Monday, July 14, 2008

The beach, a memory and a little red bikini

Next week I am off with the boys to the Beach for the McBride Family Reunion.
The Theme of the event is "Water you doing in Virginia?"
(we are going to a beach in Virginia for the reunion and it is a water theme reunion)
Well each family is supposed to prepare some sort of water talent, i.e.: water balloon juggling, lip synching Splish Splash or something like that.
My mother in law wrote a group e-mail that stated, "Papa Jon can eat an entire watermelon by himself...and I can cut it for him" We all got a good chuckle, then realized she was perfectly serious.
So it got me to thinking what I could do as a talent in front of 40 people that wouldnt completely humiliate me. I cant juggle unless I want a concussion,(though thanks Lindsey for trying to teach me) I dont lip synch or do dance routines and throwing water balloons at people is just plain mean unless it is a water balloon fight.
So I thought long and hard and kept going back to my Mother in Law's email about the watermelon.
I decided to make everyone a lip balm. It will be watermelon flavored and I am designing a custom label for it. That way they have a nice souvenier for the reunion, yet get some yummy lip balm in the process. I will take a radio or something with me and play wipeout or something as we pass them out. Who knows. So my talent is lip balm and Charles' talent is standing back and letting me do what I want. (Just the way a good marriage should work.)

So The flavor name?? You guessed it! Water(you doing in Virginia)melon

Here is the first draft of the label I made up:(For privacy issues I am blocking out some of the details)




Yes As you can see I really like this picture so I have it in my new summer themed Blog Header as well.

Now to quote Bill Cosby "I told you THAT story to tell you THIS story"

All this getting planning for the beach reminded me of when I was little.

Every year we went to Nags Head for our Summer Vacation. The year this event takes place I was 6 years old. I had a red one piece bathing suit that had a little cluster of yellow flowers near the leg, kind of like a "Speedo" mark, but it was flowers. Anyway there was another little girl on the beach who had a bikini. The green eyed monster in me took control. I wanted a bikini, and I wanted one bad. My mother wouldnt let me get one. So I tried my dad. He wouldnt let me get one. I didnt have enough in dimes, Nickles and pennies in my piggie bank to go to Ben Franklin and get one myself either. So I was stuck for 2 weeks, miserable without a bathing suit like the other little girls on the beach had.

As fate would have it, 3 days later, my parents left me to the charge of my older brothers(ages 12 14 and 16) while they went for a walk down to the pier. They said they would be back in a half hour or so. I siezed my opportunity. My brothers were outside on the beach and left me to my own devices and said "we're out here if you need us... you better not need us". My brothers had a system: One would keep watch while the other two flirted with Edith, the pretty girl on the beach. When they would see mom and dad coming , the oldest would race back to the house like he had been there the entire time. This way they didnt have to watch me, yet made mom and dad think they had been there the entire time watching me like they were instructed.

I didnt mind their absence, in fact I found the solitude perfect for my undertaking. (I guarantee had my brothers actually done their job of watching me this never would have happened) I found a pair of scissors and I CUT my red bathing suit in half. By gosh if they weren't going to buy me a bikini, I would make my own. I would sure show them. In my 6 year old brain it really was a good idea. Now looking back more than 25 years later, I see the flaws in my plan.

The deed was done, my new red bikini pretty as can be. Todd came rushing in and flopped on the couch, turning on the TV, as if he were engrossed in Days of our Lives. I knew it would be only minutes before mom and dad came walking in.

The came back to find my creation lying on the kitchen table. My mother got the tight lipped "Im trying to control my temper" look. My dad shook his head and tried not to laugh. Then they came up with a BRILLIANT plan. Instead of getting mad, my dad said "Come on, lets get your new bikini on and head out to the beach!"

I thought I had gotten away with it. I was actually giddy. I had vandalized my clothing and gotten away with it.

So I put on my newly designed Red Bikini with the little yellow flowers on the thigh and grabbed the raft and walked out to the beach with my dad. I was so proud of my ingenuity and skills as a fashion designer.

I took my raft and ran out into the ocean only to be bombarded with a huge wave that knocked me to my knees...and pulled the bottoms OFF my bottom. SO I pulled them back up and they immediately fell down again. I tried rolling the waistband, which helped a little, but with every wave the bottoms would fall off. Eventually even rolling the wasitband wasn't enough and my bikini bottom was sagging around my rear and I was showing all of my tush to the entire beach.

I ran back to the house and told my mom I needed to go buy a new bathing suit. She said No. That was a brand new bathing suit she had bought from JC Penny's and I ruined it on purpose. So I was stuck with it. i had to wear that homemade bikini the rest of the vacation.

Eventually I got some safety pins and was able to secure the waistband tight enough around my bottom and waist to keep it up...although I looked quite silly with a bathing suit full of rusted out metal. The salt water and sea breeze had caused the pins to corrode, leaving my little red bikini with brown stains where it was pinned.

Having a two piece wasnt as fun as I thought it would be. I learned my lesson and I learned it well.

So thank you mom and dad for making me wear my Sarah Original bikini and not buying me a new one. It was a unique punishment and I never tried to customize my clothing again after that day.

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