In The Swim(suit) of Summer
If you are looking for a wild and crazy good time over a rainy and cold long weekend, I can’t recommend bathing suit shopping enough. They sell it ALL - cheeky bottoms, strapless tops, one-pieces, blousekinis, objectification of women, insecurities. You can find it ALL in the swimsuit section at your nearest Target and honestly, if you want to bring it up a notch, take your teenage daughter along with you.
Long story short, the dressing rooms are open but my mind is closed. We left Target with a tee shirt, kitchen cleaner, a bottle of lite maple syrup, and a whole lotta resentment because I rejected the cheeky suit and there was yelling in the paper towel aisle, prompting me to cut the trip short. Why? Well, because we live in a repressed society that makes me a terrible mother for wanting my child to cover up her @ss at the beach and because my child says she should wear what she likes and who cares what anyone thinks. Who’s right? Obviously, both of us - me for wanting to protect her from the predatory eyes of lecherous adults and eager teens with under-developed pre-frontal cortexes, and her for recognizing that society is definitely screwed up and it’s not her.
Yes, yes, yes, women and people can and should wear whatever they’d like and love who’d they’d like and be who’d they’d like and that is the beginning, middle, and end of that. But at the same time, omygod it is so hard to parent teenagers. I love and am awed by the young woman she is becoming, and at the same time I miss the little girl who would wear a strawberry bathing suit with a matching hat AND coverup. And sandals. It all matched. The hat, the suit, the sandals, the tiny little toenails with their first ever nail polish. Now, my bathings suits are the ones that match (black top, black bottom, black coverup, black flip flops, cold dead heart) and she is in full teen mode with the under-developed pre-frontal cortex to prove it.
A wise friend told me once that it is her job to test every limit, and my job to save her from herself. This weekend at Target, that was on full display.
The swimsuit section at our nearest Target is right near the PRIDE section and if I could go back, I’d just insist on buying the “you be you” PRIDE shirt and left it at that.