The Quest For The Perfect Swimsuit

bathing-suitIf you’re a woman in deep middle-age and enjoy shopping for a swimsuit then I doubt we could ever be friends. Our life experiences and view of the world would be so vastly different I fear we would have little to nothing in common.

Swimsuit shopping is so terrifying I wonder why a pharmaceutical company hasn’t concocted a four-day course of mood altering “Happy Swimsuit Shopping” pills to get women through the rough patch of seeing our mostly naked body on full display in the house of horrors that is the department store dressing room.

As I general rule I go discount when shopping for swimsuits. No Nordstrom or Sak’s dressing rooms for me. Those stores have three-way mirrors and my mental health would be at risk if I was forced to get an up close and personal view of my ever-growing backside. (Yes, I know other people have to see it but that’s their problem.)

Oh sure, I can make excuses about the fluorescent lights making it worse than it really is. But I know deep down that common sense and science won’t support my hypothesis that the lights are responsible for the vision in the mirror.

Swimsuit shopping has always been difficult for me because I love water parks. This means I have to find a swimsuit that not only covers me with a nod to modesty BUT also has a top with the tensile strength of Kryptonite.

Anytime you’re riding a plastic raft or God forbid an inner tube down a waterpark slide incline there’s at least a 50/50 chance for a significant wardrobe malfunction. It’s one thing to have a little peek a boo incident at 20 but at my age I prefer to avoid nudity in a public setting. Sadly, oh very sadly, I am familiar with agony of flashing strangers – hordes of strangers.

Dateline: August 2011, Denver, Colorado. I was riding the Ripqurl which is basically like being flushed down a toilet that looks like it was designed for the love child of a Sasquatch and Shamu. My daughter and I took off fast and hit the toilet bowl portion of the ride screaming. When we started circling the bowl my daughter made a rookie mistake. She thought this was the end of the ride and “abandoned tube” while we’re still circling.

Her lithe body gracefully slide down the exit tube. I did not. The act of my daughter jumping off the tube caused me to be dumped out and our tube to go AWOL.

I was free floating, circling the bowl, topless! The force of the water jets had pushed down the top of my one piece swimsuit. You don’t know humiliation till you’ve gone bare breasted at a packed waterpark. It took till the end of the ride for me to get my swimsuit yanked up. The humiliation was intense and it wasn’t helped by people clapping when I exited the ride. Jerks.

Now, I’ve got a case of PTSD about waterpark slides. Add in shopping for a swimsuit that meets all my criteria and I’m embarking on mission impossible.

You know what someone needs to do? Invent what is basically a swim skirt for your chest. Any mother knows the healing properties of a swim skirt. It’s a gift from the almighty that doesn’t look too terribly mommyish. It’s more sporty, like you’ve just played some tennis and don’t have time to change before you go do aqua yoga on your paddle board.

The best thing is it covers your upper thighs and lower butt allowing you to do nifty things like bend over without flashing the family of four in the pool chairs next to you.

I seriously think I’m on to something here. Sure, there’s those waterproof T-shirts or Rash Guard things you can wear but they’re hot and puff up in the water making you look like you’re 11 months pregnant.

So, until some genius invents something akin to a chest swim skirt, if you see a women riding a water slide in a turtleneck swimsuit cover up this summer – wave. It will be me.


📚Hey there, did you know that I have a new book out! Yes, I know this is an older blog post but 2022 Snarky has indeed written a new book. 🎉Just click the link to take a look at it on Amazon.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun:

They’re broke, bitter, and not ready to give up without a fight.

Three middle-aged women, who have seen their carefully crafted lives take a precipitous financial plunge, forge an unlikely friendship while getting paid to take part in a clinical trial for a new menopause drug. The trio spends a month sequestered at a pharmaceutical testing facility that has all the charm of a nail salon inside a Walmart, and bond over their anger and disbelief that their only hope for some quick cash is leveraging the remaining estrogen they have lurking in their ovaries.

Each of these women has a recent story of their existence hurtling to hell. Maria had a career catastrophe so epic that googling her name is now painful. Cassie’s extreme vanity took an ugly turn and Julie’s husband didn’t just walk out on their marriage, he disappeared with all the money

Once they become roommates, this cadre of unlikely friends merge their talents to find Julie’s missing husband and her half of the “marital assets.” Maria has major accounting mojo, Julie has connections, and Cassie, a former soap opera actress, has acquired an assortment of shady skills during her Hollywood tenure.

As they plot, scheme, and embark on an adventure to find an AWOL spouse, they learn how to fight back against a world they believe deems them old and insignificant and, in the process, discover that fifty is when life gets fun, especially when you can get even.