Bathing Suit Shopping


Walk into your neighborhood bookstore and head on over to the self-help section. Once there, you'll be sure to find rows upon rows of well-written words of advice from self-proclaimed doctors, psychologists and get-well gurus who will gladly fill your head with pages of wondrous wisdom designed to lead you on the path to endless joy and self-fulfillment.

However, I have a faster way to get  you thinking about how wonderful you are.

Go bathing suit shopping.


In every department store in the world, sales reps should change the signage from "bathing suit" department to "self-help" department. For once there, you'll hear women crying, screaming, pounding their heads on the walls, all in an effort to "let it all out" and follow that glorious path of self-improvement!

It had been quite some time since I took this self-improvement journey.  However, during a recent visit to our local swim club, I looked down at the bathing suit fit snugly on my body and noticed a (gasp) tear in the fabric. Hoping my fellow poolmates would not see the 10-inch-long, quarter-inch rip across my stomach, I hurriedly threw a T-shirt over my head and hid my suit from public view for the remainder of the day.

Of course, after discovering this wardrobe malfunction, I realized I could no longer don this particular piece of swimwear, leaving me with only one bathing suit left in my closet. I could opt to wear this same suit over and over, however, my poolmates would most certainly notice.

Pool mate one:  "Can you believe Lisa is wearing that bathing suit again?"
Pool mate two: "I know, she wore it last weekend, can you believe it?"
Pool mate one:  "She probably didn't even wash it."
Pool mate two: "Well at least she's not wearing that horrible suit with the 10-inch tear."

With no other choice left to me, I set out to procure a new bathing suit and to build some self-esteem along the way.

So off I traveled to the department store and proceeded to the "self-improvement" section. I suppose many women had already visited this part of the store for enlightenment, since the majority of the suits were marked at 60 percent off. Woo-hoo! I felt better already.

Although the self-improvement section had slim pickings, I managed to find a handful in my size (whale). Carrying suits of yellow, orange, black and blue, I made my way into the dressing room. The distinct sounds of sobs told me I had come to the right place. I smiled to myself, knowing that so many other women were coming here to feel better.

I secured the dressing room door and wrestled with bathing suit number one, which immediately transformed me into a hippopotamus. Although the "zoo animal" look certainly was chic, I decided to keep searching.

A sizzling, multicolored number beckoned to me, and I happily struggled to get my various body parts through and under and around and over the multiple twists and straps. I glanced in the mirror, only to see a reflection of a well-endowed woman who revealed much more of her "endowment" than anyone but her husband should ever see, if you know what I mean. I could feel the lump start to form in the back of my throat. Oh boy, my self-esteem monitor was really starting to rise!

Next came a black beauty which promised to turn each woman who dared squeeze through the straps into a runway model. I put one leg in, then the other, and up I pulled. Yes, I could certainly see myself walking down the runway in this little baby . . . if I had been modeling MATERNITY CLOTHES.

The lump in my throat grew in size as I wiped a tear off my puffy cheek. I was not afraid to let my emotions flow freely and fully embrace this self-improvement stuff!

One more to try on, a conservative blue-and-white bland bathing suit which sat alone on the rack, marked at 80 percent off, and praying that someone, anyone, would take it for a spin. This time, the suit slid on quite easily and my "endowment" fit, nice and snug and secure in all of the right places. I turned to look in the mirror and there, staring back at me stood . . . my grandmother. Perhaps the suit was a bit too conservative.

With tears flowing freely, I took all of the bathing suits and threw them on the floor of the dressing room, feeling much, much to good about myself to properly return them to their hangers.

I walked out of the department store empty handed, but with a healthy dose of renewed self-esteem.

I can't wait to go suit shopping again!


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