The Shame Trifecta

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 9.12.06 PMYeah, I know summer is over and who cares about my latest waterpark adventure. But just wait. What I have to share is a cautionary tale. Oh, sure loads has been written about Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt. But this is not about plunging down an incline greater than Niagara Falls. This, my friends, is about humiliation.

I had managed, through careful planning, (which means showing up at Schlitterbahn just late enough that every “reservation” slot would be taken) to avoid the Verruckt all summer. But on Labor Day, my luck ran out. Extensive cloud cover, early morning thunderstorms, and I’m sure a general ennui of all things wet, meant the crowds at 10:05 a.m CST were sparse. Combine that with a moving sob story from my daughter about how her friends were afraid to “Verruckt” and I was trapped.

As I stood in line in my one piece swimsuit with extra long swim skirt, because I’m a woman who believes our nation needs to re-embrace the beauty of full butt coverage, I noticed some equipment that looked out-of-place at a Waterpark. It was a huge scale, like the kind you would use to weigh elephants at the zoo or something. What in the name of Verruckt was a calibration system of this magnitude doing at the entrance to a water attraction? And then, oh, Sweet God of Atlantis I discovered the hidden horror of the slide. You have to be weighed before you’re allowed to go on the ride!

I have a strict don’t ask don’t tell policy about my weight. When I go to the doctor’s office I never wear jeans, (denim is hefty fabric that can add at least three pounds). I also, always, take off my belt and shoes, and have been known to slip the nurse a $20 to look the other way as I adjust the scale to read at least 10 pounds less. So, the very last thing, as you can imagine, I want to do at a Waterpark is to be weighed. Am I not suffering enough? I’ve got most of my dimpled, doughy flesh exposed and I have some new spider veins that, no matter what I tell myself, do not look like hipster mom tattoos.

Before I even have to chance to make a run for it a life guard calls for my daughter and I to get on the scale. It’s nothing personal I’m told. Each three person raft, due to mass x acceleration, must have a combined weight of at least 400 pounds. They need to weigh us to figure out how chunky our third raft mate needs to be.

Are you freaking kidding me? I have to step on scale, that I’m sure was purchased from a large animal vet clinic, in front of hundreds of people and have my weight barked out like I’m some attraction at a low rent carnival. This isn’t going to happen. I am so out of here. But my daughter gives me a look that says, “Please Mom” and I cave because if my parenting style had a name it would be called “The Caver.”

Off I march to get on the scale with my head held high and my stomach sucked in. I can do this. I get on first and then my daughter hops on. After which an employee screams out that we need a person weighing at least 150 pounds to join us on the scale. We get a volunteer. A youngish guy, who looks like he runs triathlons, sprints over and jumps on. We have hit the magic number and  been cleared through stage one of Verruckt.

Thrilled that my weigh in session is behind me I, after an intense safety briefing that required all of us vowing to uphold the laws of gravity and not to sue the Schlitterbahn, if said laws of gravity do not work in our favor, proceed to climb up 264 stairs. Where, surprise, surprise, we have to get back on a scale. Did they think ascending up 17 stories might have made us drop a pound or two? The answer to that question was a “No ma’am. It’s another safety check.”

I groan and get on the scale. This one is smaller but still has a livestock vibe. After the weigh in we’re told that the heftiest person goes in the back of the raft. Mr. Triathlon assumes it’s going to be him. But a life guards points at me and hollers, “No, it’s not you. It’s her!” I have now hit the mortification trifecta. Shamed, I enter the raft and my daughter asks me if, “I’m scared.”

I tell her no. After this experience a 60-mph, 168 foot plunge in a rubber raft is nothing. Nothing at all.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂



bathing-suitIf you’re a woman over forty 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 ladies dressing room.

As I general rule I go discount when shopping for swimsuits. No Nordstrom’s 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, you can make excuses about the fluorescent lights making it worse than it really is but you know common sense and science won’t support your hypothesis that the lights are adding 20 pounds.

This season of swimsuit shopping has an added degree of difficulty because of a new Waterpark ride. I’m now going to have to find a swimsuit that not only covers me with a nod to modesty, utilizes some form of black magic to slenderize me BUT also has a top with the tensile strength of Kryptonite. Curse you Verruckt!

That’s a new water park slide that is supposedly taller than Niagara Falls and exceeds speeds of 60 miles per hour. My daughter is a waterslide junkie and all winter has talked and talked about spending tScreen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.59.24 PMhe summer with me and the slide. Like together, in a raft, plunging to, if not our death, imminent swimsuit loss.

You can’t tell me riding a raft down an incline that steep isn’t going to cause 3 out 5 women to experience, at the very least a significant wardrobe malfunction. It’s one thing for a little peek a boo at 20 but at my age it becomes a peek of eww followed by eternal shame.

Sadly, oh very sadly, I am familiar with that kind of shame. 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. We start circling the bowl and my daughter makes a rookie mistake. She thinks this is the end of the ride and abandons tube while we’re still circling.

Her slim, lithe body gracefully slides down the exit tube. I do not. The force of my daughter jumping off the tube causes me to be dumped out. Our tube is AWOL. I’m free floating, circling the bowl, topless! The force of the water jets has 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 me till the end of the ride to get my suit yanked up and then some people clapped. 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 a hot mess.

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 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. Until then, if you see a women riding the Verruckt in a full length, turtleneck, swimsuit cover up, wave. It will be me.

*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂