Sunday, October 2, 2011
An Old Memory (Little Red Bikini...redux)
Original post as follows:
(Ok not quite original, mostly original, I tweaked a few things for continuity and flow)
Every year we went to Nags Head for our Summer Vacation. We would rent a house right on the beach with another family and spend 10 days or so in the sand and sun and glory that is The Outer Banks of NC.
The year this event takes place I was 6 or 7 years old. I had a red one piece bathing suit that had a little cluster of yellow petals near the leg, kind of like a "Speedo" mark, but it was flowers. Anyway there other little girls on the beach who had bikinis. The green eyed monster in me took control. I wanted a two piece, and I wanted one BAD. My mother wouldn't let me get one. So I tried my dad. He said no as well.(I even tried the whole "mom said to ask you"/"dad said to ask you" trick to no avail.) I pulled out all the stops trying to get what I wanted.
I didn't have enough in dimes, Nickles and pennies in my blue Naugahyde purse to purchase one for myself either. So I was stuck for 2 weeks, miserable without a two piece bathing suit like the other little girls on the beach
As fate would have it, a few days later, my parents left me to the charge of my older brothers(ages ages 13 to 16/17) while they went for a walk down to the pier, or go grocery shopping, or something.
They said they would be back in a half hour or so.
I seized my opportunity. My brothers were just outside on the beach, in eye view, 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 whose family was renting the house next to ours. When the lookout would see mom and dad coming , the oldest would race back closer to the house like he had been there the entire time keeping an eye on me.. I didn't 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 almost 30 years later, I see the flaws in my plan.
The deed was done, my new red bikini pretty as can be. My brother came in and flopped on the couch, turning on the TV, as if he were engrossed in Days of our Lives. He was completely oblivious to the newly repurposed swimsuit , unaware of what had transpired only moments before. I knew it would be only minutes before mom and dad came walking in. I started to get nervous. "what if they didnt like it?" pah, how could they NOT, it was AWESOME!!!
They came back to find my creation lying on the kitchen table. My mother got the tight lipped "I'm trying to control my temper" look. My dad shook his head and tried not to laugh. What happened next changed my career path forever. (who knows, had they just yelled at me and grounded me I may have been a contestant on Project Runway) . Instead, 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 had gotten away with it. I was giddy. I had actually 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 waistband 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 wasn't 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...I moved from clothing to hair instead.
moral of the story: don't cut your bathing suits in half, your parent will only get mad, make you wear it, and all you will end up doing is showing your butt to a bunch of strangers on a beach.