Rant ahead: consider yourself warned.
I had a shitty day today, which was the icing on my epically shitty week. It started off with not one but two computer failures which necessitated a trip to my office that I was hoping not to make. Ten hours of beat-down later, I somehow felt that I wasn't feeling quite crappy enough and decided to force myself to endure that special kind of abuse which mostly only happens at this time of the year: swimsuit shopping.
I haven't had the need to buy a bathing suit in forever. I am not a sun worshiper (those of you who have met me in person can attest to my Cullen-y pale skin), and despite living in Joisey, I don't go "down the shore." Usually it's a non-issue, but I'm traveling soon to someplace where there will be both a pool and a jacuzzi that I want to take advantage of, so it was time to suck it up (and in) and get a new suit. My last one seem so have shrank. Or something.
Anyway, at first I tried to save face (and dignity), avoiding the hideous, lump-highlighting million-watt overhead fluorescent lighting that is typically found in most dressing rooms by ordering a suit online. I though I had a total winner with Athleta! Athleta has pretty, not-slutty-looking suits in styles that don't look like they are made exclusively for prepubescent, boy-shaped teenage girls. Unfortunately--and perhaps I should have guessed this from the name "Athleta"--I realized belatedly that this company makes athletic-y gear for people who are actually reasonably in shape (read: not me). This became painfully, self-esteem-crushingly obvious as I attempted to stuff my ten-pounds-of-potatoes body into the five-pound-of-potatoes black spandex sack that arrived in the mail the other day.
Fine - so maybe there is a reason that I've never ordered a bathing suit online: some things you just have to try things on before buying. For better or for worse. I've always been a little skittish about ordering clothes online, but over the years, my resolve had been broken down by a combination of laziness and good in-store return policies. Plus I get so excited when a package shows up at my house that it makes my entire day. When I am waiting for the UPS truck to deliver the goods (and I obsessively track all my parcels), I literally salivate every time I hear a diesel engine rumbling off in the distance. But the fact that the Athleta tankini monstrosity was too big on the bottom and way too small and boob-squishing on the top was enough to send me to a scary place: an actual brick & mortar store.
Since I had eaten my weight in cheese doodles for breakfast and had consumed a lunch consisting of croutons dipped in ranch dressing (supplemented with a few shreds of romaine lettuce so that I could operate under the false pretense that I was eating "salad"), it seemed like a fantastic time to go try on some swimsuits. To hell with the $$125 not-hot mess I had bought at Athleta - I was off to Target! I am sure that their superior quality goods would somehow magically cover up all of the body flaws I had worked so hard this entire winter to accentuate... Bring it on!
Surprisingly, most of the swimwear at Target IS in fact geared towards the shaped-like-a-boy teenage girl set (why I didn't appreciate this body when I had it as a teen is beyond me - youth is wasted on the young, as the saying goes...). I felt hope - at first - when plucked a a few cute skirt-y bottoms and tank-top separates from the plethora of string-y tops and cheeky bottoms. But after a few demoralizing minutes in the dressing room, I recalled with vivid clarity why i have not been swimsuit shopping in about ten years. I've never been a shore kinda chick and I am sure my skin thanks me for this, but I'm just not meant to go out in public wearing something that offers less coverage than some of my favorite underwear. In fact, I am thisclose to designating my Hanes boy-short undies "bathing suits" and being done with it...
But realizing that there is some nebulous, undefinable-yet-distinct difference between "underwear" and "bathing suit" even though they are essentially similar scraps of fabric covering the same bits and pieces is fueling my search for the perfect swimsuit - I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a pair of plain black boyshorts (yay!) that I paired with a cute little bandeau tankini top. I am sure that this will be "the one"! I can almost hear the approaching delivery van off in the distance now...
So how do you deal with finding a bathing suit? I'm almost ready to just buy a pair of knee-length board shorts and pair them with a t-shirt or tank and BOOM! I'm done... Why shouldn't it be that easy?! Leave your tips, war stories, and anything else you want to share on the topic in the comments!