Dear wanna be New Jersey housewife in OceanCity last week: You looked ridiculous. I’m sorry, but you did. In case you didn’t notice, but our hotel pool consisted mostly of children under the age of 10. They thought you were playing dress up in the swimming pool with all of your gold sparkle bathing suits, headbands and makeup…and wanted to know when the tight rope walker was coming on next. I’m pretty sure they didn’t find you sexy either, but the 75 year old grandpa did because he hadn’t seen that in years, so congratulations. You tried too hard and you looked miserable. Yes, people were staring because they were embarrassed for you. It’s ok. You are a good looking woman, be comfortable with it. Own it, don’t pose it. But, I understand how you could get it wrong.
I get it. I do it too…Every year us women scramble around trying to figure out what the hell we are going to do when summer comes around. We’ve been cooped up for months in sweatpants and cookies and cream ice cream…. then Easter comes and panic emerges. We join a new gym for five minutes or we decide that Pilates in our living room is the answer because “it’s free on demand!” But the reality is our Pilates turn into NCAA wrestling tournaments because not only are we are on the floor, but so is our child, our second child, the dog, the cat, the neighbor’s kids and now our husband decides that’s the best time to try to pop a feel. “Free” turns into “never again” so then we give up on exercise. “Ill just eat better,” we say. So then our potato chip nighttime snacks become veggie chips and our steak and cheese hoagies lunches evolve into chicken salads (extra ranch please…what? They are salads, right?)
We tell our friends about the first 2 pounds we lost and it only took 2 weeks. (Blank stare from friend, followed by “Great!”) The 2 pounds lost turned into 2 pounds NEVER lost and in fact 2 pounds GAIN because after all summertime is approaching and those margaritas on the back deck sure look delightful until those margaritas turn into many margaritas, which in turn lead into late night binges from black outs at the age of 32. Don’t judge.
The third self deprecating event that we embark upon is finding the perfect bathing suit. Uh, yes, mid thirties bathing suit wear, the worst ever. It’s not like in our twenties when our main goal was to find the one that made us look the hottest; it’s now become what is the suit that will hide that stretch mark, lift the butt or push these flapjacks we call boobs together to create just a wrinkle. I mean that’s all we really need really. Or maybe it’s the opposite problem that we don’t have anything accommodating enough to squeeze them into because they are a stacked cash bar filled with milk, compliments of baby Eric over there. I mean sure, nipple slips in bathing suits are hot until it is a nipple slip leaking out breast milk…not so hot.
So, now we’ve decided that “Very sexy” bathing suit top will push our pancakes together and the fullback bottom will hide a couple dimples, but now the question leads to appropriateness. Is a bikini still appropriate at 32 with three kids and 2 daughters that now want to wear bikinis themselves? So now, not only are we walking around like we are 22, but so is our 8 year old daughters. Neither is fantastic. But, then comes the argument of “hey if ya still got it” and by got it, I mean,. “Still have something sort of”, then go for it. What’s to lose, right? Maybe a few moms from the neighborhood who “would never stroll around in a two piece” because “we are mothers now”, (I’m not crying over that)…or a couple dirty looks from women whose husbands are gawking (not my fault he hasn’t seen your ass in 10 years but once a month.) But it’s still stressful. And it’s just as stressful to those who are forced to wear the one piece because they lack self confidence or feel like they don’t have even “something sort of.”
And we are doing this to please strangers. Maybe if we didn’t try too hard worrying about how we looked in those damn things we would actually enjoy what the summer is supposed to bring to us…relaxation. Who cares if our stomach looks like a tiger‘s fur from the fat roll seams that remained pasty white.
Easier said than done. We want to look hot, fit the mold and be the real housewife, but end up looking like the desperate housewife. After all we can’t even dress our children in bathing suits correctly either, just ask the mom who dressed her 6 year old in a bathing suit and a cardigan to swim in. Words from my sister in law…”they make sunscreen now…welcome”. (she must not have read my blog, SAFETY FIRST, PARENTING SECOND…)…