There are two horrors no woman can escape: swimsuit shopping and gray hairs. To endure both simultaneously with a toddler in tow should be enough punishment for a lifetime of sins (including all those I have yet to imagine and enjoy).
Down here in the Sunshine State swimsuit season starts early. Really early. If you don’t get your pale, flabby behind into stores while there’s still a nip in the air every decent suit will be long gone. I didn’t want to end up at the pool party play date in a flowery control-panel suit meant for my Great Aunt Betty or hit the beach in a knot of neon dental floss geared towards anorexic Girls Gone Wild, so I dragged the Kiddo out shopping.
As a SAHM on a shoestring budget, I don’t have the luxury of hitting the department stores or swimsuit boutiques which feature pricey suits that supposedly flatter any figure. Instead I am relegated to scouring the no-frill discount chain stores (a la Ross, TJ Maxx and of course Target), and usually with a whining toddler in tow.
On this particular sad shopping spree, I snatched up every suit that looked like it had a fighting chance of fitting my awkward shape, praying there was one I could wear in public without a sarong or shame. I hauled Kiddo past the toy display and snagged the biggest fitting room with only a slight pang of guilt. Okay, I know technically it is supposed to be a handicapped fitting room, but isn’t shopping with a toddler enough of an impediment to qualify? I parked Kiddo, some Matchbox cars, and the magic baggie of goldfish on the tiny bench facing away from me so he wouldn’t stare at me like I was a sideshow freak. Off went my clothes…and my dignity.
I firmly believe every mother should be handed a certificate in the delivery room to come back for a little “sprucing up” after her kid is weaned to avoid tortuous situations like this. It wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t pretty. The white walls and harsh fluorescent lighting magnified each lump, shiny stretch mark, and stray leg hair. It was freezing cold. I had enough goosebumps to resemble a plucked chicken.
I discarded the first two choices as soon as I could perform the necessary contortionist moves to get them off. Torn white granny-panties would have been more flattering. The third suit…well, it wasn’t atrocious. At least it covered the saggy post-pregnancy elephant skin no exercise could erase. Stretch marks were covered. Muffin top was at a minimum. Granted, the black fabric made me look as if I had been on display in a funeral parlor for a few days (I’m a far cry from Nicole Kidman’s creamy pale skin, I’m more Sunday Adams in need of a wax). It matched my black socks. It could have been worse.
I bribed the now bored and whining Kiddo with a lollipop for a few more moments of contemplation.
|Yes, I saved it and taped it into my journal. I’m weird that way.|