Feb 13, 2010

The Orange Bikini

It was Summer, I was 18-years-old.  My family decided that we were all going to a rented cottage in North Bay, Ontario.  It was this event that spurned my desire to try something I had never tried before: buy a bikini. 

Now, this was a big occasion in my life.  Normally I was all about shorts and a t-shirt when I went swimming (or usually whatever I happened to be wearing when the urge took me to jump crazily into a lake), or a regular old bathing suit.  A bikini was WAY too much skin for me to reveal, and I always try to spare as many people as I can from being horribly blinded by all that pasty white.  Also, the one other time I exposed that much skin to the universe, it punished me by making a bird shit in my mouth.   

Anyway, I found a cute little orange bikini.  It was beyond my price range, and I went back and forth quite a bit in my mind over the price tag.  The deciding factor was that it was just oh-so-cute, and the little boy shorts did wonders for my non-existent (at the time) hips.  I went and purchased it.  While in the store, with the already bought bikini in my hands, I doubted myself.  What was I doing?  Who did I think I was, buying a bikini?  My normal attire in the Summer consisted of too baggy corduroys, a chain wallet, and zip up sweaters from the 70s that belonged to my father.  SWEATERS.  In the middle of the Summer.  Wouldn't a bikini be a significant contrast?  A little too much, all at once?  Ugh.  So what did I do?  I returned it.  I believe I stood there for twenty minutes, listening to the bikini goddess me on one shoulder, promising that it would be the best thing ever to keep the bikini, and the zipped up, Nirvana listening, greasy-haired me telling me to stop being ridiculous and to put on some more clothing. 

After I returned it, I was walking through the store, lost in thought and still not feeling right about the whole transaction.  I mean, I was going to be in NORTH BAY, Ontario.  In other words, nowhere.  Who was going to see me?  Why was I making such a big deal out of it anyway?  So I went back and re-bought it. A cute boy said hello to me on the way out and I took it as a sign that I made the right decision.  Yeah, I was 18.  I was a little intense.

Fast forward to the first day at the cottage.  It was a gorgeous sunny evening, and the water was calling out to me.  I decided to unveil the orange bikini to all the other cottage renters, as well as the local hicks.  I was a bit nervous, I have to admit.  But it all went over well.  I did not feel uncomfortable, and it was a most enjoyable evening swim.  Nobody stared.  Nobody pointed at me and laughed.  My confidence was boosted, and I was happy with my choice.  

I changed out of my suit after my swim, hung it over the porch balcony of the cottage to dry overnight, and spent the evening playing cards and drinking a beer (only one!) with my parents.  I fell asleep with thoughts of a lovely morning swim in my new bikini, dreaming of the sun and warm water against my overly exposed skin.

I woke up excited.  I wanted to go for a swim before breakfast.  I wandered out onto the porch to grab my bikini and it wasn't there.  It was no longer hanging where I left it.  I asked my mom if she had brought it in and she said no.  I figured the wind might have blown it away so I checked all around the cottage and up and down the paths close to the cottage.  No bikini.  I remembered that the night had been stifling, with not a breath of wind and the air as heavy as a blanket.  I started to realize that it was not nature that made my bikini disappear, it was most likely another cottage renter.  My bikini had been stolen.

I was so angry.  Who would do such a thing?  I remember hearing some people passing by our cottage late the night before, obnoxiously yelling and carrying on.  I began to wonder if it was one of them.  Honestly though, who would steal a bright orange bikini and have the guts to wear it in the same camp as it was stolen from?  Then I remembered when my favourite shoes were stolen out of the locker room at school while I was in gym class.  They were pretty distinctive shoes, ones I had not seen anyone wear before, hence why I bought them.  And then I saw a girl wearing MY shoes the next day.  The very same ones.  I was too much of a sissy to confront her about them because she was popular and I was not.  Sigh.  Here we go again with the bikini.  Of course, the camp was huge, and there was no way I was ever going to find out who took it without them wearing it right in front of me.  And I still probably would not have had the balls to ask them about it.  

In short, my short lived bikini wearing experience was a good one.  I never bought another, I figured I should quit while I was ahead.  First the bird incident and now this.  Who knew what would happen if I attempted it again?  Cities might crumble, the dead might rise from their graves.  Obviously something was trying to tell me to keep my Casper-like tendencies under wraps.  I listened.

I have to say though, I had half a mind to post a sign all over that camp that read:

To whomever took the orange bikini:

I just want to let you know that I have a horrible, horrible disease.
You know, down THERE.
Have fun with that though.
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