tor•ture (tôr'chər) n.
Extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
After too many long months of being held captive within the walls of our humble abode, my kids are ready to jump from the second story windows. By now, I am ready to push them. Don’t judge me; the fact that I survived the winter without psychiatric intervention is a miracle in itself.
Over the course of ye eternal winter, we watched the daily progression of a ginormous mud hole into a full blown water park. This aquatic center is a mere three blocks from our house. My four children can literally see the top of its five story speed slide from their bedroom windows. I think it goes without saying, they speak of little else. Even the one who can barely talk.
This new expenditure of local tax revenue has brought on the inevitability of something I have been procrastinating for several years now; the looming torture of shopping for a new swimsuit. Oh, the horror...
Perhaps it’s a tad melodramatic to make comparisons between torture and shopping. Then again, any woman with an age or BMI over 24 can probably embrace this analogy. If, per chance, she has also gestated offspring—and furthermore nursed said offspring—then she is probably nodding in agreement.
T minus nine days until Chlorine Heaven opens its gates…
I made my initial mistake by going to the mall. Granted, I knew better than to even glimpse into the designer stores; I am automatically repelled by stick figures bathed in cologne so pungent that it burns my eyes as I walk by. These stores have mastered the art of pedaling four triangles of fabric held together by dental floss with a price tag that equals four new tires on my minivan. No thanks.
I wandered into KD Schmenney’s making my mental list of water-wear criteria:
- Coverage and lots of it.
For one thing, I have the fairest, most scorch-able skin you can have this side of albino. Just sit me near a window and I freckle like a banana.
Besides the skin flambé issue, I have stretch marks from just south of my collar bone to just north of my knees. And something the natives call cellulite. Not pretty. (See above reference to four kids)
- Structurally sound support.
This goes right along with coverage. Did you get the part about the five story water slide? And the breastfeeding of four children? I would opt for a scuba diving wet suit if I weren’t afraid that I’d be mistaken for a lumpy half seal/half albino mutant.
- Reasonable price tag.
(Again, the kids [and the mortgage, and health insurance, etc.])
- An iota of (age appropriate) style.
Something somewhere between Gossip Girl and Golden Girls.
After two hours, three department stores, and a Cinnabon, I realized that the majority of the swimwear market was primarily focused on the young, the skinny, and the monetarily solvent. I am none of these, hence the minivan, the five-thousand-calorie-cinnamon-roll, and the four children. I weeble-wobbled home in defeat.
T minus six days…
Yesterday, during my weekly wallet purging at Poor-Mart, I mustered up the courage to take a gander at their swimwear. The prices were attainable, and there were even a couple contenders; until we met in the fitting room. The black tankini pushed a puddle of pale pudge from between the “tank” component and the “kini” component. I tried on the swim skirt to hide the derrière dimple brigade, but the brigade won. All of this was amplified by three angled mirrors and ghastly florescent lighting. I bit my quivering lip. Twas fashion terrorism at its finest.
I sulked back out to my cart, where I noticed something in the plus size section. I was amazed. It was genius. It was called a shortini; a long tank top, and full-coverage-water-slide-ready-SHORTS. The biggest downside was that they were too big (the dimple brigade could fill the shorts, but the deflated, over-nursed bosoms looked pathetic in the tank-top). Also, the floral pattern appeared to be a replica of my grandma’s bedspread…in 1978. Practical but beyond hideous. I was halfway there.
I wiped my tears, paid for the gross of toilet tissue, and went home to Google “shortini”. Halleluiah choruses rang out as I chose my modest but stylishly feminine, age appropriate, full coverage shortini, and two day shipping.
I stood my ground, and refused to negotiate with the terrorists.
Break out the SPF 80…the albino mom is on the loose.
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