The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 25, 2012

BICKER: Exploring a new frontier

CLINTON — I am swimming in unchartered waters these days – the swimsuit department.

It has been about as scary as walking through a dark, haunted house with a zombie breathing down my neck. I would feel more relaxed if Freddy Krueger had his hands wrapped around me than trying on a swimsuit.

So why am I putting myself through this? Well, because you really can't learn how to swim wearing street clothes. It's too bad really, but I think I would look a little funny wading around in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

If you’re asking yourself why I never learned how to swim, well the answer is an easy one. I started taking swimming lessons in grade school like every normal kid, but a car accident sidelined those plans. My parents and I were hit by a drunken driver and I was tossed around in the backseat, long before seat belts were commonplace, which resulted in damaging the nerves in my left arm. I had trouble with my arm for a long time and put swimming on the back burner. Now, that I'm older I'm going to give it another whirl. I'm going to see if I can prove the saying wrong — that an old dog really can learn new tricks.

I have purchased two swimsuits in the last 20 years and it’s always been a traumatic experience. As a normal rule, I don't like showing a lot of skin. Therefore, I would feel a lot better if the swimsuits from the 1920s were still in style. You know as well as I do I might have a hard time trying to find one of those unless I get one on eBay.

My first swimsuit escapade got off to a rough start about a month ago when I couldn't even pull a one piece up past my thighs. That was a bit unnerving. When my friend Jennifer said to pull on it harder, I started to hear seams rip. After that, I stopped immediately and said I was done trying on suits for the day. I'm not big by any means so I would love to know who they had in mind to wear that suit. Twiggy maybe? Designers have no idea what an average woman is shaped like.

Last Saturday I managed to muster up enough courage to try shopping for one again. I saw one pieces, strapless one pieces, which I think look like a major accident waiting to happen, tankinis, which looked promising, and bikinis. After a 2 second deliberation in my head, I ruled out the bright-colored bikinis and wandered over to the tankini section, which looked more my speed.

After sorting through the rack, I grabbed a very tasteful striped gray and black top and a pair of black bottoms. As I approached the dressing room, I was confident that I had really found something — possibly the “perfect swimsuit” I had been searching for.

When the moment of truth came, I realized a couple of things as I looked in the mirror.

One, that I'm a pasty person and I need a spray-on tan. Two, that I look more like a 13-year-old girl than a 35-year-old woman in some areas. Three, that I need some major, major padding to pull this look off. And four, that black socks should never complete this look.

After evaluating the situation at hand, I was pretty much speechless. All I could say was, “Hmm.” I have yet to see the fun in shopping for a swimsuit unless its made out of ice cream and I can eat it.

After some discussion on the subject in the newsroom, one of my co-workers has volunteered to go shopping with me in the near future — talk about a brave woman. I'm sure I will find my “perfect swimsuit” somewhere. I just have to do a little more digging and a little more cringing in the mirror.

Just in case everything falls through, one of my co-workers suggested that I can always invest in a scuba suit, which will cover me from head to toe and I wouldn't have to worry about my pasty white legs and getting a spray-on tan. She might have something here. Black always looks classy and is very slimming.

See you at the pool.

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.

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