Sometimes I’m not-so-smart. I left my trusty bathing suit at my parents two weekends ago. I figured that it wouldn’t be a big deal. Then the weather hit 90+ degrees and, suddenly, it was a big deal! While my trusty bathing suit was an accidental online find, it was the perfect suit for that first summer post-baby. But, with plans to head to the lake “beach” today, I had to go out and attempt to find a bathing suit.
Right here I would also like to curse gas prices. Why? I didn’t want to “waste money” driving to the next city over. You know, the one with the mall. So, I stayed local and tried to find a bathing suit. Now, that whole Saturday morning, my Husband had been all over me, claiming that I looked “hot.” I left the house feeling pretty darn awesome about my shape. These feelings were soon eradicated.
My first stop was at that store that has everything from Tomatoes to Bathing Suits. You know the one. I walked around the display for a bit. Nothing really awesome. I found one tankini that should have fit and two one piece suits that were not heinous and went to the fitting room. I left the fitting room in tears. The tankini did not, in fact, fit, thanks to the monster bosoms that also made me order a bridesmaid dress one size larger than I am wearing. And the one pieces were massacres. Self-esteem dropped a bit.
I then made my way to a store in the same court. Frustration levels rose when anything labeled “misses size” automatically came with a skirt. I must mention that these suits were all over $70.00 (though on sale online) and were reminiscent of something my Grandma wore twenty years go. Now, Grandma is a fashionable lady but the styles twenty years ago are not awesome. Let me tell you. I left without subjecting myself to any fitting room drama.
I then stopped at two stores that apparently do not carry bathing suits. I left, scratching my head, thinking, “If you want to cater to local people who are looking to shop local instead of go to the big city that has everything, perhaps you should, I don’t know, carry bathing suits in the summer.” But, you know, common sense is so last season.
I then ended up in a store that is very much for teens and young women without many curves. To be fair, I bought the outfit that I wore to my bridal shower at this store. I still fit in and like the skirt that I purchased back then but, well, I’ve earned a few more curves since that day. I walked in with some semblance of self-worth remaining. But it quickly dissipated. Beyond the fact that the store was crawling with girls half my age (yes, sigh), they only had one tiny section of bathing suits. I almost walked out. But I was desperate! So, I stood there.
Everything was strings and tiny pieces and not very postpartum friendly. There were three tankinis total with different bottoms to choose for each so you didn’t have to go total string. I picked two up, in two different sizes, and walked into the fitting room. I eventually found that one top and one bottom looked halfway decent on me and served the purpose: allowed me to be outside with my children in a bathing suit. I took the suit to the counter, along with a pair of shorts to throw over them and paid. I didn’t make eye contact with the girls who were beautiful, long-legged and carefree. And I made fast tracks out of the store.
To be honest, I won’t be wearing this bathing suit to the city pool. I’ll wear my go-to suit just in case a handful of teeny bopper, beautiful pool-bunnies happen to have the same suit. I’m not particularly thrilled that I bought a “teen” bathing suit but it was my only option if I wanted to go to the lake TODAY. And I do! I do want to go to the lake! And, so, I put my self-consciousness aside because, honestly, I’m not half my own age, threw on my suit yesterday, and played in the baby pool with my son.
There are perks to the teeny-bopper suit. It shows off my… gasp!… tattoos! My go-to suit, being a one piece deal, shows off my shoulder tattoo but not my lower back, ahem, non-tramp-stamp. And, to be honest, my back isn’t too shabby. According to my Husband, who I think may have some bias, it’s all very shapely and nice. And while this teeny-bopper suit doesn’t have a skirt to cover my Mama-thighs, the sides of the tankini do, in fact, cover my stretch marks from multiple pregnancies. And, of course, being a true tankini, the top and the bottom overlap, covering the belly that I have not completely lost as of yet (whereas the go-to suit sucks it in and hides it completely). And, of course, being extra bosom-y right now thanks to LittleBrother, the halter neckline does, uhm, show them off. And, as we found out yesterday, provides easy access for nursing on the go. This is a true bonus! And yes, I like the colors (white, brown and turquoise). And, so, pros and cons. You take the good with the bad. You’ve got to! So you can torture your older son and make him pose for pictures when all he really wants to do, “MOMMY”, is “SPLASH RIGHT NOW!”
But? Truth be told?
I’m never, ever, ever doing that again. I will forever know where my go-to suit is and I will never, ever leave it behind ever, ever again. Ever. Ever. In fact, I’m tempted to buy my go-to suit in multiple colors (oh, and prints this year!) so I never, ever have to deal with this event ever, ever again. Bathing suit shopping is now and forever reserved for the internet only. And also at stores that acknowledge that women have curves and size suits appropriately so I don’t end up with two sizes bigger in a top and one size bigger on the bottom. I know I’m more than a number on a tag but, ugh, what a day.
We’re off to the lake! With lots and lots and lots of sunblock that doesn’t contain oxybenzone.