Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ready for Summer?


Woman's one-piece bathing suit, c.1920
Woman's one-piece bathing suit, c.1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am looking forward to summer.  I will be at the beach sportin’ my one piece like a boss.  Yes, a one piece, because no matter what kind of working out I do, or how good of a shape I can get this ole body in, the one-piece is the only style I will support, or will support me. Well, I take that back, I like those long tankini two pieces that look like one pieces.  Actually they are much more convenient when having to pee.  But my bikini days ended circa 1998.  This is mostly due to my post birthing belly.  

For those of you unfamiliar, after you give birth, especially more than once, the belly has a difficult time resembling any aspect of what it looked like pre-birth.  I had 2 emergency c-sections, so therefore my belly resembles a sad balloon.  One that was deflated, stretched out and sewn back together.  My belly button is like a true button now. It gathers in and holds all of this belly matter around it and when I suck in my gut it looks like it is tethered to my spine and almost disappears into this strange, black, belly hole.  It ain’t pretty.  SO one piece or belly covering piece, is the way to go for this Momma.  

But when I start to think about bathing suits I instantly get an itchy rash.  My bra and underwear support my body more than any bathing suit ever did!  The flimsy polyester/Lycra/nylon blend that bathing suits are made of, is pointless.  There is no support, the material does not breathe and the sizing is all wrong.  ALL wrong.  I got big boobys. They need support.  When they don’t have support it is a bad situation for all involved, for me, for them and for those that are exposed to them.   No one needs to see these girls hanging over the sad balloon, giggling like jello.  They need some sense of dignity.  I have worn a bra under the suit to facilitate that dignity. Then, after getting out of the water and the rest of my suite dried off, I was left with two large circles, as if spotlights on my chest.  The indignity!  

Now there are websites that specialize in making more supportive suits, like Cyberswim and Miracle Suit and even Spanx has gotten in on the action.  But I can’t spend that kind of money on something that I wear intermittently for a season, usually covered up by shorts and/or a t-shirt!  Don’t get me wrong.  I love me some Spanx, but I wear them under a dress going to a wedding.  I can manage being uncomfortable for a period of time at an event.  But I can not manage being that uncomfortable outside, all day, in the heat, running after my kids, playing in the sand and freaking out when seaweed touches my foot in the ocean. It is just too much to take.  

I like my underwear, after searching high and low, I finally found bras that fit, support and are comfortable.  Some of my underpants have seen better days, but I have about 5 good pairs in the rotation that are acceptable.  Can’t they make a suit that fits like a bra and underwear and covers the sad balloon?  Can’t they make a suit that is functional? Can’t they make a suit that doesn’t make you want to punch the air, screaming like a banshee while trying to put it on?  


Then there is the hoo haa maintenance.  The shaving and/or waxing of the nether region.  Since the stretch marks on my thighs are like arrows pointing to my hoo haa, there is no getting around it.  And I know they have these swim “shorts” but they are either so poofy that they look like you are wearing your grandmom’s shorts or they are so tight and riding up your ass that you might as well just wear the bathing suit bottoms.  Then there are the many styles of swim skirts, none of which seem to work with my bubble butt.   


One pieces or belly covering pieces are the way I roll. But, I have no hate for those mothers who can work the bikini.  Hell, if I had it like that, I would too.  Go for it! But do me a favor, DON’T sit at the kiddy pool next to me, and complain about the way you look!  I mean fuck you very much,  do you SEE what I am workin with?  If you think YOU look bad, what -in the name of all that is holy- do you think I look like!  Don’t sport that bikini with your perky, newly purchased boobs, that need no support, and the “insanity” abs you just spent 3 months working on and the NO cellulite, tight thighs that the Spin Class Gods have bestowed on you and utter ONE word of complaint about your body.  That is just gonna get you a bloody lip my friend.  Hell, when you look that good, show it, work it and OWN it!  When someone says ‘Wow, you look amazing!’  Say ‘THANK YOU!’ and move on.  No other explanation is needed unless they then ask what you do to look so good.  Then you can give your whole workout routine along with your latest wheat grass recipe.  But until then, just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  

crowded beach
crowded beach (Photo credit: notarim)
Summer, shore, sand, I am ready.  I will wear a bathing suit, I won’t love the way I look or feel in it, but I will enjoy the beach none the less...... Wait a minute, I haven’t enjoyed the beach since before First Born was born!  It is a constant worry and stress filled marathon that usually ends with someone me crying.  SO not only do I hate the way I look and feel out in the sweltering sun and hot sand, I am also trying to keep my two children properly covered in sunscreen while making sure they are, fed, watered and within eye sight amongst the 500 other people with whom we are sharing the beach.   Summer? I am looking forward to this?  OK how many months until fall?  

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Lessons from Momma's Childhood


Lesson number one, my mom does not like when you rough up her kids.  

“What did she do to you?!”

“Huh?”

“Mrs. Brown, just called.  She said that Shannon told her, something happened to you in school last week.  What did Ms. ______ do to you?”

“Oh, I was talking and sitting on my knees and so Ms. ________ tied me to my chair.”

Flames were coming out of my mother’s ears and eyes.  I don’t think she said anything else, but her mouth was trying to form words.  I did not know what was wrong.  I didn’t tell her about getting in trouble in school because I did not want her to get mad at me.  When getting in trouble at school there was never a question that my parents would be angry with me.  It was the 70s.  I went to Catholic school.  There were no conferences to discuss the behavior.  There were no lesson plans, IEPs or rubrics set up to handle difficult emotional problems or difficulties.  There was punishment.  Physical, mental and emotional punishment, and that was before you got home.  

There was the third grade teacher, Sister Maureen, who cut my friend’s hair because she forgot her barrette and her hair was hanging in her eyes.  Sr. Maureen would also use ammonia to clean her desk and blackboards every day.  It is a wonder, as we were inhaling those fumes, that we learned anything.  I watched Sr. Maureen smack many a third grade boy around. There was Ms. Farrell and Ms. McCardle in forth grade who chastised me because I asked if girls could try out for the football team.   They took me out into the hall and both told me that I was a “loud mouth, brat ... always was, and always will be.”  

There was Sr. Saint Eileen, the principal, who made sure that the lunch room, and recess stayed segregated.  Boys on one side, girls on the other.   There was no playing together in the school yard/parking lot.  Girls were given jump ropes, the boys were given balls and a much, much larger section of the parking lot to play in.  

There was that one priest who you NEVER went to confession to.  Kids always walked out of that box crying. He yelled at one of my friends telling her that she was bad and may go to hell, because her mother did not take her to Church that past Sunday.   I went to him once. He told me that if I forgot to tell him a sin, he would know and God would be angry.  I was 7.  Lesson learned, and then rejected! 

In first grade, we had a teacher named Ms. _________.  She was young.  I remember, having on my newly pressed uniform and walking into St. Alice Elementary.  I was noticeably tinier than my classmates.  Actually there were about 4 of us who were really small,  Megan, Jennifer, Debbie and Anthony.  Of them I was the shortest.  The first week or so of school there was one boy who cried almost every day.  There was no comfort given to him.  He was told to be quiet and allowed to be teased by the other students. 

Being so small I had a tough time seeing over the desk.  I often had to scoot up on my knees so that I could write.  I was also a talker.  I LOVED social interaction.  I talked to anyone and everyone who would listen.  Who am I kidding, I wouldn’t even care if anyone was listening.  (hence, my blog) One person who was kind enough to always listen to me was my first friend Shannon.  She was much taller than me and it was an established fact that she was very smart.  She did not get in trouble and was loved by all the teachers. 

On this particular day, Ms. _______ was a bit more agitated than usual.  She kept telling me to “Sit like a lady!” and “Keep your mouth shut!”  I guess I didn’t heed her advise, because the next thing I know she was pulling my desk up next to her desk in front of the class.  Little did she know, this was not a punishment, as I loved being the center of attention.  I scooted my knees under my bum and since she was the only person next to me, I continued to talk to her and ask a myriad of questions.  I looked to the back of the room where my friend Shannon sat and she was visibly distraught.  Her eyes were pleading with me to stop talking.  Some of the boys were laughing, so I continued to annoy Ms. _________.  

When, what I thought was Ms.___________ slowly starting to come around and act silly, was really Ms._________ slowly starting to have a nervous breakdown.  She was screaming and yelling like a lunatic.  I started to laugh because I thought it was funny to see how her chest and neck started to turn red and that redness slowly moved up to cover her whole face.  

She opened her bottom drawer.  She took out a rope and some duck tape.  She picked me up by the underarms and slammed my butt down in the seat.  She then proceeded to tie my legs, waist and arms to the desk.  She then topped it off with tape over my mouth.  I was still laughing.  I thought it was amusing until I looked at many of the other children in the class.   They were terrified, and I started to get a little scared myself.   My thoughts went to my mother.  I wanted my mommy.  But then I realized that I must have done something terribly wrong for the teacher to be this mad.  This taught me the lesson that I should just take the punishment and forget about it.  Which is what I did.  

Then my mother got a phone call from Shannon’s mother.  After I told mother what happened, she did not get mad at me.  She sat me down and told me that if something happens at school that I should tell her about it.  She was mad, but not at me.

Within a few weeks, we got a substitute, for the rest of the year.  I don’t remember the nun’s name, but I do remember that when we asked where Ms._________ was, she told us that Ms. _____________ was horse back riding and got trampled by the horse, and she wasn’t coming back.    

I don’t think that there was a horse accident.  But myself and many of my fellow classmates were given the first lesson in Catholic guilt.  Most of us did not like this teacher, I know, in my head I imagined many ways that she would be hurt.  I never pictured a horse, but I did feel awful that my thoughts made her get hurt.  I think this went through many of the 6 and 7 year old minds that day.  ‘Ask and ye shall receive.‘ 

I found out years later, that my mother was the “horse.”  She told me that she went to the principal, at the time, Sister Mary Austin, who was a great woman, and told her in no uncertain terms that if she didn’t get rid of Ms. ___________ my mom would. Apparently, Sr. agreed with my mother and fired Ms. _____________.

Again, ‘Ask and ye shall receive.’ 

More likely, Karma’s a bitch...... and don’t mess with a lioness’s cubs!  


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