"If I go swimming one more time without goggles my eyeballs will fall out and I will go blind and never be able to see my family again forever. So, you have to get me goggles. Or a dog to help me." So...here I am. Waiting for my family to choose the appropriate eye wear because at $2.99, it's much cheaper than a seeing eye dog and a lifetime of guilt. Plus, Emmeline looks so adorable in her "gobbles" that she deserves a pair for the cuteness factor alone.
I am absentmindedly looking at a beautiful one piece bathing suit that is on the size negative 2 display mannequin. My husband comes up behind me and says "Why don't you get a suit? You need one." Shocked, I stare at him for 1.2 nanoseconds then quickly strong arm the display, lest the impromptu invitation to spend money be revoked. I have not purchased a bathing suit for myself since before my honeymoon (almost 6 years ago). It was time to invest in a new one. The elastic on my current suit is so stretched past its limit it has simply given up and leeched out like necrotic pin worms.
The stars had aligned for me. My husband just gave me carte blanche to purchase a bathing suit on a day I was having an I-feel-thin day. It was a good time to embark upon the most ego crushing challenge a woman can face: the changing room mirror. I figure I can maybe pull off a tankini if it has enough spandex in the middle to pull back in what two children stretched to hell and back. I grab a handful of tops, bottoms and the one piece I was ogling. I mean, if she can rock this suit with no head, arms or legs - so can I, right?
I always start off this process with flourish. This one looks terrible - but no worries because there are many more! It's probably just a bad cut for my body type. A few suits into the experience I meander toward depression and wade full on into suicidal tendencies by the time the last suit hits the floor.
Armed with a multitude of sizes and styles, I carry the suits into the torture chamber and brace myself for mental flagellation. The fun house changing room mirror makes me look like a small mobile home. The Spanish Inquisition halogens glare at me. The elastic of the bottoms turns my stomach into a fat souffle. I am convinced that the plastic hygienic liner is actually placed to absorb all of my self-esteem. I am frowning at the person in the mirror when all of the sudden, two blonde ponytails appear under the dressing room door. "Open da doow Mommy! I come too!" Mint. A clown car changing room of observers in my own private hell.
I grab the next suit that Lena hands me. It's the one that I drooled over starting this whole debacle. I can tell right after I put one ankle into it that I will not be happy with the disgusting chick staring back at me from that mirror. Woman's size medium? More like 4T - I should give it to Lena to try on! Sigh...
Emmeline is so excited to be part of this that she shrieks that I am "nakey!" and have "boobies!" The icing on the embarrassment cake is that there is a big meeting for a biking club happening a mere 50 feet from the changing room. So, the multitude people attending the informational session are also privy to changing room play-by-play from the toddler. With some color thrown in by the 5-year-old. Yay!
As I am wiggling my hips to try to pull the suit up, my troubadours begin a rousing rendition of
"B-O-B-E-E...B-O-B-E-E...B-O-B-E-E and Boobie was her name-o!"
I (just barely) stifle the urge to scream back at them "That's not how you spell boobie!!!" but instead focus on getting the suit off.
The straps are cutting off the circulation to my lower half. Lena is poking me in the ass and thigh biscuits caused by spandex turning me into human sausage. Emmeline is still yelling about my nakey boobies in case new cyclists joined the meeting and need to get up to speed. I can't get the casing off. Dammit! Why did I want so much spandex??? I am trying not to verbally assault the kids or collapse in a puddle of self-loathing or beg someone for a few hits of Xanax (which I'm sure everyone at the meeting must carry in their fanny packs).
I look to my husband for some verbal support. He offers up the following loving words: "Yeah, I hate that one. It looks like your boobs ate the top of it."
I finally get the straight jacket off and grab the only suit that sort of fit me without making me throw up in my mouth. I run away from my family before they start a round of B-O-B-E-E again. Weaving behind racks of tiny bike shorts to avoid the one-off Hells Angels meeting, I run to the cashier. I make sure I understand the return policy for the store and do the only rational thing: I wipe the tears from my eyes with a highly absorbent kleenex/tankini. Then drown my sorrows in a large frozen yogurt topped with hot fudge while being serenaded by Satan's songstresses dressed in pink and yellow "gobbles." And Boobie was her name-O!