The past couple of years I had inexplicably put on a few pounds refusing to be caught dead in a swim suit. Menopausal Symptom # 13–weight gain. So when my husband suggested that we have his buddy, Steve over with his new girlfriend, Naomi I was grateful it was too cold to have a pool party. Too bad my guests had other ideas. I’m not sure who was more distracted that night, my hubby or Steve when teeny bopper Naomi ripped off her too-tight dress revealing a perfect size zero body, and a set of store-bought silicone boobs carefully stuffed into a skimpy thong bikini. Great.
She proceeded to swim laps across the pool paying no mind to the fact that the water was well below fifty degrees. Steve didn’t seem to notice either and cannon-balled in with the exuberance of a horny teenager before cornering her in the deep end and making out with her like an ad from Hedonism.
My hubby was having his own problems at the grill as he hadn’t seen a body like that in our pool in his entire life—or since–and all but burned up our burgers. I stood appalled at the entire situation in my matronly muu-muu and plotting Hubby’s early demise. The barometer on my internal menopausal meter registered “heat stroke.” In stark contrast to water nymph Naomi, I was a vision to behold fanning myself, my sweaty skin glistening in the moonlight– a sure indication the underwire in my bra was already rusting up. Unable to stand it any longer I plopped to the steps and dangled my feet in the frigid water.
“Isn’t the water great?” Naomi bubbled, as she swam up to me, steam coming off my body in the chilly air enveloping us in a thick fog bank. “Wow! How’d you do that? Steve, look at that! It’s like being in a sauna,” she laughed, as if I’d discovered penicillin as she shook her platinum blond head back like a shampoo model.
I smiled, but the word “bitch” was planted firmly across my silent lips as I prayed she’d get attacked by a shark and they’d both die of Silicon Poisoning. There is a reason hormonal women my age don’t have girl friends that are twenty-ish and thin. Homicide. It always gets in the way.
Naomi turned and giggled her way across the pool turning somersaults along the way to a cheering crowd of two. I’ll get you my pretty and your little thong too. I might not be able to control my internal heater, but I was hell bound and determined to knock off a few pounds.
“Can’t we heat the pool? It’s the only way I can lose some of this weight,” I complained. “The doctor says swimming would be great for me.”
“I suppose he’s going to pay for the heater then? Sorry honey, maybe next year.”
Yeah, sorry. He’d be sorry and on a milk carton by morning if I had my way.
“Well, what about Naomi?” he smiled, “She didn’t seem to mind the water.”
“I can’t swim in a pool that cold, nobody can!” I shouted.
“But what about your whole menopause thing? I would think you’d like being in the cold water.”
“You just don’t get it!” I shouted as I contemplated what his headstone would read.
Dismissing him I turned to my own devices and took to swimming laps daily in the only other place I had— my four person hot tub. It was a short-lived venture as many problems arose the very first day as I emerged black and blue from bumping up against the sides of the oversized kiddie pool. And there was the entire temperature thing. They don’t call it a hot tub for nothing. Nothing like breaking a sweat in the water. Ick. The real workout came from the constant refilling of my pseudo lap pool. Repeatedly climbing in and out and running back and forth to kitchen with my two gallon tea pitcher I could barely keep up. Once in I displaced more water than Shamu. The water sloshed over the sides causing a tidal wave on the pool deck. That’s when I decided on the wet suit.
I arrived at Sports Authority where it was slim pickins’ to say the least. I naively hoped for something stylish, but was disappointed to find there were no women’s wet suits to be had. There were, however a large assortment men’s ugly, black, inner tube-like wet suits. No fashion statement there. In fact the only choices I was given were Extra Small. Small. And El Grande. It was like being in “Nightmare on Goldilocks Street.” I chose the El Grande, not bothering to try it on and embarrassingly told the sales girl it was for my Viking-–sized husband as she looked at me with the gigantic wet suit slung over my shoulder like a dead seal. This had better do the trick I thought as she rung it up…a whopping $280.00 for a whole lot of hideous.
“Here goes nothing,” I said back home as I eagerly stepped into the humongous rubber suit.
Wrestling it over my ankles proved an arduous task and suddenly El Grande didn’t seem so Grande after all. Determined to get into it one way or another I yanked it up over my thighs grunting like I was giving birth. It squeaked as it moved along my body. Hunched over, tugging the shoulders over my back I reached down to pull the zipper upwards. I could scarcely breathe sucking in my gut while guiding the zipper over my stomach. Ting. A newly applied red fingernail buckled under the strain and popped off to the floor. I glanced into the mirror. Whoever said black was slimming had never seen anything like this! I continued upwards and that’s when it happened. The crippled zipper came to an abrupt halt stopping just short of my neck, catching on my t-shirt underneath. Crap. I located my only pair of scissors and struggled in vain before they broke in half–no match for the rubber armor that encased me like a Polish sausage. I could see the news caption now…“Boca housewife found dead in her home—stragled by her wet suit. More news at eleven.”
Realizing I needed help I called my friend Lisa.
“Well, what’s up,” she asked.
“Just come over!” I yelled, panicked. “I’m, stuck in my damn wet suit. I already broke my pinking picking shears. Nothing will get through this thing. I’m burning up in here. I can’t breathe and I have to pee!” I ranted to the laughing gal on the other end.
When she arrived a few minutes later with not only a pair of scissors, but a camera. Laughing hysterically, I had no choice but to say “cheese” as she freed me with what we’d jokingly refer to as the “Jaws of Life—a small pair of hedge clippers.