All I Want For Christmas Is A Pair Of Swim Shorts
It’s that time of year again – the time when I begin to contemplate swimsuits, and curse under my breath.
You see, the last several years, Mr. Z and I have sworn off birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gifts for each other in lieu of saving our cash for a week-long escape to a sunny, sandy locale sometime in December.
It’s the perfect time to go. The leaves have been wind-torn off the trees and dutifully raked up into a pile for composting. Nothing’s left of November but bare branches, gray skies, and the grim march of five weeks of holiday-themed commercials on t.v. and radio. Some of you may feel that there are the holidays themselves to look forward to, and I congratulate you on having been born into families whose interactions are blithe and joyous and mutually supportive at all times, even under the strains of shortened daylight hours and holiday stress. Myself, this time of year, the promise of a week where my biggest decision is what reading matter to take with me for my day long nap on the beach is the major thing that gets me through the first part of December. Memories of my blissful week help me survive the rest of it. If we could afford it, we’d go right over the Christmas holiday and New Year itself, but it’s usually significantly cheaper to go a little before.
Anyway. Every year around this time I begin the bathing suit panic. A few years ago I made the grim pilgrimage and managed to purchase a suit that did not make me vomit when I looked in the mirror and was reasonably comfortable. It will suffice – I break it out only on these annual trips, since I am no swimmer. But it would be nice to have an alternate – this one’s starting to show some signs of wear, despite its light usage, and sometimes your suit just isn’t completely dry by the next day.
I will be making a trip to a local Nordstrom, which confirmed over the phone that they do have swimsuits in stock, but I was not encouraged by what I viewed on their website. I am not a twenty-something anorexic anxious to present myself as a 21st century beachgirl reinterpretation of a 19th century saloon hall call girl. And yet, these are the types of suits presented for my consideration when I chose to search their collection by my bodytype. I did appreciate this feature but, alas, none of the options were “fat-ass menopausal feminazi”, so I picked “pear”. Amazingly, none of the swimsuit models rendered in the search were remotely pear-shaped. All of them did have fetchingly and (literally) impossibly thin arms. I worried that their little twig-arms might just snap! in two if they ever actually tried to use them for anything. Perhaps for Christmas they should ask for an air-brush, and given themselves back their arms.
Here is the bathing suit I want, in case any bathing suit designers out there are listening and care to satisfy my desires, since I’ve heard that marketing these days is all about the niche, and meeting the needs of the individual. Or is that just what they tell us as they try to sell me my own “personalized” Twilight New Moon iPod skin? Yeah, I guess you can skin it any way you want, as long as “it” is a hard shiny piece of technology, and not your feminine self.
What I want is a pair of swim trunks, not unlike the comfy, roomy, quick-drying ones Mr. Z wears, that have pockets. I would, of course, like a top to go with them, but not one of those stupid tankinis that just stretch ridiculously over my non-flat, non-anorexic, woman’s belly. I will be happy to wear some sort of bikini top with my swim trunks, and it ought to be reasonably easy to construct a bikini top that is comfortable, provides support, looks pretty, and dries quickly. I just purchased a bra today that offers the first three features and I am pretty damn sure the forth one can be wrangled in there – we have the technology.
I have discovered online that there is something called “board trunks” but you can only purchase these if you (1) are anorexic, since they don’t come in real women’s sizes and/or (2) are willing to show off your belly button and about three inches of skin beneath that, i.e., you don’t actually want a pair of swim trunks.
A friend of mine has taken to buying her shoes in the men’s department – she likes the solidity and sturdiness of men’s shoes, the width of the toe box, the thickness of the sole – and they go so much better with the style of clothing she prefers to wear than do any women’s shoes she can find anywhere. I’m thinking maybe I just have to take a note from her page – find myself a pair of swim trunks in the men’s department, and buy a nice bikini top to match them, even if it means I have to buy a whole bikini. All I want for my save-my-sanity-at-Christmas-beach-trip is a pair of swim shorts. Is that so much to ask?