Hell is Shopping for a Swimming Suit

vintage-suit.jpgI’m the gal who doesn’t think about acquiring a new suit until it’s the middle of July. Imagine my surprise to find that everything is picked over, out of stock or just cleaned up and put away, save for a tiny rack of bikinis fit for third graders. No, the American Girl dolls that third graders lug around.

The scene at Macy’s yesterday was one of utter disgruntlement. I wasn’t the only one feeling it. There were several of us just weaving around the racks as if we were the lone survivors of the Swimming Suit Apocalypse, destined to browse through racks and racks of mismatched lycra. I’ve never seen such a hodge podge of shit! Could someone be hired to keep this all straight?

None of the bottoms and tops that originally went together were anywhere near each other, so good luck finding a match. There might be one XS or one XL. The sign should have said “50% Off Original Price Plus Three Hours of Your Time to Find Anything You Want to Try On (and Then You Will Leave Empty-Handed).”

But it’s not totally Macy’s fault. Or Nordstrom’s. Or Bloomingdale’s. It’s partly my fault for waiting so long. I knew I should have gotten a suit in April when it was still snowing! Along this line of thinking I should be scouring the stores for my winter parka now.

But let’s cut to what’s really eating at me – why does every suit look so terrible on me?? I mean, I don’t look that bad in underwear and a bra, so what the fuck is going on with swimming suits? Granted, I’m a completely different size on top and bottom but they make mix and match sizes now. It’s just that everything is plunging. Or covered in beads (seriously – several times I reached for a suit thinking, “That looks decent,” only to swing it around and see a cornucopia of beading or baubles or something on the straps that looked like a napkin wring). And made of shiny, tight material that tends to squeeze stuff into places it shouldn’t be. Or it has a bizarre jungle print.

And who decided that this is the year of the boy short/skirt combo? I guess this is flattering because it covers your crotch, but I can’t help but think of a loincloth when I look at one. Or one of the curtains on Let’s Make a Deal.

This is nothing new to most women: you take in an armload of suits and work your way through them. With your underwear on, of course. So right there you feel like a half-wit, trying to visualize what you might look like in the suit without your underwear sticking out of it. And then the either too-bright or too-shadowy lighting. The conversations in the other dressing rooms (usually two friends trying on suits in separate rooms but yelling to each other about how fat they’ve gotten). The bored husbands and boyfriends hanging out in the dressing room “lobby” watching HGTV. Oh, the agony.

Even Land’s End let me down. Out of stock of a bottom I like, so it’s useless to get the top. Out of stock of a top I like so it’s useless to get the bottom. Maybe I should do what I did when I was a kid and was already too sunburned to go into the sun without coverage and swim in a huge, oversized t-shirt. And a pair of undies. Just hobo it up. Would anyone really care? It’s not like I’m headed to the French Riviera. I bet I’d fit right in on the Apple River, as long as I added Aqua Socks. And got wasted on Bud Lite.

Or maybe I should skip the suit altogether. No, I’ll find one. And when I do, I’ll sing it from the rooftops. Stay tuned…