I've written before that I plan to just get over myself and buy a bathing suit and not worry about my flaws. Easier said than done, folks. When I wrote that, I was happily (and fully) covered by yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Actually putting on a bathing suit is a whole different story.
It's not even really fair because bathing suit season, in my mind, doesn't officially start until June. But L is finally just about old enough to be allowed in the pool at the Rec center and I can't contain myself anymore. So last Saturday, D and I decided to take him to the pool this weekend for the first time and ever since then I've been like a fat kid on a diet who was told he'll get cake that day (literally and figuratively).
But hold on there a second partner. I still need a bathing suit. So today on my lunch hour, the moment of truth. I went to Kohls because my friend and fellow mommy told me they had some cute suits. I printed a 15% off EVERYTHING (excluding clothes, jewelry, shoes, small kitchen appliances, accessories, toys and sports equipment) coupon and went on my way.
I beelined directly for the bathing suits and were happy to see that they were actually on a decent sale. Then I started weeding through the goods to try to find my miracle. Any teenie-bopper brand (Candies, et all) was out, because those were made for girls whose boobies do most of the work to hold themselves up. Mine have long-since ceased to do this. I've thought about firing them, but you know, despite everything I'm pretty attached to them (HA!).
So boob support - an absolute must. Swim skirt? Uh, yes, I think it would be better for everyone that way. (By the way God, thanks again for the fact that I wore a bikini on my honeymoon, even though I thought I was fat back then. It was the last time in my life I'll ever feel like I looked ok in a bikini.) I grabbed three suits and headed to the fitting room.
The first two pieces I tried on were designed to help with "problem areas," both made to trim the tummy. Sweet. I put them on with my back facing the mirror because, if it's one thing I hate, it's watching myself try clothes on, especially bathing suits. It is awful and horrific to watching your body bend and maneuver in that godawful flourescent lighting (which should be outlawed, by the way. Don't stores know that if they installed soft, flattering lights in the fitting rooms, they'd sell WAY more stuff?).
First bathing suit: not so much. The top was so "slimming" that it rolled up in the back. The swim skirt was so long that I almost could have gotten away with wearing it as a real skirt. Well, maybe only if I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but still. Too long for a bathing suit skirt.
Second bathing suit. Bright pink. Not my usual choice of colors for a bathing suit, since it generally screams, "LOOK AT ME!" and I'd rather find one that whispers, "please ignore me." But it was cute and had some sort of strappy deal at the top that I thought was a bandeau halter (or whatever it's called - a strap that goes around your neck and meets in the middle of a sweetheart neckline).
Got the swim skirt on... Not too bad, actually. It fit and was an appropriate length. Tried to get the top on, almost strangled myself because I couldn't figure out how to do the straps, got stuck in the bathing suit top, panicked because I couldn't get it off and was afraid I'd have to call someone to help me (wouldn't that be the very definition of humiliation?) then finally was able to yank it off my poor body. Refrained from throwing the stupid top on the ground and stomping on it (you know, to teach it a lesson) and studied it to figure out where I went wrong. Noticed that it was actually not a halter but rather a one-shouldered top where both straps went over one shoulder (come on, that makes no sense) and swore to myself that I'd die before I bought a bathing suit I had to "figure out" before wearing. Took the nicely-fitting bottoms off to hang them up, saw that I had actually grabbed a pair that were a full size larger than what I normally wear, fought back tears of frustration and did my centering breathing.
One last bathing suit to go. At this point, suffice it to say that I was not hopeful. But, these last two pieces were, like the first set, of the problem-area masking variety, so I heaved a big sigh and started to put them on. The hanger billed the bottoms as "hip slimming," which wasn't what I'd call my number one problem area, but after the tummy slimming debacle, I decided to give them a try. The top was proclaimed by the hanger to be "bust enhancing," which made me think of that little chant from Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret that goes, "We must, we must, we must increase our bust." (And yes, I do giggle internally every time I hear or read the word "bust" because of that book.)
Since my bust could definitely use a little enhancing these days, I happily slid into the top and tied the halter neck. I turned around the face the mirror and carefully appraised the final result. Not great. Not horrible, but not great. While I wouldn't exactly call my bust "enhanced," it certainly did look at least supported. A little low-cut, but supported. And then there were the bottoms. A good length, and yes, my hips did look a little slimmer as a matter of fact. Way to go bottoms, you slimmed my hips. Props for a job well done.
I figure that this was as good as it was going to get, so I decided to buy the suit. When I took off the bottoms, I noticed that they were actually a different brand altogether and were not, in fact, "hip slimming" - they had just been placed on the wrong hanger that proclaimed them as such. Never underestimate the power of suggestion, people.
I decided to buy them anyway. As well as $70 in additional items that were not bathing suits, which, by default, made them awesome.