Monday, July 7, 2008

Bikini buying

So today (which is now yesterday) was the day all women love. The day to buy a new summer swim suit. The day you get to squeeze yourself into this year’s newest cuts and colors. The day you get to look at every last inch of yourself in the cruel florescent light of the stark dressing room.

I find that right after the 4th of July is the very best time to buy a new suit, for a couple of reasons. First off, July is normally the month that it finally starts getting nice here in San Diego. The May gray and June gloom are usually on their way out and the ocean temps are starting to rise (barely, but kind of). Secondly, the fashion industry is months ahead of the calendar year, so all the summer stuff, including bathing suits, are discounted. You’ve got those first 25% markdowns, and the inventory is still pretty stocked.

I also find that it’s worth going to the mall to accomplish this yearly task. I’m rarely mall shopper. Lately, I’m rarely a shopper at all. But I do go to the mall to shop for bikinis. I go to the department store, Macy’s to be exact. There are some nice suits at the discount stores (Target, for example) and there are tons of super cute (did I just write that?) suits at the surf shops at the beach, but I’m not 20 anymore. So, unfortunately, I can’t just throw on any tiny suit and pull it off.

Instead, I fork over the extra cash. I need the padding, wide selection of brands, and extra fabric. I’m not to the skirt phase yet, but when I am, Macy’s, or another comparable department store, will probably still be my go to place.

It came through for me yesterday. There were tons of options and most racks were displaying the 25% off signs. I started out with five suits, one of which I loved and very much hoped would fit me. I striped down, put on this lovely suit, or more accurately half of it, when some woman bangs on the door and informs me (none too nicely) that I’m in her dressing room; she’s left pants in there to prove it (please note that she did not leave a purse or shoes or any item that would actually let you know that the cubicle was still occupied). Okay, fine, I’ll move, but I do need to tie the tiny bikini top onto my body before exiting. I do this, scoop up my stuff, and dump it all in the dressing room down the hall.

I re-group and try all five suits on, figuring out how to tie, untie, fasten and unfasten as I go. The cute suit fits. Hooray for me.
But my mission is two suits.

I forge ahead for round two. I round up five more suits. It proceeds much like round one except for the fact that I’m getting hungry and the dressing room is getting messier:

I decide on another suit. (I like to buy two suits at a time. Why go through this whole process for just one new suit?)

I go to pay.

I have a rude awakening at the cash register. The cute suit is $118 plus tax, the second suit is $88. Ouch. None of the four pieces is on sale, no 25% discount for me today. I shell out my debit card nonetheless. I’ve worked hard for these two suits and a completely ridiculous total is not going to deter me. I knew it would not be cheap.

It does defy logic, though, doesn’t it? Look at this cute suit I bought for my soon-to-be 4 year old just before I bought my two bikinis.

It was $7.50. How can my new suits be 11 and 15 times more expensive, respectively? Granted, they’re bigger, but c’mon, not 11 and 15 times bigger.

The woman at the cash register must know what I’m thinking because she offers me a cookie. I am hungry. I don’t have to try any more bathing suits on for another year, so why the hell not, right? I gratefully take her cookie. It’s molasses dusted with sugar. It’s tasty and does slightly soften the $200 plus bill.

So it’s a rip off, but what are you going to do? The fact is, I’ve accomplished my goal. I’m now ready for the beach.

I’m just hoping I look half as good as Ellie does after body surfing.


Jacquie said...

You could totally fit into a girls' bikini, beeyach.

I love that you took photos in the dressing room, you rock.

Ellie said...

Aw, you're turning my head, Beth!

Great post. And congrats. THAT is a huge accomplishment.

KathyR said...

Dear God, my bikini days are loooong behind me.

At least you got a cookie out of the ordeal.

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