Undercover summer

June 2019

Here comes summer and with it the acknowledgement that I didn’t do as well on my new year resolutions as I had hoped. No, I didn’t lose the Christmas weight. No, I didn’t exercise as often as I should have. No, I didn’t listen to beauty advisors about paying close attention to my skin, hair and nails through the harsh winter. Thus, I am a rough canvas for someone, anyone, to do their creative work on me…and fast.

I have one especially dreaded summer readiness test. Shopping for a bathing suit.

I can feel you all cringing. You know the drill. Stripping down to the unmentionables in a too small room with fluorescent lights shining on the whitest of white skin. Of course, I am usually facing a not so flattering mirror, while I tug, shrug, pull and breathe in, deeply, as the fabric slides grudgingly into place. Usually this takes a bit of final adjustment. Sometimes quite a bit. I am left looking at myself in dismay. The rub? It is just as hard to take it off as to put it on.

At this point I usually abandon my desire to make a wholesale change and go back to the old faithful one-piece. (You may recall it is the one that has its personal drawer and suitcase.)

Not to be thwarted, my cover-up ensembles have grown in number and colour. The flip flop wardrobe now includes a fair amount of bling, potentially blinding those around me. And I am wearing super sunscreen on my face. The kind that protects my skin from sun damage. Unfortunately, the same beauty advisors say that, by my age, the damage is done and that baby oil was probably not a good choice so many summers ago.

Add to this my hair finishing spray, cuticle moisturizer to protect my manicure and pedicure, and mineral water spritzer to ensure that my skin is constantly dewy, the time I take to get to the pool or beach is about double the time it takes me to get ready each morning. Thus, the bag I carry looks curiously familiar to a diaper bag with enough pockets and space to guarantee a fix for any potential emergency.

I consider the summer season as nature’s way of encouraging a middle -aged woman (that would be me although at 60 I don’t think I can describe myself as such) address her inner most summer fears. And in my case the solution continues to be to face it, while I hide under a giant umbrella. Have a great summer!

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at sprodaniuk@shaw.ca.

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