Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Next Summer, I Am Getting A Bikini

If I'm still alive and kicking, anyway.

But, don't worry, I won't be wearing it to any public places.

It's just that we have, in our backyard, what is known as a dough-boy pool.  It's one of those above-ground pools, which is composed of a metal frame and a vinyl liner.  You get into and out of it via an attached ladder.  The one we have is fairly large.  And it is wonderful.  We live in a canyon in SoCal, where it gets roasting hot in the summer months, so this pool is something which my family enjoys immensely.

As a "more mature" woman, I always buy one-piece bathing suits.  Why?  Well, you know how it is.  Stretch marks from childbearing, a few drooping parts, some rolls where there used to be smooth tightness.  All the signs of age and experience.  And I wish to spare others the sight of such phenomena, as a general rule.

But, this is the thing.  One piece bathing suits are a pain in the ass.  You have to haul them up over your whole non-smooth, slightly rounded, middle-aged self and straighten them out painstakingly.  And getting them on and off when your skin is damp?  Don't even talk to me about it.  Also, with all the fabric, they tend to drip a lot more when you emerge from the water, which is quite inconvenient if you have to go into the house for some reason.  Your tummy stays pale all summer long, too.  How sad is that?  Because even if you're not going to attempt to rock the half-shirt look, a white tummy staring you back at you from your mirror during July is just depressing.


I am getting a bikini next summer.  Only to be used in my own backyard, in my own dough-boy pool.  Yes, my family will have to deal with it.  But, I have faith in their ability to suck it up. 

And if you want to know what finally inspired me to come to this conclusion, here is a little story:

The summer after I graduated from high school, I was privileged to spend five weeks in Europe.  During one week of the trip, I was a passenger on a Greek cruise ship that was equipped with a swimming pool.  The ship stopped at various Greek islands, where we were able to disembark and (often) go to the beach.  It was a fantastic time.  And one thing I noticed were the various older ladies wearing bikinis.  One of these women, in particular, I will never forget.  She was probably in her 70's.  She was not overweight, but she was quite "wrinkly."  She had wrinkles and sags and bags everywhere, like most women in their 70's probably do.  But, she boldly wore her bikini to the ship's pool.  She swam and splashed and sunbathed enthusiastically and unashamedly, along with her companions.  I had never seen anything like that in the States.  I was really impressed by her confident, fun-loving, youthful attitude.  Another thing that impressed me about the situation was that none of the European travelers seemed to notice or care.  And I found myself being slightly sad that we, in the good old USA, aren't more like these easy-going Europeans.

I have thought of that lady from time-to-time, over the years.  This summer, though, as I hauled my one-piece swim suit up and over my fifty-year-old frame, I thought about her a lot.  And I decided, "Dammit. I can have a bikini, too.  And I will have a bikini.  Next summer."  Although, I am not as brave and admirable as that lady on the Greek cruise ship, so y'all don't have to worry about seeing me in it.  Unless "y'all" are my husband and kids. ;-)