How will we survive an ‘endless summer’?

03/19/2012 5:00 AM

03/19/2012 7:09 AM

Last week, a weatherman on one of the morning shows said that because of record-breaking warm temperatures all over the country, “it could be an endless summer.” Some people would relish that thought. I would consider an endless summer the fifth ring of hell. As winters go, we had a very lame one. Where was the snow? Where was the ice? I wore my Uggs only once because even though some say their feet never get hot in Uggs, mine do. I wore a heavy coat fewer than five times.

Just be glad you’re not a retailer trying to unload winter coats. In many stores, when the coats are sold, swimwear takes over that area of the store. The racks of coats on sale are still there. Where will they put the swimsuits?

Swimsuits. That’s another reason we can’t have an endless summer. My favorite swimsuit, make that the only swimsuit I will wear in public and only far from Kansas, won’t make it through an endless summer. Some of those stretch fibers will be lucky to make it to Aug. 1.

No, I’m not buying a new one. I have a big birthday in April, and if there’s one thing I don’t need right now, it is to get in a tiny, unventilated room with lighting that turns me sort of green and puts this not-tiny, not-green body in a garment that exposes way too much of it. You can talk Miracle Suits all day long and you’ll never make me a believer. A rational person expects only so much from Lycra, Spandex and any other industrial-strength stretch fiber they’ve come up with.

My husband and I were in Arizona recently, so of course I had to check out the very nice clothing store in the hotel. Arizona is known for sunshine, and “it’s a dry heat,” so the swimwear selection in nearly every store is large. The swimsuits, well, not so much.

When the saleslady saw me looking at a bright pink and black swimsuit with large cut-outs, she said, “That is such a fabulous bathing suit. You have to try it on to appreciate it. It’s really elegant.”

That was so wrong on so many levels. First, there is no such thing as a fabulous swimsuit. I would never try it on, and if I did, the appreciation level would be in the negative numbers. And elegant? This woman probably describes a colonoscopy as luxurious.

I muttered the old “I’m just looking” line and moved on to handbags. That’s when it dawned on me why I have so many purses. A handbag can be fabulous, and when it has all the right features, it is appreciated and yes, also elegant. Trying on a handbag is painless. You don’t have to remove a single garment. It’s even better than shoes because you don’t have to worry about needing a pedicure.

On my way back to our room, I stopped and looked down at the beautiful pool area. I didn’t see anyone wearing the pink and black, fabulous, elegant swimsuit, but one woman caught my eye. Perhaps it was her neon pink swimsuit. She was lying on her stomach with her top untied, so from where I stood, it looked like there was half of a bright pink beach ball resting on the chair. Two chairs away was another woman, this time in a cobalt blue suit. The difference was striking, as this time the “beach ball” was deflated. As we know, all derrieres are not created equally. Nothing else is either.

A little boy, probably about 9 years old, was so skinny he had four stripes on his swim trunks. He was swimming with a man who was probably his grandpa. Grandpa didn’t want to get sunburned so he was swimming in a T-shirt and swim trunks. (His had lots of stripes.) They were having a great time, and neither one of them seemed the least bit worried what they looked like at the pool.

That’s the attitude we should all have. We simply aren’t going to look like the models in the catalog, or the stars on the red carpet, or that neighbor who runs five miles every morning, unless we join her. In my case, that isn’t going to happen.

So, no matter how inflated our “beach ball” might be, let’s try to relax and enjoy the water. But know that if it does turn out to be an endless summer, the season won’t be fabulous, elegant or appreciated.

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