What do you do when you are stressed about naming your book? You shop, of course! Spending unbudgeted money on clothing sure beats eating a pint of ice cream. Of course, when the garment you are looking for is a swimsuit it’s quite possible it might make your stress levels rise instead of fall. But I am paying my rent every month on time, so I figure I should take advantage of the pool my dollars are helping maintain. I also finally feel thin enough that the idea of swimsuit shopping only launches me to 50%-60% of my maximum heart rate instead of 80%-90%.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a swimsuit. It was probably the 90’s. I can’t remember the last time I went swimming either, but I think it was in the lake at my friend’s house, a home they don’t even own anymore. I also forgot to bring my swimsuit home because I left it to dry in their bathroom. I did not get it back until my ass could no longer fit inside it, spandex be damned.
I dug up that teal suit from the box of skinny clothes awhile ago. It finally fits again, but I don’t think it’s all that flattering since it’s a one-piece that actually reveals my thighs. My legs basically have the same excess skin issues that my underarms have. I notice the underarms jiggle whenever I reach out to grab something while I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt or tank top. I don’t usually notice the thigh flesh because I’m not prone to go around the house in my underpants sticking my legs out at right angles to my body. But it is there, and while I don’t really care that my thighs look a bit saggy, I don’t really want to put them on display either.
Lucky for me, swimsuit trends have changed since the 90’s and we now have tankinis and skirtinis and martinis. Okay, we always had martinis. They should serve martinis while we shop for our tankinis. It would surely help customers deal with the shopping process. I stopped at Kohl’s last week before my last TurboKick class and tried on some stuff, but didn’t really like anything. The dressing rooms were clogged with other people’s garments too, which makes me wonder is it really so exhausting to hang your items on the rack outside the changing room? Sheesh.
Fashion Bug had a 50% off sale on swimsuits last weekend, so I decided to try them. It was a little frustrating to have to go up to the size 16 misses swimsuit when I have been wearing size 14 women’s jeans. I checked the sizing charts online (Fashion Bug | Lane Bryant) and both sizes have the same waist measurement and only one inch difference in the hip measurement. So they are basically the same size in the sense of the surface area they consume, they just have different numbers in the tags. When you consider the fact that I wore a size 12 mini-skirt to the art fair, maybe you can see why dress size does not matter. It’s like they pick these numbers off of balls from a lottery machine.
I bought this swimsuit:
I got an extra 10% off of the 50% mark-down because I had a coupon, so I only spent about 30-something bucks, which I thought was a good price. My only complaint is that the top and bottom were sold together instead of mix-and-match. I think the 14 top would have fit better because I have no breasts. Back in elementary school kids would enter “55378008” onto a calculator and turn it around to say “Boobless” on the screen. That perfectly describes me. Last year at this time I wore a snug size 14 dress to a wedding and even though I’ve lost about 40 pounds since then, I’m really only down to a size 12 or 10 because dress size is typically determined at the bust. However, I was also wearing size 22 jeans at the time and I’m now down to a size 14. I carry most of my fat below my boobs. I suppose I could have tried to switch the size 16 top for a size 14, like people who have one foot bigger than the other sometimes try to do when they buy shoes. But I would have felt bad about that, so I just bought the matched-sized set. On the positive side, I find that the more weight I lose, the closer my top-half size has become to my bottom-half size.
Last evening I carefully peaked out my window to surveil the pool and confirm that it was deserted before I took my swimsuit out for a test swim. I am generally very confident about my body, but seriously, even I have my limits. I did a half-assed shaving job on my legs, slipped on my flip-flops and trotted over to the pool with my towel. As I rounded the corner I heard a voice echoing against the bricks. Oh no! A neighbor was sitting on the second floor landing above the pool talking on his cell phone. My complex gets shoddy cell phone reception, so people can frequently be seen and heard talking on their phones in the courtyards during the summer. I hadn’t been able to see him from my window.
But I couldn’t really turn around now or else I’d be that weird neighbor girl who walks around the complex in a swimsuit without ever actually going in the pool. I continued flipping and flopping to the gate and ignored him. Once I took off my glasses I couldn’t see the guy anyway, so I could just imagine the world had shrunk to what I could clearly see in a 2 foot bubble away from my face. I swam around in the pool for 10-15 minutes while this guy chattered on about work to the anonymous stranger. Geez, I had to listen to his boring conversation and I couldn’t even luck into something juicy, like an argument with his young, gay, Asian, lover.
“When are you going to give my boy, Mark a job, eh?” He jabbered into the phone. “He’s a great shot.” Oh my God. What kind of job was Mark applying for? I dunked my head under the water in an attempt to mute the sound. I got sick of listening to the conversation and made for the ladder, which was when my neighbor conveniently decided to end his phone call. But I was already climbing out of the water, so I kept hauling my wet ass upwards and walked to the lawn chair to retrieve my stuff.
I went back to my apartment and checked out the now wet suit in the mirror. None of the material had gone invisible. My butt crack was not showing. My top had stayed on. My first jaunt to the pool this millennium had gone swimmingly. I might make this a more frequent than a once-in-a-decade event.