More on the Subject
In response to Biggy's brag about how it took him ten minutes and ten dollars to purchase his new trunks at T.J Maxx, I thought I'd elaborate on the swimsuit shopping experience for middle-aged women.
According to a recent poll of women I know, once you're out of water wings and no longer choosing between the Barney bikini and the Mickey maillot, swimsuit shopping ceases to be pleasant. Beyond the futile exercise of finding the perfect balance between what you want to hide and what you want to show off, fluorescent lighting is unkind to everyone, even high school cheerleaders and college volleyball players.
Around 40, though, when "what you want to show off" is sadly taken off the table, mere unpleasantness morphs into torture. Not only does the whole ordeal require more time and money, but it inevitably leaves you broken and demoralized.
There's so much to consider: quality, fit, exposure, likelihood of slippage or spillage... Because no matter how much you work out or how slim you are, the world--with it's gravity and sunlight, is at war with your skin, battering it like a meat mallet, stretching and thinning it, transforming it into the bag that will hold your 90-year-old bones.
So the fabric has to be of good quality. You can no more wear a Target tankini than you can wear a tube dress from Charlotte Russe. Cheap, lightweight fabrics get caught in bumps and crevices; they show the outline of your post-pregnancy navel. Wearing discount swimsuits is like putting coffee in a Dixie cup, when what you need is a sturdy travel mug.
But quality is only the beginning. Last night I tried on a beautiful, simple Ralph Lauren one-piece, crafted from a nice thick shimmery lycra spandex. It was an elegant navy blue number, cut higher on the legs and in a low V down the front, with a little silver RL clasp between the breasts. It was lovely, really. Until I turned and saw the decolletage from the side. What would have been an intriguing glimpse of flesh on a younger gal was, on me, reason for the cabana boy to to gouge out his own eyeballs.
Hence, that area of my body was officially added to the ever-growing list called Things That Must Be Covered or Disguised, a list that includes belly, bellybutton outline, upper thighs, evidence of nipples, stretch marks, ass divots, love handles, bra fat, back fat, and broken capillaries. Everything else must be held in place, contained, and rendered immobile for walking the twelve steps to the tiki bar (well, not me but my friends).
Does anyone know of the perfect suit?