I have come to the conclusion that clothing companies only believe thin individuals wish to swim and wear swimming suits. I have proof. I decided to order a swimsuit over a month ago. That is well in advance for the Pacific Northwest to get your hands on something before swimming season starts. I ordered a cute floral retro-inspired one piece in what I thought for sure would fit me. When that shiny gray plastic bag came in the mail, I knew it was for me and was my precious bandeau swimsuit! Yes! Supportive bra! Awesome vintage-pattern! In my size! I am going to be a mermaid goddess and everyone will bring me coconut drinks and fan me with palm fronds.
I immediately whipped off my clothes in the living room and slithered into the suit that would change my life. As I pulled it up over my thighs, I reminisced about the coupon code I used to order this sucker which made it basically free because I know how to Google shit. Everything seems to be squeezing in just right until it was time to pull up the salad bowls that are called my bra cups. Fuck! They appeared to have forgotten a few inches in the length because this baby was not coming all the way up. My bountiful bossoms became saggy bags of sand as they desperately tried to find a place to rest in the bodice. But it was not happening. I either let my tits hang out or hike the suit up so high that it would be impossible to return because that little tissue paper crotch protector sticker would be in me forever.
I shoved it back in the bag, disgusted with life and swimming pools and the fool that designed such a shorty short suit. I stand proudly at 5’10” and I wasn’t going to curse my body. My sister may have called me The Jolly Green Giant when I was little but I much prefer to think of myself as statuesque and able to reach the top shelf. That shiny gray bag that contained my horrid suit sat on the kitchen table all week, mocking me as I looked longingly online at all my fellow fatties in their fatkinis and suits splashing in clear blue water. The world seems unbalanced and not in my favor that week.
After one more last attempt to stretch and cram my lady parts into that half suit, I came to terms that I would have to return something that I ordered online. Thank the baby Jesus that I kept all those random papers that came with my suit of doom because I was able to successfully process what seemed like an impossible transaction. Back to the drawing board!
After some deep breaths and self-assuring power talks, I was able to venture back online to find my dream suit. I went back to the same site and voila! They have long length suits. God damn, why didn’t I see that in the first place?!?! I literally found one suit that I liked that fit my requirements and would have the privilege of being stretched against my ample body. Hallelujah! My vision of being a foxy pin-up on every hot weekend returned. Pick a size, make sure it is the right color, add to cart. Browse a little more so I can get those Googled promo codes to work in my favor. I also find a French influenced halter bikini with my name all over. This would also fulfill my dream to add myself to the fatkini ranks. Add to cart. Clickity click. Log in to my paypal. Chuckle at the satisfaction of my coupon code doing it’s magic. Pay for my shit and hope to God it gets here in time for my swimming schedule.
I begin to go on with my daily life when a dreaded email pops up on my phone. CANCELLED. What?!?! I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could they be doing this to me? Blind with anger, I manage to read the email and discover that the extra long one piece is out of the question because it is out of stock. Apparently it is easier to sell something without checking inventory and refund people then it is to count the number of suits available for sale and not sell more than that. To make the experience even sweeter, I was required to call and ask for a refund because I paid with Paypal. Yeah, that makes sense.
Oh well, fatkini, here I come! The weeks pass and here I am today. The swimming event of the year is in 2 days and all I have is some dreadful tankini set from 4 years ago. My fatkini has not arrived. Don’t panic, I tell myself. You will get it in time! There is still this afternoon and tomorrow to get the package. How long could it take to ship a bikini? Not quick enough for me. I need a back-up plan. I do the first thing I always do, go online. I check out what the stores might have for plus size swimsuits. Nothing good. I decide I can go to Target and figure something out. I have an hour lunch which should be plenty of time to drive 10 minutes and buy a fucking swimsuit.
Upon entering the air conditioned store, I immediately see countless racks of teeny tiny bikinis surrounded by ultra tan tweens squealing over the colorful striped, polka dotted and jeweled assortment. Not making any stops there. They all look like one size to me and at least a dozen sizes too small.
I walk to the back of the store where the plus size section is found, unlabelled. In between maternity and men’s tee shirts was the neglected and barely stocked racks of clothes that would fit. Because of the hot mess they call plus size offerings, I am barely able to distinguish between plus size and maternity and end up browsing both racks of swimsuits. I have the option of black briefs or shorts and one pair of frilly purple suit bottoms. No one pieces. No bikinis. Only tankinis. I despise tankinis. Nonetheless, I grab a few bottoms and a bunch of tops in different sizes, hoping to recreate a look I wanted.
I shuffle towards the dressing room with arms filled with spandex and about 15 minutes to try them on. I am restricted to 6 items and nobody is available to help me swap items. So I try things on in a fury. Sweaty and discouraged, I put back on my underwear, jeans and tee shirt. No bra needed for hopping in and out to grab more things to try on. I go out and notice the attendant is looking the other way, so I nonchalantly grab about a thousand more items than allowed because I just don’t have to time to play the changing game. I find a pair of ugly ass short bottoms and colorful spotted tankini top with removable straps. It has potential to be hiked up and worn like a tube top I guess. What a fucking joke.
I rush to the front, throwing the rejects into the cart of things to go back on my way. Sorry, I say, no time to make it nice for you! I am not sure if I have red dye from my bright hair bleeding onto my forehead from the sweat or if she is bewildered at how many things I smuggled into the dress room, but she looks at me like I am crazy as I run away.
A nice young man working in the express lane fondles my sad tankini looking for a price tag. I am pretty sure the sheer force of my ass going in and out of suit bottoms tore it off and it was long gone. He puts in the item number and I pay $100, because I can’t get out of Target without paying a hundred dollars. I know that for a fact. A couple tunic dresses and ugly swimsuits later, I am back in my boiling hot car and high-tailing it back to work to make it in time to finish my work day.
I check out a few websites on my break, looking for other stores I can check after work. I see a red hot halter suit that is perfect. I want to live in that suit with its plunging neckline and ruching fabric. I discreetly call the store and check if they have it in stock. I am going in prepared this time. She tells me that they didn’t get any swimsuits this year. THE BIGGEST RETAIL PLUS SIZE CLOTHING STORE DIDN’T GET ANY SWIMSUITS THIS YEAR. THEY DIDN’T GET ANY SWIMSUITS. I don’t think you understand. They are the most popular place for us size 12 and uppers of all ages and they didn’t bother to fucking stock their stores with swimsuits. None! Not even a sad tankini. Apparently, someone out there believes that fatties don’t swim. And if you are a tall fatty like me, just plan on skinny dipping because the options available are next to nothing.
So wave at the pink skinned beauty when you see her prancing around naked in all her glory at the public swimming pool! It’s me!