselves.  I promptly forgot my bathing suit and what it covered (and didn't) in the pleasure of the warm water and my son's happy company.  He didn't care what I looked like in my bathing suit.  He was just ecstatic that I had taken him to the pool and gotten into it with him.

Sometimes we forget what's important in life.  As Joey said to me yesterday, size really doesn't matter.  What I discovered yesterday was that life is about living.  Not about what the label says on your bathing suit.




  1. What you said is so very true. I'm usually nitpicking things about my body but the people who love us are what really counts. I admit that sometimes I get too caught up in things that don't matter in the scheme of things.

    Beautiful post. I hope you join Total Recall Sunday again.

    As for the saleslady who rang you up, I just...ugh! grrrr! I felt stabby after reading that. ;) xoxo

  2. Elle,

    I think that woman should be forced to gain back all the weight she lost and I would force feed her. Stabbing was too good for that kind of comment. And way too quick. She should have been made to suffer.

    I still feel the weight gain is hideous (just did a post about my total lack of a pair of pants that actually fits), but I am probably the only one who is really noticing it. Still, losing 20 pounds would be a good thing.

    Thanks for linking me. I have you on my blog roll and will be reading.



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