Our family vacation last week was your typical beach vacation. We volleyed between the beach and the pool, with brief interludes of meals and lots of shelling. There was walking and exploring and ice cream cone eating. That was the glorious extent of our six days.
And with that comes many hours spent…in a bathing suit.
As I said to my husband one morning as we were all suiting up, “Beach vacations are humbling”. I had no other words. I’m certainly not scaring away the local manatees, but I am your totally average woman-in-a-bathing suit gal. Meaning, also, the minute I (you, us) step your foot through that bikini bottom, you are INSTANTLY scrolling through EVERY piece of chocolate, every chip, every wedge of cake or bread you’ve let pass by your lips in the last six months. Damn! You also remember, in vivid detail, every day that you did not go for a walk or lift a weight. Damn, damn, damn! The power of this small piece of clothing.
Women’s kryptonite: The Bathing Suit.
But here I was, in my suit, ready to face the world. Lord help me. I’m suddenly hoping that my sunscreen really is magic invisibility cream. Wasn’t there a spell for this in one of those Harry Potter books that my kids are STILL reading?? They had an invisibility cloak, why not a far-more-practical-and-handy cream?!
Out we go…to the beach, to the pool. Ok, here now, there’s nothing I can do about what I did or did not do in the past six months, so suck it up buttercup and enjoy your vacation.
Little by little, insecurities start to fade (slooowwwly), all the while sucking in the tummy and trying to stand up straight. Slouching in the kiss of death in a bathing suit. I’ve never before in my life wanted to be 7 feet tall-AND wearing heels-until now.
Books are out, kids are splashing, ah…here’s my Pina Colada arriving. Ok, I’m good with this now. Enjoying the suit!
A look to my right one afternoon reveals a group of Victoria’s Secret-bodied 20-somethings bobbing in the pool and languishing on its edges. These girls have PERFECT (in the magazine sense of the word) bodies. It’s actually quite insane what they looked like. For a brief second, I had the horrifying thought looking at them that maybe magazines DON’T really airbrush as much as everyone wants to think they do. I do a quick check in with the husband to see if he needs a paper bag in the event that he has started hyperventilating. He’s says the magic words to me: “Too scrawny”. God love that man.
As I look around the pool, there are some men completely staring with mouths open-I kid you not. Several have probably thought that they were born under lucky stars, as their lounge chairs are directly facing this bunch of bodies. I chuckle to myself (well, maybe you could hear me) just watching these guys. I swear, one of them didn’t even blink for several minutes. He was like some kind of bizarre estrogen-seeking tropical lizard. Did. Not. Blink.
I stay rooted to my chair, half-immersed in my book, becoming more and more amused by this bunch of girls by the minute. There were tattoos in places where tattoos should not be (per any Mom out there) and there were NOT bathing suits where bathing suits should be (also per any Mom out there). Add to this, the two rather mature (not naming ages) men in the pool with them, supplying them with endless drinks and more inane conversation.
Quite the scene, indeed. But whatever. I am not kidding myself that I am anything other than my lovely and delightful 42 (age, not size). Life is good, great actually, and I’m on vacation with my family. I will work my suit to the best of my abilities, enjoying my book and pina coladas along the way. Tattoos will have to wait for another lifetime. I would look ridiculous with one. Especially there.
Fast forward to the next morning. We are at breakfast. Out on the terrace, palm trees swaying, tropical birds chirping, breezes gently blowing. A hot cup of tea is in front of me, as is a big plate of fresh fruit, yogurt and my splurge of a modestly-sized cinnamon bun. I told myself heading into vacation week that I would enjoy treats, but not go completely hog-wild, as I’m really not in the mood to try and lop off 5 MORE pounds. This bun fits the bill.
Just as I am raising it to my lips, I glance up and what should I see, but a swimsuit model, in a teeny bikini, under a tree.
Seriously? I think I just heard the Universe laugh out loud.
The hot bodied-teeny-bikini’d girls from the pool? Well, they are swimsuit models apparently. Honestly. Please send them to someone else’s beach vacation, ok?
I laugh (along with the Universe), I look, I share this observation with my husband.
Then, I grab that stinkin’ cinnamon bun, refrain from hurling it at them (So. Hard.), and SINK MY CHOMPERS RIGHT INTO IT.
Ahh….D-I-V-I-N-E (insert smile here)!
Bring on suit season. For all!
(Cinnamon bun the foreground, Nightmare in the background)