Went shopping with a friend on Saturday, and though we had not planned it, we ended up at a swimsuit sale. Trying on swimsuits in department store dressing rooms is generally a fate worse than death, however, this was a half price sale, so we couldn't resist. Like brave soldiers, we faced the ghastly lighting and mirrors in the dressing rooms and fearlessly tried on bikinis -- GASP!!
Now, I'm not a youngster ...and I generally refuse to appear in public in anything but a stylish one-piece suit, unless I am among complete strangers who I know I will never see again. It's not that I look all that horrible -- for my age -- but I am a little self-conscious of people I actually know walking away with that mental image on their hard drives. I'd just rather not do it.
BUT for some reason - I think I was egged on by my spotlight-seeking friend -- I engaged in the bikini-fest and ended up purchasing a couple of them for use in my own backyard or in other appropriate (for me) settings. I came home and tried them on for my husband, who loved them and said he felt I shouldn't be so shy about wearing them, as he thought I looked better than most in them. (yes, he's a doll.)
SOOOO....the next day, we were invited to the regular beach gathering at the home of friends (who I've mentioned before). They are the loveliest people...South African...and a little less prudish about beach wardrobe than I. Regardless of their ages, body shapes, tan lines, etc., most of the women wear bikinis in order to maximize the tan impact, and they're always after me to wear one....because WHO CARES? Right?
So, okay....between their urging and the support of my husband, I decided to don one of the bikinis for yesterday's beach gathering. I decided to do it, 40-yr old body and all. What the hell.
I selected the least offensive/most coverage suit of the bunch, put it on, threw on a cover-up and went over there. Sure enough, the gang was all there in their bikinis -- thin, fat, short, tall, tan, white, you name it. No worries. I felt I would fit right in.
Then, as I slipped off the cover-up and got comfortable on my lounge chair.....I spotted a new female attendee coming out of the pool. Hmmm...she was new...hadn't seen her before. And my goodness...didn't she have the perfect bod in that teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini (literally)! Based on that, I wanted to throw not only my cover-up back on, but also anything else that might immediately erase my presence from the scene.
And then I found out -- wouldn't you know it -- that yes, she was new to the crowd....a friend of a guest who had not attended before. And oh, by the way, she was on the cover of Playboy magazine not long ago and featured in several issues....among other things. Geez.... could it get worse?
So...see what happens? You talk yourself into being vulnerable to the world with your 40-yr old body in a bikini, baring almost all....and then a Playboy model emerges from your pool, and you just want to drown yourself.
Next time I'm wearing a mumu.
By the way, that's her in the picture above. Not that I would trade to look like her (body by Dow Corning, hair by Clorox), but she can certainly make a 40-yr old feel wholly inadequate in a bikini.
Oh, well. I guess there are worse things. :)