Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Yellow Polka Dots Here, Not To Mention Any Itsy-Bitsy-Ness

Does anyone besides me find swimsuit shopping to be painful?

I'm pretty sure the last piece of swimwear I got was six years ago, shortly after Adelaide was born, and that was only because our condo complex had a pool, I was determined to get our money's worth from our condo fees, and my mom offered to buy it.

Since then, I've been making do with a hand-me-down one-piece that was my mom's; the only problem is, my mom is four inches taller than me and I'm pretty sure its all in her torso.  The suit is one of halter styles that ties around the back of the neck, and I have to pull it so far up that it looks like my collar bone has boobs.

Swim suit shopping has never exactly been fun, even when I went by myself.  I'd don the swimsuit, look in the mirror of the dressing room, and my brain would go straight into the offensive.

Pretty sure its not supposed to be so tight right here, I'd think.

 Also sure its not supposed to be so baggy right there.

So... horizontal stripes are not my friends.  Nor are violently pink hibiscus flowers plastered across my derriere.  

That's it.  I'm never going swimming again.

So I've put off buying a new swimsuit for several years.  I've been mostly able to avoid pools over the last few years; when you have a six, three, and one year old, pools aren't as much summertime-swimmy-fun as they are yawning death traps.  We're going to a water park this weekend, however, and plan on visiting a pool with friends next week. 

Hence my trip to finally buy a swimsuit a few days ago.  

I ignored Adelaide's attempts to press several brightly colored bikinis on me and tried to pick out whatever suit would neither make me look like a hooker nor a ninety year old woman, which was difficult because Atticus kept positioning bikini tops over his eyes and yelling, "Look at my goggles!"

I made a few hasty choices and shepherded our three angels into the dressing room with me.

Caedmon was confused as to what this small room was and what we were doing there, and so proceeded to spend the next five minutes yelling, "POTTY?  POTTY?  POTTY? POTTY?"

Atticus gave all our fellow changing room inhabitants a play-by-play of what was going on in our particular room:  "MOM!  Why are you taking your shirt off?  Why are you taking your shoes off?  Why are you taking your shorts off?  ARE YOU GOING TO BE NAKED?"  For the record, I kept my undergarments on, both because I didn't want swimsuit cooties and because I didn't want to scar our children.

Adelaide squealed and covered her eyes and giggled and said fun things like, "EW!  This is so gross.  Why do I have to see this?  This is just gross."

I quickly made a selection, got dressed, checked out, and staggered out of the store.

And decided I miss the critical voices in my head.


  1. WHAT?!? you are a brave, brave woman. the last time i tried on clothes with the kids in tow, i only had two kids, and one of them was still carrier-bound. i still left the store purchaseless and crying.

    you crislers are a proud and fearless breed.

    1. I love that you label foolish as brave and fearless. This is why we're friends.

  2. I see two options for next time:

    1. Have dad watch the kids (at home!) while you shop.

    2. Shop online, order several, try them on in the privacy of your own bedroom after the kids are in bed and send back the ones you don’t like. TOTALLY worth the cost of shipping.

    Even better: your own pool on five acres of wooded land so private you can take off your wet suit outside in perfect safety. Not that I would ever do that. Never. No.

    1. I've always been afraid of ordering swimsuits online, but I may have to take the plunge (pun intended). And a private pool on five private acres? Awesome.

  3. Oh lord, bless your soul... I recently learned how big of a ho I look in all of my swimwear (Save my speedos from the competitive swim team days). I think there should be some magic swim suite for moms who don't want to look 65 that also fit everyone perfectly...

    1. I seriously considered going the Speedo tank route, but those things are expensive.

  4. OMG the goggles part made me bust up. Kids are hilarious.

    I also get a little down in the dressing room, but sometimes I think, "Oh, this one's not so bad...I look kinda normal..." Then I take a photo of myself and it's ALL OVER. (Same goes for regular clothes, not just swimwear. If you want to remain blissfully unaware of how you look in something, do NOT take a self portrait.)

    1. A self-portrait of me in a swimsuit has never even crossed my mind. Probably because I'm not a masochist.

  5. This is exactly why I do 99% of my clothes shopping online. I usually only shop at Kohl's and Target - both of which I always get free shipping at, so I don't feel bad about buying and then returning everything because my body and self-image are horrible.

    1. I'm afraid I'd have to order ten swimsuits at a time, though, which would amount to a huge total, which would scare me, even if I was planning on returning most of them. I may have to bite the bullet and try online swimsuit shopping, however.

  6. Thought of you when one of my facebook friends posted this today:
    my friend says Bathing suit season is here this is her story

    When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

    Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

    The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.
    What choice did I have?

    I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

    I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!

    Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

    The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

    The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

    As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.
    I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

    I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.

    I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

    I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

    I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

    Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured. When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."

    So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

    1. Oh my goodness, I needed this laugh today. I especially loved the escaped Fantasia hippo and the oversized napkin in a serving ring parts. So funny.

  7. Oh my gosh this whole entry and comments are hilarious!! Kristy, I suffered a similar experience in the dressing room last week, only regarding clothes. I ended up making my kids turn around to face the wall while I finished so I didn't have to hear them snicker and say things like, "Mom, we can see your underware!" or "Mom, what is that thing that you wear under your shirt and why?". Oh children... I have just decided that the dressing room is just not a fun place to be with or without kids

    1. I pretty much hate them altogether, plus I'm always paranoid that someone is on the other side of the mirror watching me, laughing at my humiliation. And thanks for the text, AMANDA, I wasn't entirely sure who "Unknown" could be!

  8. Oh my gosh this whole entry and comments are hilarious!! Kristy, I suffered a similar experience in the dressing room last week, only regarding clothes. I ended up making my kids turn around to face the wall while I finished so I didn't have to hear them snicker and say things like, "Mom, we can see your underware!" or "Mom, what is that thing that you wear under your shirt and why?". Oh children... I have just decided that the dressing room is just not a fun place to be with or without kids

  9. The only place I have been able to find a reasonably priced "Mom Suit", as I call it, that actually looks stylish yet somewhat slimming (as slimming as a swimsuit can look) is from Target. I bought one from Target after Kendall was born and just this year got around to buying another one.

    1. That's where I got my suit, which I liked okay until I wore it to the water park over the weekend and discovered the bottoms BECOME TRANSPARENT WHEN WET.

      I give up.


Studies show that that people who leave comments are kind, intelligent, generous, creative, and have really nice hair.