Friday, 15 March 2013

The necessary transition from serial killers to swim suits

We took the kids to an indoor water park in Michigan for the March break this past week. 

On the three hour drive I was viscerally alert to the sinister. I noticed things. A few very suspicious looking items caught my attention.  What appeared to be an adult-sized body had been wrapped in an ugly plaid blanket and tossed ever so delicately just beyond the shoulder of the I-69 West. Why, I asked myself, had the driver (killer??) chosen this exact section of the interstate to dispose of the body?

I’ll tell you why.

The shoulder there was narrower. And the ditch a good few feet deeper so that should someone with my scrutinizing abilities notice the evidence, it would be almost impossible to pull over to get a better look.

Twenty or so miles later when we pulled into a rest stop, I scanned the parking lot. In the sizeable yet rustic bathroom, I held my breath to fend off the porta-potty stink, peeked under the stalls and inspected the alignment of the ceiling tiles. When I was sure there was no one lurking in wait, I hurriedly did my business and ran breathlessly back to the van.   

You can never be too careful. These things are almost always connected.

A hundred miles later at the water park, I fine tuned my radar.  I was on the lookout for serial killer types.

Incidentally, that evening when I connected to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, I could not find my show on Netflix. I felt something close to panic at the prospect of waiting three whole days to find out how Dexter would deal with the murder of Rita. The season four finale was a crushing blow and I was desperately in need of a tidy explanation.

After a few hours poolside though, I was able to transition from serial killers to swimsuits. I am equally fascinated by both in a sick twisted sort of way. I never want to be (in) one but can’t resist their demented charm when confronted.  

The water park was teeming with parents of young children. In other words, I was among my own people. Men and women in the sophomore and junior years of parenthood, milled about; their babies and young children in tow, outfitted safely in water wings, life jackets and swim diapers.

Almost every mother there seemed to shrink behind some semblance of swim outfit she’d pieced together, wondering like me, why she’d allowed herself to be talked into this type of ‘vacation’ destination when it meant walking around helplessly parading the wreckage child-birth had tolled on her body.

There were plenty of tankinis. I assessed each one, hoping to see at least a few variations with the right built-in bra structure and enough give in the mid section. I was ready to ask for the shopping details, if the perfect one should cross my path. But no such luck. They all fit the same.  Plunging V-neck with little to no support and a too narrow cup area, so that half of each post partum breast hung low and exposed.

There were also many sporty one pieces, which without exception made the wearer look as if she had a short, squat, square torso. The exact opposite effect any of us wants when so scantily clad. I’d gone down this road after Deaglan was born. It was a very dark period of my life. One I am appalled Shaune caught on camera and one I can only hope to someday forget.

Some of my colleagues thought they could hide the damage with a strategically tied sarong or fetching beach cover-up, a tactic I’d used a few summers ago when the stifling heat and unbearable humidity had us driving to the beach at least a few days each week.

Yet most commonly worn, I noticed, was a throwback to a bygone era - a variation of the one piece with the added skirt/skort so that we looked like a modern less modest version of this.

After two and a half days of sucking in my stomach and walking around with a wet knotty bun, I was ready to move on. 

Our plans had included sidetracking so we could squeeze in a visit with my sister and her gang near Detroit. On route I spotted a DSW, a coveted oasis amid the desert of kiddie care I'd been lingering in. I convinced Shaune that I was in dire need.  In 20 minutes I was a new woman; refreshed and ready for the next phase of the trip. 

I hold these two beauties solely responsible.

The kids had a wild time reconnecting. Ashalina, my youngest niece, even fell asleep on the ride from the playscape to the restaurant. My brother-in-law Rick kindly turned around so we could capture her in this group shot.

I was relieved to get home late last night. I did a little reconnecting myself. I'm happy to report that Dexter was again in my queue.


  1. You make me laugh out loud! I have been lucky enough to avoid the post-baby swimsuit competition since I lived in a landlocked city, but now I'm on the west coast and not looking forward to all! I should program all the DSW locations on my gps so that I can make pit stops when I need a pick-me-up!

  2. Glad you were able to get your show once home! Oh, it would have been lovely to connect in MI. Hopefully, one day. ;) It's wonderful that you had such special family time! xxO

  3. Ha! I was just shopping online for swimsuits and got one with a little skirt's so cute! We live at the beach in the summer.
    P.S. Glad you didn't run into any serial killers.
    Also? I LOVE those red shoes!!!

  4. I discovered the new sort of skirted suits a few years ago and like them, either as a tankini sort or with a bikini top.

    And I especially like the spectator pumps you got.

  5. Oh Kim-not only are you an incredible writer, but you have great taste in shoes!!!

    Now, I wonder what was inside that plaid wrapped body bag looking thing...


Thanks for your comment!