As I walked by a shop window today, I realized it’s that time again.
And by that time, I mean the time when I have to be strong and prepare for the moment.
And by moment, I mean when I finally realize there’s nothing I can do.
Because like the Terminator, it’s back.
The one I call my nemesis, my enemy, my foe; the one that taunts me, laughs at me, and wiggles a finger and says, “Oh no you didn’t!”
It’s here…the bathing suit. It’s here!
(screams of horror in the background)
I’m certain we’ve all made its acquaintance.
We all bear its scars.
I know I still wake up in the middle of the night screaming from our last encounter.
Nevertheless, the time has to come for me to face my fears.
It’s time I stand up to the bully and declare, “Someone’s going down today and it ain’t gonna be me!”
And so I walked into the shop and bravely grabbed the little monster from the rack.
I could hear it snickering….giggling…but I powered on, determined that this time around I would prevail.
Into the dressing room I went.
I quickly peeled off all my clothes before I lost whatever courage I had left.
I put my legs through and started to tug.
A minute later, screams of victory were heard as I succeeded getting it past my knees.
Like a slippery eel I wiggled and wiggled until I got the straps into place.
With eyes squeezed shut, I faced the mirror.
I tried to slow down my heart rate by doing the Lamaze breathing exercises I had learned for the Son’s birth twenty years ago.
I realized they weren’t working.
I started praying a Hail Mary.
I opened one eye half way.
I closed it again.
“Is everything alright in there?” asked the sales associate.
“Yes,” I nervously replied as I searched for a defibrillator in the tight confinement of the dressing room.
I should have known this was a bad idea.
What was I thinking?
I heard my mother’s voice in my head screaming, “Oh for heaven’s sake, it’s like ripping off a band-aid. What the hell are you waiting for?”
And that’s when I saw myself in the mirror.
Suddenly the dressing room started spinning, my knees buckled, my lower lip began to quiver, and I started to hyperventilate.
About to pass out from shock, I heard myself whisper, “Where’s the panic button?”
Dressing room attendant: “Is everything alright in there?”
Me: “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Dressing room attendant: “Yes, but he’s in the next dressing room with another lady. Can you hold on one more minute?”
Me: “Yes. I know Lamaze breathing.”
Dressing room attendant: “Great. Hang on. Help is on the way.”
And so ladies, here’s to raising awareness to a brand new situation.
This time I propose that the swim suit be fitted with the following label:
“Warning: Trying on this garment can be harmful to your physical and/or mental state and should only be tried on while in the company of someone who’s qualified to administer CPR and/or is able fit you into a straightjacket.”