Damara Hutchins

Dressing room disaster

The Florida sun has returned to abuse us all with its harmful rays which means it is time for me to embark on the impossible task of finding a new bathing suit. I know it shouldn’t be a big hassle, but the swimsuit market has not yet addressed the needs of every woman.

I’ve been working in the ER for almost two years now and I can tell you that, without a doubt, women come in all shapes and sizes. We are small, large and unfortunately large. We are heavy up top, bottom-loaded, or carrying a few dozen Dunkin Donuts around the middle. Some of us are regular, but not many. Those are the women who can buy a suit right off the rack. I envy them.

Myself, I have an ample chest, which is why I loathe button-up shirts and buying bathing suits. It is bad enough that the rest of my body looks like it is bloated up with too much cookie dough and I have that c-section scar (I call it my “skin belt”). When I squeeze all this bounty into fitted lycra, the result is usually embarrassing to my kids.

I left the nail shop the other day with my self-esteem elevated. My hair was looking fairly decent and my mood was positive. I had some time before I had to pick up my daughter from school so if I was going to grab a new suit, this was my opportunity. I didn’t want her with me. She has a tendency to be brutally honest in her commentary. I didn’t need that.

I browsed the slim selection in my sizes at the discounted department store. I refuse to buy a bikini. My stomach is as white as fresh fallen snow. The last time it was tan was 1999.

I reluctantly chose five suits that had moderate potential. One was made by Spandex and it was called a “Slimming Suit.” I thought that was clever. In the back of my mind, I knew none of them would work, but there is this nagging area of my brain that still maintains hope even though historical precedence has proven otherwise.

Heading to the dressing room, I checked my number of items and began to get down to business.

The Slimming Suit was first. It was a tankini which I wasn’t happy about, but it didn’t matter because I tried the top on and it was obscene. I was spilling out of it. I took it off immediately.

The next suit was stupid. I hated it. It had these pads that went in the top and one was all bunched up. I couldn’t easily fix it and I didn’t like the top anyway. It didn’t fit. Rejected.

The third suit was so tight, by the time I realized the top didn’t fit, I was almost stuck in it. The fourth was another tankini and the top fit! I was excited. I put on the bottoms and every bit of cellulite I never wanted to notice was squeezed out of the bottoms and popping out all over the place like an unappetizing soufflé.

The last one was nice. It was a one piece and everything was in the suit. It was respectable and covered all the important body parts. Then I noticed my arm pits. It looked like I was smuggling sausage under my arms.

I left the dressing room and handed the lady my items. “That was depressing,” I told her. I decided to put this trip off for another day.