I wasn’t shopping for a bathing suit. I don't even take a bathing suit to the beach. I'm quite content to sit on the sandbar in my caftan or capris and watch the waves come in and go out. Besides, After the last time I tried on bathing suits, I had vowed I’d have my toenails pulled out with rusty pliers before I put my body through that ordeal again. I was just waiting for a dressing room so I could try on the newest muumuu designed by Omar the Tentmaker when I overheard the conversation.
“Please show me a bathing suit designed for a grandmother.”
The lady said with a giggle.
“Oh, honey, grandmothers this year are wearing tankinis.
Every color imaginable. You’ll simply love the design. Here let me bring in
several for you to try on,” the sales lady said.
So I am a
grandmother. The designers could have
come up with an innovative new idea to make us feel less like a dinosaur and
more like a cute little model. I meandered over to the bathing suit aisle ...
just to look, mind you. Not to carry one of the tankinis back to the dressing
room. Definitely not to try the thing on.
There they were, displayed in all their radiant glory.
Tankinis. The top looks like a shortened tank top and the bottom like a bikini.
The designers truly had come up with an ingenious new style. I picked up six of
them and marched back to the dressing room. It was just a matter of deciding
which color I wanted.
Life was good. Someone had finally listened to the wants and
needs of women who exceeded a size five junior petite.
“Oh, this is wonderful. Just what I need to play in the pool
with my little granddaughter. Do they make them in children’s sizes? I’d like
her to have one to match mine.” I overheard the granny in the next dressing
It sounded promising. Daringly, I chose the green and black
striped suit and commenced to putting it upon my chubby little body. Tankinis.
Made for grandmothers but stylish enough for teenagers and even children. Maybe
I’d just buy it in two or three colors.
I tugged the top over my head. The straps fit just fine. No
sag. No slipping off the shoulders. I kept tugging until I got the rest of the
top down to just above my navel. The stripes were stretched out so far that I
looked like a Tyrannosaurs Rex dressed up in camouflage.
But hey, the bottoms would complete the outfit and make me
look like I was a size five. I didn’t have to buy the stripes. I could buy it
in blaze orange or lime green instead. I wasn’t going to give up until I saw
the whole tankini. Miracles did still happen sometimes! I pulled the bottoms up
and stood back to look in the three way mirror.
Oops! Where did my chest go? Guess I didn’t get everything
lined up inside the thing. When I began the lift and shift method, I found
nothing but a flesh colored stretchy lining inside the tankini top. And this
thing was made for a granny? Someone evidently got their signals crossed.
Granny’s are plagued by the gravity-itis. The inside of a bathing suit for a
real Granny has to have some kind of wires and corset like gizmo to keep
everything from sagging and bagging. It had to be built to withstand forces greater
than a hurricane or even a tornado.
I held my breath and fought gravity for just a minute to see
if I attached a corset underneath it if perhaps it would work. I checked the
reflection in the mirror.
I was turning blue and there was still something hanging out
in the inch and a half space between the bottom of the top and the top of the
bottoms. A nice little roll of pure old unadulterated fat cells. I exhaled and
what was staring back at me resembled a overstuffed Cabbage Patch doll in a
Barbie doll bathing suit.
At the checkout counter I got behind the granny who had been
in the dressing room next to me. I overheard her talking to her friend about
being a grandmother at 25. Seems the lady married a man twenty years older than
she was and in doing so became an instant grandmother.
She paid for her tankini and left.
I paid for my brand new set of pliers which I put in my
purse. Next time I get a wild notion to try on a bathing suit, I will take them
out and attach them to my big toe nail and pull. We’ll see just how badly I
want to try another tankini on.