I went shopping for a bathing suit Saturday.

It’s always such a TREAT to go bathing suit shopping.

Actually, it was an accident. I would NEVER intentionally leave my house with the sole intent of purchasing an article of clothing certain to make me cringe, shriek, cover myself with my arms, and dissolve into tears. (And that’s just in the dressing room.)

Which explains why my one-and-only bathing suit is fifteen years old. And, according to my sons, not in style in any known decade.

But it fit. Kind of. The only problem was the seat had this big rip in it.

Now, in my opinion, although my sons would differ, I did a really good job of sewing up the six-inch gash in the seat. In case you’re wondering, it ripped when I got snagged on a submerged tree limb while tubing with our church youth group. Let’s just say I got “hung up” for awhile. This was a source of enormous merriment to the teenagers in our youth group who offered no help at all, probably because they were too busy doubled over laughing. (Okay, YOU try to get out of a wet inner tube while your rear end is snagged on a tree limb. See if YOU can do it gracefully.)

So me and my bathing suit have been around the block a few times together. It doesn’t mean either one of us is ready for retirement. Right?

Or at least that’s what I thought before I stopped dead in my tracks at Walmart, half-way down my shopping list, somewhere between bananas and Q-tips, and stared at a black number that I thought might actually fit.

I gingerly lifted it from the hanger. A one-piece. That’s good. All black. That’s slimming. It had a filmy little skirt (okay, “little” might not be an accurate adjective here, but humor me) that didn’t look entirely matronly. Hmmm. This might work.

I’m a bit superstitious, and my superstition takes strange forms. I can walk under a ladder without blinking, and black cats don’t scare me a bit. But I always try to appease the CLOTHES GODS by taking several items with me into the dressing room, hoping to distract them from the one thing I’m hoping to buy. So, I gathered five other bathing suits that I wouldn’t have worn on a dare, and tried them on in quick succession, saving the black bathing suit for last.

The Clothes Gods were appeased. As I held my breath, the bathing suit slipped over my thighs. Then it went over my hips. (Never a task to be taken lightly) A little tugging here and there, and voila’! I didn’t completely hate it.

Take note of that phrase. “I didn’t completely hate it.” That’s not the same as saying I actually liked it or looked good in it.

I’m just happy to once again have reason to hope that no one will point and laugh next time I go to the beach. That new bathing suit is tucked away in my drawer, (the old one went out with the trash, nostalgia will only take a bathing suit so far) and I have this really weird feeling of peace knowing it’s there. Who would have thought Walmart would hold the keys to happiness!

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