Does anybody look good in a one-piece bathing suit?
I can remember a time not too long ago when I thought even a tankini was frumpy, but I’ve recently taken up swimming as exercise, and bikinis just aren’t built for laps. After a few sessions of clutching shifting material to my body while simultaneously trying not to drown, I decided to silence the protesting sixteen year old within and spring for the one-piece.
Yesterday, I took my spankin’ new Speedo out for its maiden voyage, and was startled by an unpleasant surprise in the locker room: my reflection.
It was positively, absolutely, the most unflattering article of clothing I’ve ever shimmied myself into. Inside its spandex prison, my curvy figure looked oblong. It made my torso appear stumpier than usual and flattened my ass-ets. I looked like a Saran-wrapped potato.
I didn’t recognize the dowdy person gazing back at me with disgust. She was a stranger.
Staring back at me was not the bikini donning gal who boldly bears her bronzed skin and unabashed laugh to the free world (ahem, me). Staring back at me was a woman who pays bill; whose jeans used to fit better; who shops at Ann Taylor; who wears sensible shoes; who prefers to be in bed at 9:30; who can’t have a glass of wine paired with marinara sauce without getting heartburn. Staring back at me was a wife.
All right, I may have accidentally just described myself. Let’s up the ante:
Staring back at me was a woman late on mortgage payments whose kids had been up all night vomiting; a woman who loves her family, but only likes them occasionally; a woman who says things like, “Go ahead, cry all you want. Mommy isn’t here right now,” while locking herself in the bathroom to watch an episode of The View on abc.com. Staring back at me was a woman who fantasizes about Clint Eastwood while making love to her husband.
This bathing suit was a cruel time machine to a future I’d rather avoid.
Alas, it gets worse. As I shuffled shamefully into the pool room, a lifeguard– who also happens to be a student I advise– greeted me an enthusiastic, “Hey, Mrs. Dillon!”
And I wanted to push him straight into the deep end because, in those three well-intentioned but sorely mistaken words, he confirmed my fear. I was an adult to him– a Mrs. Last Name. To this student, I was a person for whom wearing a one-piece was appropriate.
So, please. Tell me this could have happened to anybody. Tell me that nobody looks good in a one-piece bathing suit.
Well, except maybe her. She is no Mrs. Last Name.