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Summer time...and the livin' is easy...

Summer is here!

Well, maybe not officially for another few days but believe me in our part of the world, SUMMER IS HERE! Time to think about vacations and some of that RR&R (Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate)!

I love the white sands of the Florida beaches and although we aren’t planning one of those RR&R trips until later in the year I figured it was never too soon to start edging my shopping cart toward the beach clothing aisle.

Note: I did not say the bathing suit aisle.

The last time I tried on bathing suits, I vowed  upon my Granny’s Bible that I’d have my toenails pulled out with rusty pliers before I put my body through that ordeal again. I was just waiting for a dressing room so I could try on the newest muumuu designed by Omar the Tentmaker when I overheard "the conversation".

“Please show me a bathing suit designed for a grandmother.” 

Looking back now the voice didn't sound like it came from a grandmother but at the time my ears perked right up. Had I missed something? Did that have suits that made grannies look good?

“Oh, honey! Grandmothers everywhere are wearing tankinis and have been for a few years. They are just wonderful. Every color imaginable. You’ll simply love the style. I’ll just whip right out and get you several to try on,” the sales lady said.

I am a grandmother. The designers could have come up with an innovative new idea to make us feel less like a dinosaur and more like a cute little model. I meandered over to the bathing suit aisle ... just to look, mind you. Not to carry one of the tankinis back to the dressing room. Definitely not to try the thing on.

There they were, displayed in all their radiant glory. Tankinis. The top looks like a shortened tank top and the bottom like a bikini. The designers should have been given a pure gold plaque with their name engraved on it for finally coming up with something for grandmothers. I picked up six of the darling things and marched to the dressing room. It was just a matter of deciding which color I wanted.

Life was good. Someone had finally listened to the wants and needs of women who needed at least one X on the size tag.

I overheard the granny in the next dressing stall. “Oh, this is wonderful. Just what I need to play in the pool with my little granddaughter. Do they make them in children’s sizes? I’d like her to have one to match mine.”

I was getting very excited about this tankini idea and kicking myself in the hiney for not buying one years ago.

It sounded promising. Daringly, I started with the green and black striped suit and commenced to putting it upon my chubby little body. Tankinis. Made for grandmothers but stylish enough for teenagers and even children. Maybe I’d just buy it in two or three colors.

I tugged the top over my head. The straps fit just fine. No slipping off the shoulders. I kept tugging until I got the rest of the top down to just above my navel. The stripes were stretched out so far that I looked like a Tyrannosauras Rex dressed up in camouflage. Believe me it did not look like that on the picture hanging from the price tag. It was the red bow! I swear if I just had a red bow to tie my gray hair back with, I'd look just like that model!

But hey, the bottoms would complete the outfit and make me look like I was a size five. I didn’t have to buy the stripes. I could buy it in blaze orange, the sexy black shown on the picture (above) or lime green Hawaiian print instead. I wasn’t going to give up until I saw the whole tankini. Miracles did still happen sometimes! I pulled the bottoms up and stood back to look in the three way mirror.

Oops! Where did my chest go? Guess I didn’t get everything lined up inside the thing. When I began the lift and shift method, I found nothing but a flesh colored stretchy lining inside the tankini top. And this thing was made for a granny? Someone evidently got their signals crossed. Granny’s are plagued by the gravity-itis. The inside of a bathing suit for a real Granny has to have wires and a corset like gizmo. It had to be built to withstand forces greater than a hurricane or even a tornado.

I held my breath and fought gravity. Maybe if I drug my granny's  corset out of the attic and put it on underneath the tankini, it would work better.

Sucking in the tummy wasn't working. I was turning blue pretty dang fast and there was still something hanging out in the inch and a half space between the bottom of the top and the top of the bottoms. I put on my bifocals and found where my chest had gone. I exhaled and an overstuffed Cabbage Patch doll in a Barbie doll bathing suit stared back at me.

I was standing there bewildered when I heard the sales lady bragging on the "other" grandmother. "Oh, honey, that looks great on you. I can't believe you are a grandmother!"

Evidently gravity had not gotten a firm hold on her chest. 

A giggle and then, "Darlin', I'm twenty five. My husband is forty five and I'm his third wife. I became an instant grandmother when I married him."

I silently gave her an old Irish blessing that wished her a fifty year marriage and at least six daughters of her very own.

I paid for my brand new set of the following item which I put in my purse.

Next time I get a wild notion to try on a bathing suit, I will take them out and attach them to my big toe nail and pull. We’ll see just how badly I want to try another tankini on.

Rest, relax, rejuvenate…caftan, flip flops and red bow for my hair to make me look skinny. Florida beaches here I come in a few months.
Where are you going to get some of that RR& R this summer?


  1. Carolyn, great story! Sorry the tankini didn't work out, but you will look marvelous in your beach wear and won't have to worry about sand creeping into dark places.

    No beach getaways for me this year, but next year...

  2. Thank you, Tracey! My caftan and red bow are all ready for a nice beach getaway in December this year...good lord willin' and the creeks don't rise (as Granny used to say).

  3. I'm traveling today so I'll catch up on comments when we stop tonight...y'all have a wonderful day and I'll wave at you, Grace, when I drive through northern Maryland!

  4. That was tooo funny, Carolyn!!! I loved it! Truly, I saw a woman at a swimming pool one time who wore a several x-sized bathing suit where it had cut-outs all down the the flesh had a place to exit. She didn't mind! LOL I always wear a large T-shirt over my swimsuit--to avoid burning!!! I've been a lobster too many times in the past. It works for me!

  5. One of life's great indignities: The older we get, the more we need to move around in ways that don't pound our joints (swim), and the less we want to be seen in appropriate attire.
    You've inspired me to go swim suit shopping though--I bought the membership at the Y last month, and haven't used it once. That's not just embarrassing, that's silly.

  6. OMGoodness, Carolyn! I LOVED your story. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning. :)

    BTW, I haven't purchased or worn a bathing suit in too long to remember. They definitely do not design them for women over the age of 30. LOL!

    PS I'm so glad you purchased a nice new pair of needle-nose chance of lock-jaw using them. :)

  7. I kid you not, I saw a grandmother in a bikini at the poll yesterday. She looked pretty good for any age, but still I didn't really want to see all that much flesh.

    I bought my suit from Land's End, and it has shorts and a top that's sort of like what you'd see at the gym. It's really comfortable and I don't feel overexposed in it. That's good because I am often chasing after a toddler or have one hanging on me in the pool. Most suits are not great when it comes to staying in place for all of that.

    Here's the suit in red.

  8. Already had my beach adventure this year. We went to Hawaii in May (and I'd go again in a skinny minute!) Now the DH is talking about a weekend of horseback riding in Vermont. At least I can be completely covered to do that!

  9. Ugh, I'm fairly small and thin, but let me tell ya, NO ONE needs to see how gravity has affected these near-fifty-year old thighs. Bring on the caftans!

  10. Four years ago I had to buy a swimsuit after not needing one for a dozen years - arghhh. I too saw those swimsuits and thought they would be perfect. Now I fit into a women's size 8 (which I think is really a 10) but I could not find any that would fit me. Everything was small. So I ended up with one of those typical one piece somewhat boring swimsuits. blah

  11. Carolyn, you had me laughing out loud! I think you are a beautiful grandmother and a lovely person. Thanks for the humor today!

  12. I have ALWAYS wanted to wear shorts and a t-shirt to go in the swimming pool...even those little skirt things they make don't quite do the job for me (-:

  13. Terry, I know all about that lobster red burn! I look like I've been soaked in buttermilk so I burn in about ten minutes.

  14. Grace, my cousin has been trying to talk me into water aerobics for years. She swears that it's the best thing since sliced bread.

  15. Colleen, believe me, it don't take much pulling on my big toe nail to convince myself that I'm not a tankini candidate! Glad you got a daily giggle.

  16. Shana, darlin', you'd look good in anything! I bet Baby Galen does keep you hopping!

  17. Mia, I read your comment three times before I realized you said "skinny minute" and not "skinny dipping!" LOL

  18. Tamara, and they make those caftans in so many wild, beautiful colors!

  19. Catslady, I think you should make it your mission to design something wonderful for all of us who have grandchildren!

  20. Amelia, bless your heart! Glad that I touched your funny bone. It was pretty funny AFTER the fact but in that dressing room, I used up all my cuss words for a whole month! LOL

  21. Elf, you are my kind of woman. Shorts and a tee-shirt, yes, yes, yes!

  22. Oh I Loved this story... I am with your on the bathing suit. I really need to buy a new one, but I jsut dread it.. I think I will just were a tee-shirt over the old one this summer..

  23. Glad you stopped by, Kathleen. I saw a swim suit made for women in the late 1800's that looked pretty comfortable the other day but the museum refused to sell it to me!

  24. LOL! I feel your pain, Carolyn. And I'm not even a grandmother yet!


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