Have you ever shopped for bathing suits in February? No? Well, let me tell you, there are slim pickin’s. Since I only had a year to prepare for my trip to Belize this coming Saturday, the pressure is on.
I have been putting off buying a new swimsuit since June 2006. I promised myself a really nice one if I lost 20 pounds. You know, the kind that comes with the filmy wrap-around skirt that you tie in a knot around your narrow waist and flounce around the beach in.
I wake up every morning making promises to myself that I will not be tempted with the afternoon bag of nachos, but fail getting past the 10am bagel and cream cheese. Let’s face it. Getting up at 5am Monday through Friday is no bed of roses. Coffee and orange juice only gets you so far. Cooking and breakfast are only in my vocabulary on weekends. By mid-morning, I am ready for lunch. What to do?
Most of the time, I am really not all that hungry, but…I am hungry. Carrot sticks don’t cut it before noon. It has to be a little something, well, sweet. Like a honey granola bar, which is healthy, right?
Lunch is okay. I am in the ballpark with salad or chicken. But then, 3pm rolls around and I am sneaking around looking for a dose of dark chocolate antioxidants. (I know where the stashes are kept around the office…I know who you are….)
I try to work out every day. It’s the time I need to plan the meal for the evening, which is the grand celebration of having made it through another day. It’s a food affair, with me as chief celebrant. Nothing fancy usually, though I adore cheese. You could melt it over ice cream and I would eat it.
I have no control over these moments. A very reasonable voice says, “What if you die tomorrow? Do you really want to look up at the truck that just hit you and think about the dry can of tuna fish you just ate?”
And so, here I am, packing for Belize where we will be snorkeling in the sea and tubing a Belizean river that I will never see again. I prefer to hide beneath my full-body sweatsuit. This is the female legacy. Our bodies are never thin enough, fit enough, relaxed enough. I know it is all a lie, but I am hopelessly sucked into the myth that I don’t deserve to live unless I wear a size two. But because I want to go snorkeling in Belize, I have to wear a bathing suit.
Here’s what is available in early February: Last year’s lazy models hanging on the back wall. Swimsuits that would fit my cat crammed onto a rack. Leftover flouncy skirts drifting in a corner. Sigh. Where are the bag styles?
There they are! Black blobs with pink fringe, dark brown squares with ridges, and here is a racy one: scarlet with enormous palm frond straps flung across the left shoulder, intending to look alluring, but its value comes in distracting the eye byond the body who is wearing it. Don’t look at me.
I end up buying light-weight, quick-drying, black shorts. What the heck. I will wear a tee shirt with it, which should take care of the invisibility look.
And I will go snorkeling in Belize.