Just put on the swimsuit. You know which one. Remember when you inherited a trunk of clothes from your great-grandmother and were disappointed there were no flapper dresses? But look! There’s her old swimsuit. At least you think it’s a swimsuit. And since last summer’s suit is a bit raggedy and you’re too lazy to buy a new one, this retro look will have to do. Yes, it smells like damp wood and makes you look like the inflatable tube man flapping in front of the used car dealership. But leave your self-consciousness behind, check the garment for spiders, and put that goddamn thing on.
Don’t waste another minute lamenting the state of your body, missing out on fun moments with your family. Put on your swimsuit, join them, and make some memories! It will hug your curves like a sleeping bag, and cover you from chin to knee. No one will be able to tell if you’re CrossFit-jacked, covered in stretch marks resembling the Finger Lakes, or just a pile of rocks with a unitard stretched over them. Let your children climb on you as if you’re a tar-colored log. When they ask why you’re dressed like you’re hiding in a pile of tires, tell them “Classic looks are trending now,” and set your phone camera’s filter to sepia.
Wear your swimsuit to Justin and Kari’s party. Sure, they don’t have a pool, and the invitation suggested “business casual,” but now’s your chance to show off your newfound poise and vintage flair. Strut around their backyard like a suffragette in her skivvies. Stuff prosciutto-wrapped dates in your bloomer pockets while listening to your friend Tracy detail her triathlon training. When people avert their eyes or repeatedly try to drape their navy blazers over your shoulders, you’ll know they’re just jealous.
Bring that swimsuit on a romantic weekend with your man. As you saunter carefree down the boardwalk, you’ll look like a dowdy ancestor of the woman he fell in love with. Your man will ask why you insist on sunbathing in the equivalent of a full-coverage wetsuit. Ignore him, and glide into the pool like it’s your turn to feed the sea lions. Don’t overthink it — just put the swimsuit on.
Think back on the time, at your Gammy’s house, when you saw a picture of your great-grandmother in this swimsuit, and it looked like she was wearing shapewear while clamming. You have so much in common: you’re both bold pioneer women, both ahead of your time, and both probably covered in rashes from the heavy fabric that has since been banned for causing heat stroke and drownings.
Life is short; your bathing costume is long. If you find yourself hiding in Justin and Kari’s bathroom, regretting donning a moth-eaten woolly sack instead of that cute tankini you saw at Target, repeat this mantra: You are strong. You are brave. You are vacuum-sealed and impervious to the elements. Most importantly, you are monopolizing the only functional bathroom, and the sangria’s starting to hit that crowd hard.
Put on the goddamn swimsuit, get out of the goddamn bathroom, and live your goddamn life.