Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Trials of Buying a Bathing Suit

I swim laps three times (thrice?) weekly, and it's really hard to find a bathing suit these days that is suitable for actual swimming, while simultaneously NOT looking like something your grandmother would wear. The problems can be narrowed down to three problematic trends.
Problem trend #1: The Tankini
The tankini is a great idea in theory. A two-piece swimsuit where the top comes all the way to the bottom, like a tank top? Perfect. No tummy showing, and you can buy a black bottom and several different tops, so it's like getting all these different suits. The problem here becomes obvious after you begin swimming laps in them: they have a tendency to float up around the waist, and eventually end up near your breasts anyway, so you may as well be wearing a bikini for all the coverage you end up with.
Problem trend #2: One-pieces for grannies
A friend of mine recently told me that she was shopping for a swimsuit and wanted a one-piece. She's got a fantastic figure and would look great in a bikini, but she is not that type of girl at all. The problem was that all of the one-piece bathing suits she found in the stores looked like something a 60-year-old would wear on the chaise lounge beside the pool. She originally thought it was something a 40-year-old would wear, and then she realized that 40 is just around the corner and she still wouldn't wear that hideous thing.
Problem trend #2: Lack of breast support
Let's face it- my boobs are big. Huge, actually. And while water does have certain gravity-defying properties, it's still not good to have a lack of support. Something has to keep the great, pendulous things in their proper place. I recently purchased a bathing suit through mail order (see Problem trends #1 and #2 for why I resorted to mail order) and I had been in the pool for half a lap when I realized my right breast was floating free of its fabric-y bonds. I was mortified, until I realized that no one was looking. Then, I was even more mortified. Needless to say, that suit was returned to sender post haste.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Starving Student Bikini

My college was paid for, on the condition that I did not get a job until I finished college. It was very nice, except that I was definitely on a budget. I didn't really have a bathing suit for a long time, so when I saw a bikini bottom at K-Mart one day for 75 cents, I bought it gladly and felt like I'd gotten a good deal.

There were two minor problems with the bikini bathing suit:

1. It had no top, and this was Colorado, not Sweden.

2. I've never really had what you would call, "a bikini figure."

Neither thing stopped me from wearing it. For the first issue, I just wore an old grey sports bra instead of a bikini top. It looked okay, by my nonexistent standards. For the second issue, I did nothing, and it looked okay, by my nonexistent standards.

I went to Navajo Lake with friends, and wore my bikini. I hung out in a toddler pool outside the dorm on hot days, and wore my bikini. You know. It was just my bathing suit.

And it started. I had girls come up to me, overweight girls who didn't even like me, and say things like,

"I just really like what you're doing for us. Wearing a bikini like that. I've never seen a girl with your figure wear a bikini."

They thought I was making a statement for womanhood. These serious girls. These girls with body issues. It was so nice. I didn't have the heart to say that I was just a cheapskate who never gave a thought to fashion.

New Topic for the End of July

Bathing Suits.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Playing in the dirt

I grew up in desert places. We lived in North Las Vegas Nevada for a while and then moved to the high desert in Southern California to a place called Apple Valley (no apples, no valley, just dirt). It was hot and dry and hot. There were plenty of places to play, but they all involved dirt. I, like Gina, did a lot of playing house in the dirt. We had a big open field in the back of one of the places I lived and for some reason there were a lot of holes in the ground that were just deep enough for us to carve stairs out of and walk into. There were several of these grouped together, so we made a bunch of different rooms for the house and spent most of our time out there.

Another place I lived we had a trampoline and we spent hours and hours jumping and trying to see who could bounce the highest. We spent so many nights out there sleeping on the trampoline. We would all start in our separate places at the beginning of the night, but by morning we were one big pile of arms and legs all on top of each other in the middle. It was awesome. We jumped on that trampoline as often as we could, and I can't tell you how many times I fell off that thing. One time I landed on my neighbors old wooden fence and slid down, palms facing the wood, to the ground. The fence was about six feet high and as a result the splinters were the entire length of my hands. That one hurt. Another time I was bounced by my brother and flew so high up into the air I actually said, "I can see my house from here!" even though I was in the backyard. I landed on the ground over an old fallen tree with my eyes closed. I didn't want to that log to be the last thing I saw before I died, because I was sure I was going to die. I laid there for a couple of minutes until I realized I could hear my brothers asking if I was alright, and I could hear my own heart beating. I opened my eyes and was so surprised that I lived (and that nothing was broken) that I jumped up and screamed "I'M ALIVE!!" at the top of my lungs. I jumped right back on and kept playing. Some of my brothers could easily do flips in the air on the trampoline and I so desperately wanted to do one too. When I finally braved up the courage to try to do one, I chickened out half way into it and landed on my foot wrong. I ended up breaking my pinkie toe and I think it was one of the most painful things in my life.

My brothers were always coming up with new tricks on the trampoline. They invented something called the Shredder. They would jump up two or three times, then jump on their knees, fall back onto their back, and flip around 180 degrees onto their stomach and jump right back up again. It was awesome to see it in action, and when someone mastered it, it was a big deal. We loved doing the Shredder on the trampoline. Whenever we went to the trampoline my mom would make us take my younger sister who was only two or three at the time. We hated having to take her with us because it meant that we couldn't jump as high, or do any Shredders or flips. So we invented a signal that we could do back and forth to each other to tell them we wanted to go and jump on the trampoline. We would take our first two fingers and move them up and down as if they were legs jumping in the air. All we had to do was call the persons' name, make the sign, and we'd each go out different doors and meet up at the trampoline. To this day most of my brothers remember the signal and then the reminiscing begins. We had that trampoline for a while, until my youngest brother (who is twenty years younger than me) fell off of it one day and broke his leg. After that my mom took it down and gave it away. It was a sad day for all of us, except for my mom of course. She was quite happy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Farm of Dangerous Delights

I grew up next to a dairy farm in Wisconsin. My best friend lived on it and we did everything: bareback horse riding, haymow jumping, motor bike riding, letting calves suck on our hands, you name it we did it.

Looking back my friend and I wonder how the hell we lived. Once we held Mercury in our hands. Another time we "swam" in the grain silos, and we ate peas fresh out of the pesticide fields. It was always sort of a dare and no one was afraid of anything.