Monday, July 19, 2010

The Mind-Bikini Problem

It’s July. It’s crazy hot.

We decide to take the kids to the pool Saturday evening after dinner.

Normally I’d join in with the swimming, but I’d just gotten my hair cut and seeing as there are only about 6 days per year that my hair is in a pristine state of sleekness, I decide to sit this one out and preserve what little remaining time I have with my perfect coiffure. Plus, sitting poolside affords me the opportunity to watch my kids doing cannonballs. There’s hardly any point in doing a cannonball if no one’s watching you and saying, “good one” in a distracted sort of way.

So. Yes. I’m going to sit by the pool and read my book and occasionally give a thumbs up to one of my cannonballers, and that's all I’m going to do. But then I look up, and I see her.

Oh. Dear. God.

I won’t do a double-take. I won't. I’m not going to look at the middle-aged woman in the bikini with an openly agog expression of dismay tinged with disgust. Nope. Not gonna look. There’s a policeman in my head saying, “Move along. Nothing to see here. Just get back to reading your book, ma'am.”

But, OK, I can’t. I just can’t avoid looking at her.

Seriously, WHY would she wear something like this? Why would she put herself on display like this, with the belly hanging over and the sagging what-not and the insufficiently thorough bikini wax? Of all the bathing suits she could have chosen, why this one? It's a slow-motion train wreck IN A BIKINI, and I cannot not look at her. I cannot not wonder what happens inside the mind of certain human females that makes them don a skimpy bathing suit and look at themselves and think, “Hell, yeah.”

OK, what is my problem? She has the right to wear whatever she wants. Of course she does. It’s just... I mean, come on. WHY? Why would you wear that?

Here’s a hard and fast rule about wearing a bikini if you’re over forty and you’ve had a few kids: don’t. That’s all. Simple, right? There's only one exception. Look in the mirror and ask yourself: "Am I Demi Moore?" No? Then don’t wear a bikini.

All right. That's enough. I’ve got to stop dwelling on this. I’ll just get back to the reading and put this out of my mind and stop wondering and being so judgmental and all that. I wish the bikini lady godspeed and hope she puts a towel over herself soon. Hey, there's an idea. Should I go over there and say, "All the god-fearing adults here at the pool passed a hat around, and we will pay you $87.65 if you will please please please put a towel over yourself"?

Now I'm squinting. OK, that helps a bit. I'll squint so I don't have to look directly at her. That will save me and my poor, poor retinas. I'm sure my eyes now have early-stage PTSD. Thank you, middle-aged bikini lady. Thank you. 

Several dozen cannonballs later (“that last one was definitely the best one”), we pack it in for the night. On the way home, my husband is seized by the horrific memory that he’d used the last of the coffee that morning and will be facing a bleak, un-caffeinated sunrise unless we stop and get some coffee. So we swing through the grocery store so he can hop out and get his forty-pound canister of coffee and then we’ll be on our way home with our chlorinated children, who are now fighting in the back seat like red-eyed vampires.

And then I see this woman coming out of the grocery store, pushing a shopping cart filled with watermelons. Like a dozen watermelons and nothing else. What’s up with that? I mean, if she had a bottle of vodka with her I’d have thought, Of course. I see where you’re going with this. But why on earth would a woman be buying a dozen watermelons on a Saturday night? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Honestly, my curiosity just wears me out sometimes.