I’ve been dreading this weekend for weeks, if not months. The date has been staring at me from the calendar like the popular girl daring me to sit at her lunch table. It is known as the unofficial start of summer – or Memorial Day Weekend.
The past several years, I looked forward to the opening weekend of our pool with great excitement. I had a collection of no less than twenty bikinis, which I wore proudly. Last summer, I was a little less comfortable than usual because I had started gaining weight. This year, well, let’s just say the bikinis are still in hibernation. An additional twenty pounds can be a little hard on a girl’s ego.
I made the dreaded trip to acquire a bathing suit and to my surprise was able to find a cute tankini (with a skirt bottom) that made me look okay and not as matronly as I was expecting. Sure I was wearing more than a teen at her high school graduation, but I was comfortable. My weight gain was no one else’s business and the more covered up I was, the better I felt.
I walked into the pool with great apprehension. We’ve been members of this pool for the last several years and therefore know the majority of the members. The first day of the pool is always an inventory of how tall the kids got and who gained or lost weight. I know first-hand because I’ve sat there and done it myself. So, I quickly found a lounge chair and spent an incredibly ridiculous amount of time getting set up with towels, sunscreen, and drinks. I finally settled into my lounge chair refusing to look around. I really wasn’t prepared for the gasps that I knew were coming from everyone once their eyes rested on me and they could see my weight gain.
Of course I could only spend so much time looking at my Diet Coke, so I finally looked around and no one was looking at me. Wait, what? That’s right. No one was looking at ME! Everyone was paying attention to their children, or their friends, or their own Diet Coke. No one cared about my weight gain. If they did, they at least had the decency to hide it well.
Once I realized the entire pool wasn’t pointing and staring at me, I got the courage to get up and walk around to talk to people I hadn’t seen since the pool closed last September. I had a great time socializing and was even told I looked great a time or two. Great? I look great? Is that possible? Why, hell yes it is!
I’m a little pissed at myself for wasting energy on something so trivial and vain. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain I’m not the only person that does that. There have been far too many magazine covers consumed by “getting bikini ready” articles over the last few months for me to think I’m alone in this delusional thinking. Unfortunately, I wasted a whole hour of what could have been socializing on staring at my can of Diet Coke worried that people thought I was fat. What? Yeah, it sounds as ridiculous to me now as it does to you. At the time, well, I was absolutely certain that my world would come crashing down as soon as I revealed my lily white skin.
I had a great weekend. I caught up with friends, ate some great BBQ, got a sunburn, and the world didn’t end. Ain’t nobody got time for that!