I’m considering a purchase, the first non-essential in 8 weeks. I need a new bathing suit.
In the FIGURE OUT HOW TO JUSTIFY THIS PURCHASE BY MEANS OF A RUNNING LIST OF REASONS IN MY HEAD column: All of your bathing suits are getting pretty ratty. The ones that aren’t ratty are, shall we say, appropriate only when no one is around, aka “no one needs to see that.” And some of those are getting pretty ratty, too. By “ratty” I mean “cheap” because you buy most of your bathing suits at Target. The ones that weren’t Target cheap are also ratty, because you stand in the pool and lean up against the side while looking at the ocean so much that pills have formed over the boob areas of all of your suits. They’ve disintegrated to various degrees because you’re always fucking with them–removing underwires when they start poking you and extra boob padding because you don’t need any extra boob padding. The inappropriate bikini tops are not designed to hold up 56 pounds of boob, so the strings cut into the back of your neck. That one expensive suit you bought last year is too fancy, with it’s lacy cutouts and its little bow on the back that annoys you when you’re laying by the pool. 99% of your daylight hours, when the weather is good, which it will be now until you leave Florida late in April, are spent wearing a bathing suit. It’s like a uniform. It’s like a requirement.
I could go on. My talent for justifying unnecessary purchases is boundless. I should work for the government.
In the YOU DO NOT NEED A NEW BATHING SUIT, YOU HAVE, LIKE, A HUNDRED BATHING SUITS column: You have, like, a hundred bathing suits. You don’t need another fucking bathing suit. A new bathing suit is not going to make you look better in bathing suits. A new bathing suit will have something on or in it that annoys you that you will obsessively mess with until you’ve removed it. You understand that if you purchase another bathing suit, you’re going to have to get rid of several, right? Because this whole bullshit story about them being ratty will cease to fly unless you pluck from the bathing suit bin in your closet all of the ratty, cheap, inappropriate bathing suits and throw them away. You’ll end up with even fewer bathing suits than you started out with. No, that strapless one with the orange-and-yellow tropical-flower pattern on the fabric does not make you look like an old lady. It’s in perfect condition and it was expensive.
Again, I could go on.
The truth is that I will probably shop for a bathing suit. If, by some fucking miracle of heaven, I put on a bathing suit that magically transforms my body into the one I had when I was 17, you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to buy that bathing suit. In every color. And I won’t feel a lick of guilt or regret. But we both know that isn’t going to happen. Magic has its limits.
What I don’t yet know is if I will actually buy one.
This is progress. Because two months ago, had I got it in my head that I needed a new bathing suit, I’d have slipped into one or the other of the two bathing suits stores closest to me and I’d have already bought one, and I’d have just added it to the bin along with the other 3,400 or so suits already vying for space, and it would have blended in with all of the other bathing suits that I don’t feel like wearing anymore and I’d already be considering buying a new one about now anyway.