Dorothy Harris

That sinking feeling trying on swimwear

July approaches along with our annual camping trip to Sebastian. We love lazy days of swimming, sweating and fishing. There is no agenda other than checking the day's weather forecast. Staying up to wee hours fishing, sleeping in until mid-morning then lolling over to the beach requires bare minimum effort. My camping week requires no makeup or blow drying of the hair. I simply toss on a swimsuit and shorts, considering myself ready to go. Uh, oh, did I say swimsuit? (Key the creepy music please.) I pulled out last year's swimwear only to discover it had morphed into a mess of pretty fabric outlined in petrified elastic. While Mr. Harris was busy ensuring our camper was serviced and ready to travel, I had to figure out how to ensure I'd be able to hit the beach properly attired. I texted him at the RV dealer to let him know I'd either need to digress from our Financial Peace plan or change our reservations to a campground with a nude beach. You can guess his reply, but honestly, after the shopping trip from H. E. double hockey sticks, I think the nude beach would have been the way to go.
Buying a swimsuit in the land of endless summer should be a snap. If I was in Maine or some other place where summer lasts a few scant weeks, I would understand a lack of options. In Florida, the land of surf and sun, swimwear selections should be endless, right? Wrong. After trying on the first nine suits I was allowed to take into the dressing room, I texted Mr. Harris to let him know I needed help deciding between the two alternatives present. "Do you prefer a hoochie mama look or the other I am affectionately calling "The Grandma"? My next nine suits yielded one possibility, if you didn't count the reaction of the teens in tow. Unanimously they agreed they would pretend not to know me if I actually wore that suit in their presence. "I have tried on 18 suits," I insisted. "This is the only one that actually has almost enough fabric to cover my assets." "The only problem," my teen retorted, "is that it doesn't actually cover them." I was tempted to throw a hissy fit right there, but feared the suit wouldn't be able to contain my enthusiasm - and a few other things either. The next fitting session nearly made me cry and later laugh due to the absurdity of what the manufacturer thought of as a reasonable amount of fabric. Standing there attempting to stuff myself into the incredibly over-priced bits of shiny fabric, I could only fume in exasperation. I could lose 50 pounds and still not fit into these stupid little suits. What were they thinking? Realizing I couldn't just quit, because I had to have something to swim in, I went back to the suit that failed the teen opinion poll. "What if I get this and wear a cover-up when I'm out of the water?" I suggested. My teen shrugged. "I have to get something," I insisted. "I know," she replied, "It's just, well, you know," she gestured, explaining it all. Finally I found two suits that hopefully will not embarrass my teen, still please my husband and yet allow my fragile ego to remain intact. Funny thing, as I tried on suits, tags ranged from size 8 to 16, but fabric coverage changed a negligible amount. Really swimsuit manufacturers, is this a cruel joke or what?