We survived another swim suit season without accidentally pushing some bikini-clad beauty into the deep end. Hooray for us! After all these years, most middle-aged marvels have finally outgrown the suit and the trepidation about wearing it in public. Still, given the opportunity to lounge by a pool, some women would rather suffer acute diarrhea while driving through rush hour traffic in an old van full of screaming toddlers and surly teenagers. Mature liberation takes time.
After years of wasted angst and black cover-ups, I’ve discovered a handy technique for dealing with the intimidating scenarios of the lifelong swim suit competition: Laugh out loud. With gusto.
Pretty people at posh pools don’t laugh. They grimace with exaggerated aloofness while dangling perfectly pedicured toes into the water and signaling for the dutiful wait staff to bring another cold beverage with an extra twist of organic lemon. If you pull the short straw and find yourself surrounded by such characters, just begin to giggle and then graduate into a boisterous guffaw until your reach hysterical laughter. Either they will join the fun or leave, so it’s a win-win situation.
Last week my husband and I celebrated our anniversary at a resort in Napa Valley. After a devoted day of tasting copious quantities of Cabernet, we donned our respectable suits and sauntered to the adult pool. The last two empty chairs were wedged next to a gathering of young models whose fatless bodies were covered with only two inches of material. My husband tried in vain to hide his approval. The only men for me to appreciate were old guys with their trophy women or the hairy-backed Europeans in Speedos.
To survive such an assault on self-confidence, here are some tips for how to survive the next swim suit season:
- Grab your sweetie, get into the pool, and swim, laugh, and hug each other. Peek at the shocked and jealous glamour girls whose skimpy suits have never been wet.
- Splash back to your chair, slather lotion over your well-seasoned body, order drinks, and laugh some more. It will drive others crazy.
- Appreciate your body – the wrinkled eyes that have seen a lifetime of experiences, the wider hips that have carried strong babies, the age-spotted hands that have dried tears and prayed for peace, and the soft lap that has rocked precious grandchildren.
- Pull your sweetheart close, tousle his gray hair, and whisper a silly joke. Then laugh together until you snort.
- Repeat 1 through 4.
The undisputable fact about growing older is that it happens or else we die young. Given those choices, I’ll take the unknown opportunities of another year. I’ll complete regular maintenance checkups, exercise, eat well, and laugh with intention. And I’ll toast the memory of friends and relatives who didn’t have the chance to live another season.
It’s time to put away the swimsuits, sandals, and silly insecurities, and bring out the comfortable sweaters and jeans. Then order pizza and beer for dinner, and there could be donuts for breakfast. After all, you have several months to prepare for next summer.
Today’s blog is fueled by a 2009 Paradiso red wine from V. Sattui Winery in Napa Valley. The wine is bold and vibrant, as any middle-aged woman should be. The winery’s delicious wines are only available on location or from web site orders – www.vsattui.com.