Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bathing Suit Shopping for Paddle Georgia

Modern society gives us beautiful and surprising gifts; things like tub butter, HOV lanes, and little plastic balls of lemony freshness one can drop down the garbage disposal to get rid of that off odor. Surely someone could also devise a better way for women to shop for bathing suits.

Of course, once a woman passes the age of 35 or bears her first child she no longer sets aside time to shop for the season’s bathing suit. Shopping for that season’s bathing suit only happens when it absolutely must, which makes the whole event more like the peak scene from a Bond film: cut the wrong wire, buy the wrong suit, and the whole mess will blow up in your face.

Many major department stores moved their seasonal swimwear displays down to the lower levels of the store, the levels that dump out into underground parking decks. They do this to eliminate the shopper’s contact with the outside world. Cell phones drop bars midway down the escalator; they’ll be no calling your husband or your sister or your momma to cry desperately about your physique, or lack thereof. You are entirely on your own.

If it is crying you want, the bathing suit section of most major department stores provide some background wailing for your shopping enhancement. A newborn baby or a toddler on a people leash usually comes with a mother who is perpetually “at the END of her ROPE.” Sometimes she her own mother joins her and you can witness generations of poor parenting skills while you browse through MiracleSuits and GodCouldYouBeFatterKinis.

No fitting rooms are ever available in the actual swimsuit section of the basement. For trying on, you must gather your bundle of mesh and lycra and truck over to the “Intimates” section, where Sylvia Sidney guards each room and growls at you if you don’t return the suits to their proper hangers. A hospital-like florescence lights each dingy cubicle, coating your body with a greenish tinge as appealing as the skin on a cafeteria pudding. The last thing in the world it makes sense to do in this room is take off your clothing.

But take it off you do, expect for the bare minimum, so as to save your tender parts from coming in contact with anything that might have touched anyone else’s tender parts. Even the sexiest, most petite model tries on suits designed to cling to her body with stray bits of underwear puckering out of the top and a security tag the size of a cordless drill dragging the whole suit slowly down her leg.

When one finally leaves with the trophy swimsuit, one has no idea what the suit actually looks like in the light of day, on her own body, where she will wear it in front of her friends and family and/or a flotilla of Georgia canoers. Except, of course, she won’t. Because one of the other most clever trends of our modern society stylishly saves her: the tent-like, floor length, bathing suit cover-up. I wonder if I could still paddle in one of those?


  1. Jessica - I'm so glad you are blogging for Paddle GA! I'm already loving it - can't wait for more, and to see your new swimsuit!

    April - Georgia River Network/Paddle GA staff

  2. Jessica, posted images at this site.
    Take a look.
    Tom McKenzie

  3. said the girl is balck said the girl is black said the girl is black

  4. What size of bathing suit she have? I guess Extra large is enough.