Ugly Bathing Suits

My favorite clothes are ones that look a bit like costumes. I especially love clothes that remind me of Mary Poppins, or the 1940's, or a gypsy—the kind from old movies who wear big hoop earrings and scarves and swooshy skirts. And although all of that is peculiar it's also pretty.  But forever I've had this problem with completely losing my taste when shopping for bathing suits. 

I remember in high school when my older brother (one of my favorite people ever) confronted me about this. He said something like, "Amy, when you buy a bathing suit this year, get something cool. Think— no beads, no fringe, no bows, and above all, no ruffly skirts. They're terrible." Thinking back on the bad bathing suit choices I'd made in the past, I took his advice really seriously. Not only was my brother helpful about what not to buy, he went on to tell me what a cool bathing suit looks like. They’re usually black and kind of athletic. They do not have ruffles. So I went bathing suit shopping for exactly that. I was determined. But then I saw them—racks and racks of brightly colored bathing suits. Ruffles, bows, beads, fringe…

Why I repeatedly buy tasteless bathing suits is a mystery to me. As I sit here considering it, I can't comprehend what strange powers are at work when I go bathing suit shopping. Or is it some kind of unnamed syndrome? Do others suffer from it too?

That day back in high school when I went looking for a cool, black, athletic bathing suit, I came back with a brilliantly colorful one covered in tropical fish, psychadelic stripes, a coral reef, and yes—ruffles. Layers and layers of ruffles at the top. But no skirt, so that was a small victory.

Last year I bought my bathing suit online. At the time I thought maybe it was not ugly, but now I'm certain it is.