AND THE WINNERS ARE: Tor/Forge is honoring 3(!) of yesterday's commenters with a copy of Carrie Bebris's "The Deception at Lyme" hot-off-the-presses paperback edition. So: Linda, Leslie and Susan! Congratulations! Email Carrie your mailing addresses (emailcarrie "at" carriebebris dot com.)
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Today we're giving away 3 COPIES of the gorgeous trade paperback edition of Julia Spencer-Fleming (aka "girl" wrestler)'s fabulous "A Fountain Filled with Blood" to a lucky commenter.
HALLIE EPHRON: Once upon a time, I could wear a two-piece. I was young and adorable and I was obsessed with my nose.
Now it takes weeks to just screw up my courage to shop for a bathing suit. I have not yet bought one with a skirt, but soon. Mine cost more than my winter coat because I hope that if I throw enough money at it, a miracle will occur: I will put it on and look like something other than an Idaho potato with legs.
This year I tried shopping on the Internet, hoping that buyer feedback would guide me to the right choice. I am drawn to Magicsuit and Miraclesuit. Hope springs. AKA swimwear as Spanx.
The reader comments are illuminating. For an "Underwire Tankini" with "tummy control," one customer advises:
- ¨Order a size up! This has a very tight control material and a I could barely squeeze into my size (10). Pros: Very form flattering, shows off curves, makes your boobs look full, ruching and control tummy hid the lumps. Cons: Not great for the full-assed. The "panty-line" is quite tight and cuts into the meaty part (not in a flattering way).¨And these words to the wise:
- "This did have great tummy control; however, it seemed to just squish everything to the top of the pant causing the dreaded muffin top to appear! I had even ordered a size bigger as suggested."Magicsuit is apparently not all that magical. So, dear Reds, share the joys of swimsuits...
LUCY BURDETTE: oh my gosh, this is hysterical Hallie! (BTW, You could not look like Mrs. Potatohead if you tried!) I'm definitely off the two piece suit now too. For a couple of years I was seduced by the tankini idea. But in the end, all that does is emphasize exactly what shouldn't be highlighted. Usually I end up ordering a new Speedo when the old one is so thin you can just about see through it.
Here's a time when I could have worn a bikini!
JAN BROGAN: You know you are getting old when......you are much more excited about the bathing suit coverups than the actual bathing suit. In defiance of turning fifty, I bought a bikini on the beach in Martinique (it was my actual birthday) but mostly for the coverup that went with it. I only wear it when conditions are right (my kids are nowhere around to embarrass and I haven't eaten a large meal for days) But still, I'd rather just lower my expectations about what I'm going to look like than be uncomfortable wearing what amounts to a girdle.
And you are right, Hallie. Beauty is definitely wasted on the young.
HALLIE: That's Jan over on the right at about 15 years old on the Jersey shore. So adorable!
RHYS BOWEN: I swim every day so I need a functional suit. But I now have to have one withsome kind of built in bra or my top looks like shapeless scrambled eggs and my theory is that if attention is drawn to my attractive boobs, who will notice the little paunch beneath?
I did buy a super cute bikini in Nice two years ago and dared to wear it there, where so many older and uglier women than me run around topless. But I took it to Hawaii and it stayed in the suitcase.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Rhys, I'm convinced you must look like Helen Mirren in a bikini. (That's Helen Mirren in photo on right.) Go for it!
I've basically thrown in the towel and admitted that no swimsuit is going to miraculously make me 38-28-38 again. (Yes, those were my real measurements in my twenties! If only I had appreciated them back then.)
I have a sensible full-coverage tank for doing laps at the Y - like Rhys, I swim most days. I have the "swim dress" for when I'm at the beach or the river with friends and don't want to bother with a cover up. And I have the glamour tankini with the fabulous pareo that's meant to be worn with lots of jewelry and blingy sandals. I wore it once - ONCE - in the water, and the girls floated out of the highly-engineered top. I had to wrap the pareo around my neck and wrestle them back into place in the pool's changing room.
HALLIE: Julia -- 38-28-38?!?! So where's the picture??
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Let me just say this. We have a swimming pool in our back yard. I DO NOT GO IN. Because if I did, I would need a bathing suit. Wait--I would need to WEAR a bathing suit.
I HAVE them, oh yes, dear Reds, I have them. A tank-y black one, and structured a black one, and a tankini black one with little pants (not boy shorts, NO ONE looks good in those), and another tankini black one with a skirt. But they are in a drawer. And there they will stay. Argh argh argh.
Can we talk about something else?
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, Hallie, so painfully funny. Rhys, good for you! If I was brave enough to buy a bikini, I'd sure as hell wear it!
I have a "tank-ini" (no boy shorts--ugh. No skirt--ugh.) But I swear you need to be Houdini to get in and out of the top, even when it's dry, and when it's wet, I have imitated Rhys stuck in the tube dress in the department store fitting room. (Still laughing about that one, Rhys.)
So if I really want to swim, I pull out one of my old stretched-out Land's End one pieces. Maybe next year I'll buy a new suit, but I think I'll definitely go for the one-piece. The tank-ini thing is highly over-rated.
As for how we used to look, I've attached a picture of me in the famous green bikini (circa 1973) about which my husband still reminisces fondly. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually show much of the bikini. But I will say that I wish I'd appreciated how damned good I looked in it.
HALLIE: The picture doesn't show ANY of that bikini but we can use our imagination. You were so adorable, Debs.
Please, share your sad bathing suit saga because misery loves company...