I have just purchased the muumuu of all swimming suits. What has life become?!?! My 16-year-old self would be dyeing right now had she known this day would come. Honestly, I can scarcely believe it myself! What has possessed me to purchase such an item??
Last Monday Jeff and I found ourselves at TJ Maxx, one of my most favorite stores. Jeff was in search of new black jeans. I was in search of nothing, until I spotted the newly delivered swimsuits. Once spotting them, I was on a mission and my focus was laser like. I was looking for something quite specific and the awaiting racks may hold exactly what I had in mind. You see, in a few weeks we are taking a trip to Arizona with many, many of Jeff’s coworkers. It’s going to be a delightful week of meetings, seeing old friends, getting to know new ones better, and basking in the sunshine! To save on expenses, our group has decided to rent a vacation house where we all will stay. And the house has a pool. Glorious! I can scarcely wait to soak up as much vitamin D as physically possible while there. That is my plan. However, my current swim suit selection poses a slight problem for me. While they are not what you would consider scandalous, they are of the two piece variety.
While I seem to have no problem with wearing a bikini on a sunny, sandy beach were I am completely anonymous to those around me; I have a theory about traipsing around in a two piece suit while “vacationing” (which is not technically what’s happening with this trip, but how I’m choosing to view it anyway) with co-workers. I find it a bit like being at the office Christmas party where everyone is getting into the holiday spirit and a well-snookered coworker ends up sharing all their deepest, darkest secrets with you. You just can’t look them in the eye the same way the next day at the office. This is not what I want happening on our little trip. So a suitable swimsuit must be found that sufficiently covers my mid-drift.
Back to TJ Maxx… I’m flipping through the hangers in search. I have only a couple criteria. One, it must be a one piece (obviously, duh) and two, it must have a skirt. I love skirts on swimsuits. All my two pieces also have skirts (which is why they aren’t completely scandalous). I think skirts are super cute, and the fact that they completely cover my bum adds much to my love of them. My search doesn’t take too long as there are only three racks and one rack is filled with the unwanted bikinis. I head to the dressing room with three suits in hand.
The first two are failures based on size which is a bit disappointing for the mere fact that while I have lost weight since moving to Minnesota, apparently it wasn’t enough to drop a dress size. Oh well. The final suit awaits. While the first two were designed with fun, hip patterns, my final suit is the quintessential grandma suit. It comes in a turquoise color with the required leopard print in glittery gold and brown. Splashed across the entire thing are huge palm branches. Any girl reading this knows exactly the pattern I speak of. It has a high back, thick straps and the aforementioned required skirt. The tag identifies the style as “sarong lotus” and boasts of it’s tucking and slimming features. I put it on.
Checking myself over in the mirror, I observe two things. One: while I originally thought the entire bottom was a skirt, I am mistaken. Only the front is skirted, the back is more like boy shorts in a grandma-ish kind of way. There will be no water wedgies happening with this puppy. Second, I’m finding myself strangely attracted to it. The slimming and trimming functions seem to be working wonders to hide my not so flattering areas that producing a child seems to have brought about. And while scrutinizing myself, I begin to wonder if perhaps I can rock the turquoise grandma leopard print. It was at this moment that I realized my 16-year-old self would be dyeing had she been able to see me in this situation.
Let me introduce you to my 16-year-old self. She was shy and sweet and a virtual bean pole. Being the same height as my 32-year-old self, I was about 30 lbs slimmer in 1995. This equates to bean pole status. Bean poles typically have a hard time filling any piece of clothing out, and it was my 16-year-old self’s wish to someday put on a few more pounds and be more than a bean pole. Even if I could have filled out a the swim attire of my choice (which I could not), I was hindered from wearing them by one other major reason. My mother had a firm grasp on making sure I remained properly attired at all times (for which I am now thankful; however, not so much at the time). In the mid nineties, all the rage in swim suit attire were sky-high, thigh baring suits. Of course I wanted to keep up with all the rage, but my mother would have none of it. She would be completely pleased with my current selection which featured no hip baring properties what so ever.
After exiting the dressing room, I marched straight to the cash register and made my purchase. Since last Monday I have tried my suit on no less than four times, thinking perhaps I will come to my senses and return the thing. But I don’t see that happening. After 32 years of living, one baby, and a lacking desire to maintain regular exercise, the “Sarong Lotus” may be my new swimming attire of choice. So I have moved to the dark side. Welcome to the land of muumuu swimming.