As I write this we are socked into a two to four inch rainfall AGAIN, and it’s one of those fall evenings that makes you want to curl up on the couch in your baggie cotton pajamas with a blanket and a box of Whoppers. It is a far cry from the hot swimsuit weather we experienced in Florida just a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I wore little more than a swimsuit on most days down there. And I miss it. I went shopping for swimsuits while I was there. I tried on 23 of them because nothing is more difficult than finding the right swimsuit. Except for picking a great fitting pair of jeans. Or a bra.
I’d rather wrestle with a hyena than try on bathing suits, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and this girl waited until all the swimsuits at home were gone from the shelves before she decided she needed another one. While trolling the Highway 98 Destin Target for a water bottle, I stumbled upon a swimsuit rack. Seduced by a clearance tag I tried on a mauve number that was a little edgy. I was all, “Ooh, $7.98 and it fits!” Now, we have all made the mistake of buying some outlandish hat or article of clothing while on a vacation high and the Calypso music is playing and the margaritas are flowing. It seemed like a good idea at the time and then you got home and realized you didn’t want the head of the Methodist Women’s Group catching you wearing that in the Piggly Wiggly. It’s how I ended up with a flowery skirt and tube top from San Juan, Puerto Rico. So, standing in the dressing room of the Destin Target, I eyeballed that monokini and said, “Self, just ‘cause you could wear it, doesn’t mean you should.” And after nixing every justification I could think of for buying that bathing suit, I put it back on the rack. And patted myself on the back for not crossing a line I’ve crossed several times in the past. And then I bought a wool flapper hat for this winter.
Flash forward to this week when Teen Angel and I headed out to buy her a Halloween costume for a school club function she has Saturday night. Now, I grew up in a time when we made our costumes out of whatever was lying around the house or stuff you picked up at the thrift store or dollar store. So, I’m not wild about store bought costumes anyway, given that they’re such a rip-off, and I HATE, HATE, HATE that they’re all so trampy looking. However, living in a rural area, our store bought costume options are limited so we headed off to the seasonal Halloween shop in town, which I won’t name but like to call Whores Are Us since almost everything in there is a g-string short of a stripper’s costume. All of the women’s costumes have the same basic form, a duck skirt (two inches below the quack) and a bustier with something on it to symbolize what the costume is supposed to be, such as a police badge or a dog in a basket. By the way, when did Dorothy start wearing stilettos and a garter belt? As usual we wandered around for an hour with Teen Angel pulling stuff off the rack and me going, “Hellza no!” or “You will not leave our house looking like a ho!” At one point we ended up in the tiny aisle of costumes with maximum booty coverage which consisted of a clown, a nun and a bottle of ketchup or mustard. After some gnashing of the teeth and a couple of eye rolls, we finally came up with an Alice in Wonderland costume that was okay once we bought some full length tights to go under it. Can I get an amen for full length tights?
While waiting for her to try this stuff on, I watched several young women, say ages 17 to 24, trying on costumes and was amazed at what I saw. I’m not criticizing anyone’s body shape, but many of these costumes only look good on someone who is a size 2 with a 38 inch bust. Ninety five percent of the female population does not fit that category and has more real estate to cover than these costumes allow. One girl squeezed into a “police uniform” (beige micromini with a badge), and with buttons popping from her bust to her hoo hoo, she declared it fabulous and headed to the checkout line. It was all I could do not to grab her arm and scream, “Girlfriend, just because you could doesn’t mean you should.” Another girl bought a “vixen” outfit that didn’t need a mask because no one was going to look above her neckline while talking to her at a party. EVERYTHING was hanging out.
I’m no prude, but I must be getting old because I sure did feel like my mama standing in that store. It makes me uncomfortable that young women today are so comfortable with being so naked in front of the world. And apparently, it works both ways. Teen Angel seems to be uncomfortable with some of my choices that have nothing to do with skimpy. When I showed her my flapper hat and asked her what she thought, her response was, (all together now) “Just because you could, doesn’t mean you should.” Smart aleck.
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