We are in the dog days of summer and I have done my very best to avoid the inevitable fact that I am going to need to wear a swimsuit or find a good reason to spend summer in the Arctic (where I can visit my distant cousin, the beluga). It has become impossible to continue hanging out around the barbecue in my cover-up, swearing “I’ll be right in” but then finding every reason in the world to refill everyone’s drinks, chip bowls and scrub the kitchen floor before entering the water in front of anyone other than the small group of nesting birds in the tree above the pool.
In an effort to make myself feel better I thought I would go swimsuit shopping. A new fresh suit would give me more confidence. And maybe, since last summer. scientists have invented a new kind of lycra that makes thigh fat melt.
It did not go well. As I drove home (with a stop at the DQ drive-thru) I gave thought to how the experience of swimsuit shopping is not very far removed from the stages of grief.
- SHOCK & DENIAL: “It can’t be summer. Isn’t there a groundhog or some rodent we could stuff in a hole to skip summer this year?”
- PAIN & GUILT: “Aaargh, why didn’t I open the Brazilian Butt Lift DVD my husband gave me for Christmas?”
- ANGER & BARGAINING: “Damn you donuts! Also, honey, if you empty the 401K to buy me liposuction you can trade out the dining room table for that foosball table you’ve always wanted.”
- DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS: “I can’t believe that mom with six week old twins is wearing a bikini! I really do suck. I am going to spend the summer inside with my friends Ben & Jerry.”
- THE UPWARD TURN: Flipping through Oprah magazine I discover swimsuits “guaranteed” to make you appear 10 pounds thinner. They cost slightly less than liposuction but three times more than I spent on swimsuits pre-kids. This may be my golden ray.
- RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH: I take the clipping of the black magical swimsuit to the department store and show it to first empathetic looking saleswoman in the swimsuit department. I write down my size in roman numerals and slip it to her on a folded piece of paper.
- ACCEPTANCE & HOPE: I look okay. The swimsuit is basically swimmable Spanx. I also purchase a large floppy hat, giant sunglasses, red lipstick and of course, a cover-up. My new motto, “Those who don’t exercise, must accessorize.”