Bathing Beauty

20 years ago, this month I graduated high school. Instead of reliving being unpopular and awkward at my reunion, I decided to go to the beach in a bikini. The truth is 20 years ago this summer was the last time I wore one. I know this because unlike the sexy collegiate girls you see in “Girls Gone Wild- Spring Break” videos, I went off to college with a greater love for NY pizza then the gym and gained 40 pounds by winter break.

By the time I lost the weight, I got pregnant and my c section scar made it look like I had a muffin top growing out of my muffin top – and bathing suits- let alone bikinis were clearly not an option.

For years I went up and down 20 pounds like it was nothing, but my love for ice cream on hot days ensured that I was (inconveniently) always thinner in the winter and fatter in the summer. But not this year. This year the pin up bikini make a comeback and I could actually be able to pull wearing one off.

So instead of being ridiculed at the reunion, I decided to test my humility at the beach. I actually was excited. I thought I’d be like those “redefine beauty” girls and be confident in my sexy bikini made for imperfect bodies. It didn’t go quite as planned and I learned some valuable lessons:

  1. When you are 17 and an older guy checks you out, he is in general, a ripped college guy with a fake id and access to free alcohol.

When you are 37 and an older guy checks you out- he is in general, at least 60- with a dad bod, an obscene overgrowth of        white chest hair and access to Viagra pills.

  1. When you are 17 and you lose your bikini top in the ocean, you can make it look endearing. You cover your nipples with the palm of each of your hands and yell “help” in an innocent yet sexy voice, while all the men in the ocean will help you find your top but slowly get it back to you, hoping to get a glance of some side boob.

When you are 37 and lose your bikini top in the ocean, it is more traumatizing to beach-goers then a shark attack. You yell         “help” in a desperate voice and people of all ages move at lightening speed to get your top while trying to avoid seeing your        not so flopping fun bags-which have been drained from breast feeding. You are less worried about covering your nipples,          and more concerned with holding up your boobs so they don’t drag across the ocean floor and get cut by sea shells.

  1. When you are 17 you get an ice cream cone from the beach vendor and try to eat it quickly so it doesn’t melt and effortlessly go back to reading your Seventeen Magazine.

When you are 37 you do not dare get an ice cream cone from a vendor- because the angle your beach chair would need to         be at for eating would create a stomach roll, that would not be there if you were laying flat. Plus- you cant judge the                   “celebrity cellulite” pics in your US Weekly if you are shoving your face.

So clearly I was feeling a little self -conscious. In my defense- it had been a long time since I went to the beach so exposed. Maybe for my 25th reunion I’ll endure the old friends. At least I can wear spanx- and no one will be 17.

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