Hissy Fit - April 2021 - Every Body: Rock Your Body
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
April 2021 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
In Judith Lawrenson’s Skating Uphill column on page 42, she mentions there are three times of the year she hates: New Year’s, her birthday and spring, all because she gets the uncontrollable urge to purge, spring clean and organize. Not to throw Judith, who is a good friend of mine, under the bus, but Judith, let’s put this into perspective: None of those times of the year require a bathing suit.
I admit I have a love-hate relationship with bathing suit season. I love it because I adore the water! I can stay in the pool or ocean all day long. I enjoy swimming, boating, going to the beach, going to the pool—all of it. The downside is the attire—the dreaded swimsuit.
I’m blessed in many ways, with many talents, but wearing a bikini is not one of them, and I have proof. There is a picture of me (around age 4) at the Shriner’s Temple in a line up with other little girls for a swimsuit contest. (This was p.c. in the 60s, so don’t fret.) I am the only child in a one-piece, and I wasn’t even heavy yet. When I asked my mom why, she said, “I don’t know. I guess that must have been what you had.”
Now it all makes perfect sense. Which also tells me they, meaning Mom and Dad, must have read the newsletter the morning of the contest. I don’t think I won, and surely it had nothing to do with donning the only one-piece. Seriously though, I think I look the sweetest, and I’m proud of that.
Sometimes I sit and ponder how I will leave this earth never having rocked my body. There may have been a few times, but I was blind to it, already so caught up in the mental distraught—and teasing— of being an overweight child. I look back at some of my “fat” pictures and wish I was that “fat” now! But here’s the deal, I will never be as young again as I am today. Neither will you, jus’ sayin’ (this applies to 20-somethings, too). One day, today will be that picture you look back on and think you look pretty darn good—even if you don’t have a perfect bikini body.
Come to think about it, don’t you agree that wearing an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie suit like that would be a burden? I mean, all that skin showing to have to cover in sunscreen and the possibility of your barely-there bottoms getting whisked away by a wave, as if everyone hasn’t almost seen everything already.
Of course, this can happen even when wearing a one-piece.
One of the funniest moments of last summer was my future sister-in-law and her friend coming out of the ocean at Edisto. A strong wave pushed them down, and they couldn’t get up. In their defense, it is hard to keep your balance while navigating through waves and trying to keep your margarita from spilling. Let’s just say those margs are sadder than spilt milk, with a little salt added compliments of the ocean. Back to the scene, which was hilarious: As the the two were tumbling in the rolling 12-inches of water and waves like lottery balls before they get spit out of the machine, dignity was not the only thing lost, but who really misses a one-piece.
Why, why, why did I not take heed of all those medical spa ads back in January? They warned me swimsuit season would be here before I knew it, and here I sit…totally not ready…stunned again. Well, at least I’m consistent, and while it may be a tradition, I would prefer it not be my legacy. I can hear it now: Elizabeth never could get ready for swimsuit season. It took her by surprise every year. Thats why we had to bury her in a one-piece.
But now there is bathing fashion that gives us not-ready-for-swimsuit-season women hope—a tankini! Yep, us tanks can finally wear a -kini. Now, if you get knocked down in the waves when coming out of the ocean, and you’re rolling around the surf trying to beach yourself, the top of your tankini can cover the embarrassment on your face as it rides up and shows everyone the tank part. Stop worrying, make a sensational splash into spring and enjoy yourself.
You’re fabulous, people love you, and at least for now,
your tankini is staying in place.