The swimsuit I wore at the beach was one of those tankini things. I always wear those because there is no way I’m going to show my stretch mark ridden stomach to the world. I get that there are some women out there who are all, “Wear your marks with pride!” and I’m all, “Actually, I think I’ll keep mine covered. Thanks.” My bottoms were shorts because there is no way I can wear those bottoms that look like underwear. Mainly because I totally forgot to shave my bikini line. Crap. Thankfully the shorts covered that problem right up.
We headed to the beach and Tommy headed off into the water with Tom and I sat on the sand while Natalie played with her toys.
“For you,” Natalie said grandly, dropping a wad of sand into my palm.
I never know what to do when she hands me things that I don’t really want. I usually say in an unnaturally high pitched tone, “Thank you SO much! This is wonderful!”
This is what I did then. I sort of sat there with my hand dripping with sand as Natalie used a shovel. Then my eyes started wandering at the other beachgoers. They rested on a woman who was a few feet away. She was all stretched out on a towel, her tanned limbs glimmering in the sunlight. She had a black bikini on and her blond hair went down her back. It didn’t even stick out like mine did the second I stepped outside. My hair, it doesn’t like beach air. It’ll immediately puff up and I’ll struggle to get it back down but it’s no use.
I gave a sigh as Natalie stuck a broken shell on top of the sand she gave me. You see, I long for firm body like that but know that it’ll never happen. Mainly because A) I like to eat junk food too much and B) because I cannot afford a tummy tuck.
She’s obviously never had children before, I thought. This is what I always think when I see a woman with a perfect body. It makes me feel better.
But then, almost as though she read my thoughts, the woman sat up and two children barreled over to her with a bag of food.
Okay, she’s probably just the Aunt…
“Here you go, Mommy!” a girl who looked to be around eight or nine said, handing over the bag.
Well. She’s skinny because she doesn’t eat. Surely the food is just for the kids…
But then the boy, who looked to be around twelve said, “We got your favorite ice cream!”
Surely it had to be fat free? But no. The kid pulled out a full fat Ben and Jerrys container (mmmm….cookie dough…) and the woman thanked him as she pulled a plastic spoon from the bag. Then she caught me staring and started to look uncomfortable so I quickly averted my gaze.
Great. Now she thinks I’m a lesbian checking her out.
“Oh, I’m not checking you out!” I wanted to shout. “I just don’t understand how you can be so SKINNY after having two children and indulging in Ben and Jerrys. When I look at a container at Ben and Jerrys I practically gain five pounds then and there!”
I didn’t say that though. I kept my mouth shut and pretended to be really interested in the sand that Natalie had given me. I poked it around and enthusiastically asked Natalie if she thought the beach was awesome.
“Yes,” she said, looking at me as though I were stupid.
Then she wanted to go in the water, which was fine, but she’s not one of those kids who just plop down and let the ocean surround her. No, she wanted to run into the water. Then she wanted to run back to the shore. Then back in. Then back to the shore.
“How about we play with your sand toys again?” I practically begged after ten minutes of doing the ocean relay.
“No THANKS!” Natalie shrieked at me. Then she blew a rude sounding raspberry in my direction which is the new thing she picked up. If she doesn’t like what you’ve said, you get a raspberry blown at you.
So we raced around a few more minutes and then my Mom came over and let me sit down while she followed Natalie around.
As I settled on the towel I surreptitiously peeked over at the Perfect Body mom and saw that she had finished the ENTIRE pint and was sticking the spoon in the container with a self satisfied smile.
Sometimes life just isn’t fair.