Kathleen Norton

“Shock and awe” on a hanger

Posted on: April 25, 2011

Shock and awe

Our wool hats and scarves are barely tucked away and KAPOW!

Every clothing store on earth has put out racks of little, bitty, colorful bathing suits that assault us when we walk in the door.

It’s the fashion version of “shock and awe’’ and I ask:

Must they remind us that soon, all women no matter how tall, short, narrow or wide begin a period of ritual self-loathing also known as Swimsuit Season?

If a woman’s hefty, she thinks every suit makes her look heftier. If she’s scrawny, she thinks they make her look scrawnier.

And men do not get it why bathing suits make us suffer so.  They just don’t.

Oh sure, they complain about a little flab here and there. They may look in the mirror when they are 62 and come to this startling realization: OMG! I am not a young man anymore!

But for the most part, they float along, not caring how they look in a bathing suit except for when at 20-year-old chick walks by at the beach.

This concern passes quickly and soon they are back to bathing suit la-la land, which explains why you see guys in little Speedos when their little Speedo days are obviously over.

A man would wear the same swimsuit from age 20 to 70 if his wife did not stop him.

“You’re not getting on that ship for our anniversary cruise in the bathing suit you wore on our honeymoon!’’ the woman says.

“But those trunks are only 35 years old!’’ he replies.

“I have crow’s feet older than that. Get a new one,’’ she orders and he goes to the store and buys the first one he sees.

For the woman, it’s not the same.

She would not be caught dead in an old suit because she thinks that like every other one she’s owned, it looks bad on her.

So the woman goes to the store for a new one and tries on 483 swimsuits.

She repeats this ritual in 13 other stores, which if you are keeping track, is 6,279 swimsuits taken on and off.

Then she orders 146 more online and has to pay to send all of them back because none are right.

Now she has tried on 6,425 suits, spent $1,460 on return shipping, and adds “buy wig’’ to the To-Do List because she’s pulled out her hair in frustration.

After a good cry and a vow to undo damage from a late-winter delivery of Girl Scout cookies, she starts again.

Eventually, she finds a suit she likes. Loosely translated in women-speak this means she hates it less than the others.

On the cruise, he thinks he looks great – guy gut and all. She hardly dares to breath and let out her stomach.

Turns out the “tummy control’’ tag that came with her suit, and every suit these days, is propaganda worthy of the old Communist Party.

Which takes us back to those racks of bathing suits in all the stores.

Ladies, we could let them get the best of us again this year. Or, we could buy them up and have a spectacular polyester bonfire.

Matches, anyone?

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4 Responses to "“Shock and awe” on a hanger"

Laughed out loud! So true, why don’t men have periods (of ritual self-loathing, that is)?

sooo true!

Bon-fire sounds good to me!

Men have periods of self-loathing but they last about 35 seconds!

Sharon: You are in charge of the matches!

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