I’ve been gaining weight, much to my frustration. As vacation drew near, I exercised more and drank more water. I added 10 minutes to my walk, added a day to my regimen and walked in a coat-for the love. Didn’t make a bit of difference. I even prayed about it, desperately needing to fit in my last year’s wardrobe.
The horror of shedding my clothes in public should have pushed me harder. (In case you were worried, we were going to the beach.) I should have worked day and night. I had counted the days down from January, often thinking, “I have 170 days…I can do this…” Then, “I have 120 days…I can do this…” At 40 days out, I was getting a little panicky. That’s when I added another day to my routine, the extra time and the heavy coat. I sweated like a Sumo wrestler. (Wait, do Sumo wrestlers sweat?)
I was bound and determined not to buy new clothes. I’m a tight wad anyway, but didn’t want to reward myself with new clothes. (Truth be told, I didn’t want to purchase a larger size.) I would just squeeze myself into what I wore last year.
I had been praying the ‘prayer of Jabez’ lately, the part of enlarging my territory (1 Chronicles 4:10). For the record-not my personal space, but my ministry territory. I’m pretty sure that should not have anything to do with my lower territory enlarging but it did make me think.
When packing for vacation, and still not planning on buying bigger clothes, I pulled out a one-piece bathing suit I had worn 20 years ago. It was a black swimdress with a skirt long enough to wear to Bible School. It was fine, nothing to write home about and covered everything. Boy, did it cover everything.
I’m sure every woman who saw me on the beach in my 1996 bathing suit felt much better about themselves. Their husbands also felt much better about their wives, so my Jabez prayer was at work-again. My beloved thinks I’m always gorgeous. To him, I look like Bo Derek or Cindy Crawford (whichever generation you’re from) in a black swimdress with a skirt long enough to wear to bible school.
Being dry in a one-piece bathing suit is awesome. The material looks pretty, not clingy at all. I can pretend I’m Sophia Loren in my big sunglasses. That’s what my beloved calls me but he says it in a voice that sounds like Goober on the Andy Griffith Show and cracks me up. (Sophia’s from a different generation, too, where they wore long skirted swimdresses. Feel free to Google her.) When water is added to a skirted one-piece, it changes things. First of all, when I came out of the water in my black swimdress with a skirt long enough to wear to Bible School, it was wrapped around me like an octopus! I had to pull and tug just to be able to walk! I must have looked like I had dragged out the Monster from the Black Lagoon! There was sucking noises as it came away from my limbs.
Trying to regain some dignity, I lounged on a beach chair. (The total truth is that we couldn’t eat in certain restaurants if we were soaking wet.) Sunglasses on, I dried in the sun for a bit.
Because I’m over 50, or maybe because I drink so much water to make sure I don’t dehydrate, I use the bathroom a lot. (Don’t be shocked; you’ve seen the commercials.) Before we ate lunch, I stopped by the restroom. I wasn’t totally dry, but not dripping. (You can eat in some restaurants if you’re not totally dry, but not dripping.)
In one of the stalls, there was a big commotion. There was groaning and mumbling. It sounded like two people were wrestling. There was also some squeaking. A woman kept saying, “Seriously!” It was me! Have you ever tried to pull up a wet one-piece bathing suit?! My word! It was like two people were wrestling! And I was the one losing! I was saying, “Seriously!” but it was to my black swimdress with the skirt long enough to wear to bible school. Holy smokes! It was like a snake trying to put its skin back on, only a ginormous snake and a not so ginormous skin! When I came out of the stall, though totally covered, I was a mess. My hair was wild and I looked like I had been in a fight! And there stood the nice lady who had come to clean the restroom. I smiled, washed my hands and left.
I only wore my 1996 bathing suit that one day. It was too much trouble. I switched to the one I had from 2006.
I’m already working on my bathing suit body for next summer. I walked in my coat this morning. I have 355 days…I can do this!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.