Status update: I am not bikini-ready.

Today I made my annual swimsuit pilgrimage to the local TJ Maxx, to throw myself upon the dressing room altar in appeasement of the god of delusion.  Fortunately, this trek gets easier every spring, as I haven’t been bikini-ready in over a decade. I may never again achieve bikini-ready status. Or bikini-willing, or bikini-able.

To be honest, bikinis have never been my friend.  I like to move when I’m in the water and I have a long history of wandering triangles, broken strings or leaving part of my suit behind, hung up on whatever I caught it on right before I slid off the pier.  Truth be told, were it not for other people and those pesky rules, I’d rather swim naked.  But the YMCA frowns on that, particularly on the waterslide.  Why CAN’T I have the park to myself after closing?

So, I bought a mom suit again. The good news is my cleavage action is a lot more impressive than it was at 17. Tragically, the same suit that brings the girls together so nicely does some truly cruel and unusual things to other parts of the body. I also bought a swim suit cover-up, for the first time ever, remembering how hard it was last year to maintain my dignity at the water park without one.  Also: flip-flops.  Mine have arch supports.  And bling.  They are awesome.

And no more tanning. I used to be addicted to tanning. Last summer I had my first little bit of face-cancer removed, and I hope it will be the last. So I will be pale, and vein-y, and vain, apparently, in my ruched sausage suit, albeit with nice hooters and geriatric flip-flops.

Is it petty that every year, as I cram my ass into that big clear plastic donut so that I can float around the lazy river, I am cheered by the fact that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU SKINNY TWENTY-SOMETHING DIVAS IS IN LINE TO INHERIT THIS THRONE??  Yes.  I know you think you are immune.  No.  Of course YOURS won’t sag.  Yes, wearing three bras to bed will absolutely prevent that.  Tell your husband I said so.  And also, do you know what causes those little lines around your mouth?

But I digress. When I started this, I was gearing up to create another indictment of the media’s portrayal of the perfect female form, complete with bitter sarcasm and photos of the new mamas with the six-packs and the bow-flex grandma and that one famous 70+ fashion designer who graces the beach every year in a bikini looking very much like the walking dead, if the walking dead had access to a tanning salon, when I was interrupted by the thought that seems to keep popping into my head more and more often as I get older:

Who cares?  I’m letting other people tell me what kind of swimsuit I’m going to wear?  Worse, I’m letting what I THINK OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING to affect what kind of swimsuit I wear.  What is THAT?  I’m going to have less fun because someone else doesn’t like the way I look?  I’m going to miss out on my last years in the wave pool with my kids because it might not be dignified? Hell, I KNOW it’s not dignified.

Truth is, I really don’t want to wear a bikini…what I really want is to be more comfortable in my own skin.  The literal as well as the figurative kind.

That, and Naked Swim Night at the waterpark….


28 thoughts on “Standing on the Brink in Geriatric Flip-Flops

  1. Naked Swim Night at the waterpark….Sign me up. It will be far from pretty but it would feel pretty good. Funny how we have changes of attitude with age and just don’t give a crap. Talk them into a day too. The sun and breeze would feel nice.

      1. Eh, doesn’t help the swimsuit issue though, does it. S’why I’m working on the whole self-image mess of crapola; so I can come to Murica in September and not be completely crippled by shame and anxiety.

        But thanks 🙂

  2. My husband asked if we wanted to go to the beach this weekend. This is Florida. It is Spring Break. While it would be a visual wet dream for him, I would more than likely need therapy at the end of the day. Lots and lots of therapy. No bikini readiness here either. I do the same thing with the young firm bodies at the water parks. I snicker inside and just think to myself…wait until you’ve popped out a few kids. Then come talk to me. You have given me a boost of confidence with this. I now feel a little more empowered and proud of my body at 46. Booyah!

  3. Me and the hubs are going on a weekend getaway for our 20th anniversary next week and there’s going to be a heated swimming pool. I’ve always worn bikinis, then covered myself up with a cover-up rendering my bikini pointless. This year, I’m getting a cute tankini and ditching the cover-up. That’s the plan at least. Mom suits have come a long way since my mom’s day so I’m encouraged!

  4. Not bikini ready here either. And it’s stressing me out which I know is ridiculously vain and stupid. I have to go to Cancun on a work trip with my husband in May. And the women who work for his company are all ex Miss-Something or Other. Basically they’re all tall and skinny and beautiful. But, it won’t stop me from having fun. I will trudge my ass to the beach or the pool no matter what state my body is in. I have friends who wouldn’t put on a suit until they lost baby weight. Well, that takes me about 4 years so I just suck it up (literally and figuratively). But I wish I truly didn’t care. I’m working on it. (and I think you look damn good.)

    1. Tony Little. Yes, the DB with the ponytail. They are called “Cheeks” Health Sandals and they are awesome and not expensive. I also have his body pillow. I am way closer to him than I am comfortable with, I am just now realizing….they run large by about a size. The sandals. His website or ebay. Thanks!

      1. I went out on a limb there but seriously I totally, absolutely, 1 million % agree with your premise and I support you and your girls freedom in spite of what our stupid society says is acceptable or normal or whatever…I love your take on it all…’nuff said

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