This year, I worked hard to drop a few pounds over the winter so that when the summer arrived, I wouldn’t have to face my annual swimwear terror attack. Honestly, I find shark-infested waters less scary than trying on bathing suits.

Bungee jumping? Piece of cake. Wrestling alligators? Not a problem. Standing half-naked in front of a three-way mirror when I know the security people watching those hidden video cameras are snickering at my cellulite? Big problem.

Anyway, with my clothes fitting a little less snugly, I was optimistic that this year I could go bathing suit shopping without hurling my half-filled Starbucks Frappucino at the three-way mirror.

Confident that I was tankini-ready, I went to the store and tried on bathing suits two sizes smaller than last year. I was shocked to discover that I still somewhat uncomfortable with how I looked. I decided that maybe I wasn’t exactly bikini ready yet, but I was most certainly tankini ready! I went back out into the store and approached the tankini racks. After a while, a teeny-tiny salesgirl approached me.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Well, uh, I’m looking for a bathing suit,” I stated the obvious.

“How about this one?” she asked as she pulled out something from another rack even my grandmother wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing at the pool in her senior community. The bathing suit had more material than a trench coat and was about as flattering.

“It’s a little old for me, don’t you think?” I asked.

“Well, once we’re past a certain age, those tiny tankinis just don’t flatter us, don’t you think,” she said.

What’s this “us” stuff? She looked about twenty-two.  Besides, I didn’t think I was past that certain age quite yet. Maybe the fact that I had some smile lines meant to her that I was ready for a bathing suit with an attached skirt and its own breasts, but I begged to differ.

Maybe the fact that I had some smile lines meant to her that I was ready for a bathing suit with an attached skirt and its own breasts

“I’m pretty sure I’d like a tankini,” I told her.

“Hmmm. You know tankinis are not for everyone. They can actually make your hips look BIGGER,” she said a little too loudly so that everyone in the bathing suit department now realized that my hips would look bigger in a tankini.

“I… want… a…. tankini!” I said through gritted teeth.

“Got it,” she said cheerfully. “But you might have better luck over there.” She pointed to the section of suck-me-in Miracle Suits, which promised to make you look ten pounds thinner instantly, and also squeeze the life out of you so all your fat popped out of the top of the bathing suit and relocated under your chin.

“You know, thanks, but I think found what I want,” I said, plucking a cute tankini off the rack in front of me.

“Okay, well here’s a matching sarong,” she said grabbing a muu-muu the size of a bedspread. “It’s nice and long so you can tie it up all the way around your neck and let it drape down like a dress to cover your suit completely,”

I turned to a rack of sexy little sarongs and grabbed one that would go with the tankini I’d just found.

“This one is good,” I said.

“Hmmm, it’s really small. I’m not sure what you could do with that?”

I smiled darkly. “I could strangle you with it.”


©2020, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Follow Tracy on her Facebook Fan page at,  join the Lost in Midlife group at and follow on Instagram @TracyinMidlife


  • Carol Baron

    This is exactly way I have not gone bathing suit shopping since being locked up in my house since March and having too much time to do anything other than eatingn and drinking.

  • Pamela H

    That little bitch of a sales girl needs a different line of work.

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