Now I know what you're thinking: "Why? Why, Laura, would you do that to yourself? It's only February. And you live in Wisconsin. And you have snow on the ground and it was below zero this morning (not counting the wind chill). Why would you ever put yourself through such emotional turmoil this early in the year?"
Well, first I would tell you that those are all very valid points. But secondly: Necessity.
Yes. Necessity. Because if I didn't have to find at least one decent fitting swimsuit in this vast wasteland of ill-fitting spandex contraptions, I wouldn't go near the things with a stick. But I have to. And time is ticking.
I'm traveling to Jamaica next month (insert huge smile here). But, I have to find a suit (insert utter sadness resulting in crying in the fitting room here).
Now the tears haven't officially come...yet. But let me just ask you: Who in the hell do they design these bathing suits to fit?
Because it sure isn't normal people. I can promise you that.
Who can wear these little triangle tops? I took every size, cut, and style into the fitting room (in hopes that a sporadic act of God would enable me to wear these.) Well, that was wishful thinking.
I had side boob going on. And falling out the bottom boob. And if I breathed (which is sort of imperative to living) the teeny triangle would slide to one side exposing even more boob. I mean, really. I had to just laugh. And then throw them in a heap in the corner of the fitting room.
Just so we're clear: I know that any of my male readers are picturing the above scenarios and saying, "That's not really a problem at all. Trust us."
But ladies, you know what would happen. You would just get everything all situated somewhat into place as you lay by the pool and then you would need to reach for your book or little umbrella drink or suntan oil and HELLO WORLD! Out they come.
No. That's no good. I need a little sturdier top to hold these puppies in place. But what is with the huge wad of padding in most of the non-triangle bikini tops? Just a little lining can go a long way, bathing suit makers.
Yet, my troubles didn't end with the tops. My butt's too big for boyshorts. I can't trust just a little string to hold up certain other bottoms because one strong wave could send them flying. I grabbed a few skirted bottoms to try and those concealed about as much as a thong.
So then I thought that maybe at my ripe old age of 31 it was time to transition into a one-piece.
Gawwwwd, was I ever wrong about that. Black is supposed to be slimming, right? So I grabbed an entire rack of all different shapes and sizes of black one-piece bathing suits and back to the fitting room I went. In each different style, I pretty much looked the same: like a big black stuffed sausage.
Picture that for a moment. Let that sink in. Because that pile in the corner of the fitting room just kept getting bigger.
So I moved on to the next version of dreadful swim options: The Tankini. Since I was having such an awful time with one pieces and two pieces, a tankini was sure to fit.
Yeah, right. I found some that had a little flowage in the top to let things air out a bit around the tummy, apparently. So eagerly, I tried them on. And I looked pregnant. And my waist is the least of my normal issues. So those got tossed into the pile real quick.
So far, about 100 different mix and match messes and I was no further along than when I started. But I've come to expect all of that since this isn't my first trip to bathing suit purgatory.
Yet I'm still confused about who designs this atrocious apparel. But what's even more alarming: Who is in charge of designing the fitting rooms?
Is it really necessary to have the lights so bright in there? Literally, I felt like spotlights were beating down to highlight every inch of excess. There was no camouflaging any amount of bumps, blobs, or lumps. I'm well aware of what I look like naked, but I swear it's 1000% worse in those fitting rooms. Can we dim it down a little in there? I don't want to see everything quite that well.
But I sure did. And thus, I left the store empty handed. In fact, I left the mall empty stomached, too. After that traumatic ordeal, I may never eat again.
And as I walked out, I passed a girl making her way to the fitting room with about ten hangers of mix and match beachwear. We locked eyes. She could probably sense my despair. And for a second, I caught the hopefulness in her eyes that maybe this time, things would fit different.
For her sake, I hoped they would. But as I did one last ditch trek amongst the suits, I heard a voice from inside the fitting room let out a sigh. And then I heard the click of a hanger clatter to the ground and I knew she had just added another reject to my pile on the floor.
And I knew. I knew her world had just come a'crashing down. And she wasn't alone. Because we're all in this together, ladies. And I think we can all agree....
Bathing suits, you suck.