Dear Bathing Suit:
As the summer of 2017 quickly approaches, the painful truth is that our relationship is over. Until now, I never realized that the acronym for “bathing suit” is B.S. Now, as one of those baby boomers past sixty, I get it. I panic at the thought of swimming in front of others in anything but cut-offs and an old T-Shirt. You see, I lose on two counts when it comes to swim wear — Reuben has been my lifelong designer label and at my age, gravity is pulling all my important bits in the wrong direction. This ship is slowly going down and my relationship with you my dear bathing suit, is going down with it.
I remember “young and carefree” in the summertime, when we dared to wear the latest, coolest and most revealing bathing suits and arrived on the beach as though it was a red carpet. Twiggy, the British model, did irreparable damage to the psyche of robust young boomer women, because few of us looked like Twiggy and definitely did not have the courage or the body to wear the “itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny yellow polka dot bikini.” But wearing my one piece suits (all black of course), I didn’t look half bad (which half I am not sure) as I sported spaghetti straps and a plunging rear guard. With a pretty good pair of gams too (legs to you youngsters out there), I was at least passable on the beach, lying flat.
Now, the thought of buying a bathing suit, let alone wearing one, gives me the heebie-jeebies. The last time I browsed swim wear was at Costco (big bulk shopping — appropriate) and all the suits were displayed on a cardboard cut-out of a perfect torso. I thought, so why not just find a place to lounge by the pool or on the beach and wear the suit with cardboard torso as though it was really me? If I strategically draped a towel, no one would ever really know…
In all seriousness, our relationship is indeed over, c’est finis, the end, kaput. Good bye to “suitable” for the beach, poolside, lake shore or river bank. Instead, hello to sitting with bathing suit-clad younger sleek, shimmering bodies, where you find me wearing my sensible Keen sandals, capri jeans and a jolly plaid summer blouse, with my Tilley hat flapping in the breeze (better my hat than my arms and legs!). Bathing suit, it has been a blast and thanks for all the summer memories but this year, it’s “farewell to arms,” legs, torso and any other exposed body part. And please don’t tantalize me with your clever little option that’s really just a pleated skirt charading as a sensible bathing suit — isn’t being relegated to wearing sensible shoes quite enough??