Swim Season Terror

Mo Larson essays

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Purchasing a swimsuit is a difficult proposition during the best of times, and believe me, these are not the best of times. My body has turned against me. We’ve always had issues but I’m shocked that it has finally come to this. Summer is my absolute favorite time of year. There is something magical about summer.  Long walks by the river, family bike rides and neighborhood games of soccer that go well past a responsible bedtime.

I even love that the kids have ALL day to bug the crap out of each other—not just a few short hours between school letting out and bedtime. There are literally hours of free time in which elaborate sibling-bugging strategies can be developed, modified and perfected. Sounds like a small-town fantasy, doesn’t it?

Here’s where things get scary: (dun dun DUN!) The public pool. Don’t get me wrong, the kids adore spending the day at the pool. And we love the fact that we can go meet friends for a day of healthy, outdoor fun. I’d pay double the current admission price for the “pool-fatigue” that the kids experience after a day at the pool. The kind of heavy-limbed fatigue that enables mommy to put the kids to bed early and have some free time with daddy, if you know what I mean.

A successful day at the pool requires a few things:

1. A willingness to overlook the teenage boys eyeing up the girls in itty bitty bikinis.

2. You can’t be bothered by the afternoon “Safety Check” that we all know is the nice way of saying “Check the kiddie pool for poo” break.

3. You have to ignore the noise. So. Much. Noise. This is the point where you have to dig deep and think ahead to cocktail hour.

4. Donning a swimsuit.

I usually do some research with a few popular fashion magazines when I begin the dreaded swimsuit shopping. This is the best place to find all sorts of handy tips for your swimsuit shopping needs. Pear shaped? A ruffle here, a bit of ruching there, and voila! You are ready to turn heads! Unsightly bulges? Industrial strength lycra to the rescue! Too busty? Need to give your tiny bust a boost? Legs too long? Short torso? Gangly arms? Which celebrity body type is most similar to yours? Are you beautifully curvy like Sophia Vergara? Or do you have a cute, athletic shape like Cameron Diaz? Short and stout like Mister Magoo? Pleating, beads, stripes, leopard print, one piece, two piece; there’s a swimsuit available for each and every body type and size! Or is there? This is the question that plagues me annually.

These magazine features give the (misleading) impression that any slight, perceived body flaw you may have can be corrected with the right type, color, and shape of swimsuit. That whether you are shaped like an apple, a pear, or some other fruit (carrot, anyone??), there is a great option for you!

I have given birth to 3 children, I have an almost 24 inch scar on my right leg, and approximately 18 other issues that make me a less than ideal swimwear model. Which begs the question: What kind of bathing suit is perfect for a body that looks like a war zone? I haven’t found that swimsuit yet.

For those of you who look forward to swimsuit shopping I am insanely jealous. Good for you! Huzzah! Butt slaps all around! But it also gives me hope. Hope that maybe I’ll someday tolerate (probably never enjoy) shopping for swimwear. There’s a swimsuit brand whose name implies that it can perform works of God. A miracle may very well be what it will take to get me to the pool this summer.

About the Author

Mo Larson

Mo Larson is a mom with three lovely, loud children and a strikingly handsome Alaskan husband. When she isn't arranging flowers and hand-sewing her children's clothing, you can find her catching up on The Real Housewives and driving the kids to various activities in which they may or may not be enrolled. Mo and her husband Joe own SoccerTots Missoula, which they enjoy immensely.

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