Wednesday, August 08, 2012

How to buy a swimming costume....

I have to own up to not writing this, but it made me laugh so much, that I had to post it. I'm not sure who the original author was, but whoever you are, thank you...and I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of re-posting...

In the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!

Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Resisting temptation...

I've been wanting to blog now for a week or so, to comment on my guest blogger's entry. My poor hubby, who danced his way to an uneven surface, leapt upwards (I am reliably informed that there were women nearby he wished to impress!) and then came down on the edge of a step, breaking his ankle in the process. Now, in some ways of course, it's his own fault - being a happily married man, he shouldn't be trying to impress other women ...and also everyone knows how dangerous Morris dancing is! Seriously, yes, morris dancing is very dangerous - have you ever seen how they bash those sticks together (hubby's fingers were once saved by a ring getting squashed almost flat in an especially vigorous swipe with a lump of wood) and as for rapper sword dancing - well, wow! To date though, excluding this recent ankle thing, his worse injury was caused in a hankie dance (yes really!), when someone's shoe flew off and hit him between the eyes - there was blood everywhere and he has the scar to prove it!

Anyway, enough of Morris dancing, I'm getting sidetracked, I'm supposed to be commenting on his entry!

The first thing that struck me was the comment that he felt guilty. Personally I seem to spend my life apologising, for getting in the way, or being too slow, or just not being able to do stuff - guilt is dreadful. It's not even like I (or he) should be feeling guilty for things that aren't possible, but somehow we feel that we need to be able to overcome anything to the extent that we ignore little things that get in the way - like a pair of sticks of crutches.

It was also really interesting to see and read about how inventive he's been to get round things. Again, for me, I've had a lifetime of adapting and finding another way and I'm not really sure how much of that has rubbed off. Is hubby being so inventive because he is used to seeing (and helping) me to get round obstacles? If he didn't, would he just have sat in a chair going 'woe is me' and expecting to be waited on hand and foot? I can't answer that one of course - I'm just chucking it out there for you to think about...

His leg is now starting to improve - he's walking about with a brace and managing to get around without the crutches. His ankle is stiff and sometimes sore and he's not liking it at all. I can't imagine how frustrating it all must be for him when he is used to such ease of movement normally. I am trying to be really good - I'm stiff and sore every day one way or another but I mostly am resisting the temptation to tell him how lucky he is - to have something wrong that will get better, given a bit of time. I know that he has gained a new appreciation of just how hard some things can be - he always knew it, but now he knows what it feels like. I hope his entry will help some other people have a bit of insight too, into what it's like to live inside a restricted body (with an unrestricted mind!). This is my world he's living in just for a bit...and yes, I have day by day by day had loads of self control and have resisted the temptation to say...*

...welcome to my world...

* may have actually said it once or twice....