Mission impossible

Bi-weekly columnist touches on a subject women can likely relate to

Karen Haviland

Karen Haviland

It’s that time of the year again ladies – time to either haul out that old bathing suit or go shopping for a new one. Guys, that sounds simple, right? Ha ha. Just ask a woman.

The other day it became obvious that I needed a new bathing suit. With a weight loss of 75 pounds and the inevitable sag of stretchy material after much use, there was no denying that a new bathing suit was in order.

It had come to the point where I realized that I would have to go and engage in the dreaded swim suit shopping.

I understand it’s hard for guys to understand the apprehension and near terror women feel when faced with the task. After all, the male species of humans simply goes to the rack and grabs swimming trunks in their size. No muss, no fuss.

Not so for a woman.

The other day, as my husband and I were driving down the street, I made a comment about needing to replace my bathing suit. I admit that I had been putting it off for a good long time because, quite frankly, there is not one woman I know (including me) who relishes shopping for a bathing suit. Let’s put it this way, I would rather put my tongue to cold metal in the winter than shop for a swimming suit.

As soon as I uttered “swim suit,” my husband, always the helpful soul that he is, suggested we stop right then and there and direct our efforts towards finding me a swim suit.

Guys, here’s a hint: Do you know what is worse for a woman than shopping for a swim suit? Answer: Shopping for a swim suit with a boyfriend or husband in tow.

I distinctly remember swim suit shopping a couple of years ago. It was frustrating at best, but there was my husband, trying to lend a hand and pawing through women’s swim suits.

“How about this one?” he asked.

With horror, and just a bit of misplaced amusement, I tried to gently explain to him that overweight women in their 60s really don’t look all that smashing in an itsy bitsy, teeny weenie shocking pink bikini. I think he got the message because the next bathing suit he picked out was a doozy.

“How about this one?” he hollered across the racks of clothes while holding up a swim suit fit for Godzilla – an aging Godzilla at that. What can I say? It was ugly with a capital U and it was H-U-G-E as in dirigible. In fact, I would be surprised if the designer label wasn’t Good Year.

Resisting the almost uncontrollable urge to grab his arm and shove him out the store doors, I instead smiled sweetly and said, “Uh. I’ll try it on with the others,” knowing full well that I would rather die than ever try on that monstrosity.

So, with my two picks of suits and his one huge failure of a Hindenburg effort I headed for the change room. Trying on the suits is a whole story in itself and is probably best left until another time, but I’m willing to bet that every single woman reading this knows what I mean. I’ll skip those details, but I will share with you (and now, I guess my husband will know too) that I never took that one suit off the hanger.

My personal shopper AKA The Husband was patiently waiting for me as I came out of the dressing room. His eyes widened quizzically and then he said, “I thought you would come out and model it for me.”

Needless to say The Husband has now been promoted from personal shopper to personal assistant and will no longer have to suffer the ire of a woman on a swim suit mission.