[This post was written for the 48th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene]
Well it is officially summer here in Chicago - despite our "pneumonia front" that came in Monday night and dropped the temperature from 80 degrees to 55 degrees in a matter of 15 minutes! And summertime means it is time to talk swimwear.
The title of this post sums up my feelings about the dreaded topic of swim suits, bathing suits and the like. I always think of that Wendy's commercial from the 1980s where they held a Russian fashion show and the outfit was basically the same:
Thankfully the woman had the ability to accessorize! As for me, my swim outfit really isn't a swim outfit - it tends towards the all-purpose summer outfit, one that I maintain today, albeit a few (okay, several) sizes larger.
My earliest memory of water and swimming is not a good one - in fact, it very easily could have been a tragic one and my last memory, at that. When I was about three years old, I fell into a lake at my father's hunting camp. Luckily my mother was right nearby and I probably was not in the water more than 30 seconds, but to this day I can still see her image through the murky lake waters with her entire arm submerged in the water searching for me.
As you can well imagine, I really don't care much for swimming, water, and oceans so I don't wear traditional swim suits. I do however enjoy going to the beach or socializing with friends and family around their pools or favorite swimming spots.
One of my favorite summertime spots of all time is Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My family began making Rehoboth their preferred vacation destination for one week or more each summer when I was in college in Washington, DC. Even when I moved to California in 1986, I would fly into Newark, New Jersey and have family pick me up to drive down to Rehoboth.
This photo is from one of those summers when we rented an entire house for a week:
Photo: Thomas MacEntee, Tom Richardson and David Brown at Rehoboth, Summer 1983.
I am on the beach with good friends from college and you can again see my all-purpose "svimvare" ensemble consisting of a tank top or t-shirt and shorts. And you can also see how unbelievably tanned I am - for some reason I am able to get much darker than the rest of the Irish kin in my family. But we are now a bit older and much wiser (okay, a lot older) as to sun damage. Despite my many years of basking in the sun, Samsonite does not have a contract out on my hide so that it can be turned into luggage when I die. Do you remember the tanning crazes of your youth? Did you ever use baby oil? Or baby oil mixed with iodine? What were we thinking‽*
Even when I was at my lowest weight (which I've joked "is always in perfect proportion to my height, which changes constantly") I would never be seen without my trusty tank top and shorts:
Photos: Thomas MacEntee at Rehoboth, Summer 1987.
These days, I still sport the same outfit once the weather warms up. I put away the sweatpants, the fleeces, the jeans and pull out the camo shorts, walking shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and wacky Hawaiian shirts.
As the commercial says, "Very nice!"
* A special prize for anyone who can tell me what punctuation symbol this is and when it is used. And I don't mean the asterisk.