Confession of the Fat Girl #10

I decided that the best way to start my day today would be to go try on swimsuits. Yeah. Right.

It has been an adventure this week, my attempt to find a suit. I am going to Lava Hot Springs tomorrow with a newfound friend, her daughter and mine. It is meant to be a bonding experience, wherein we discover one another and form a lifelong friendship. I am a nervous wreck. Mostly because it is going to require me to do one of my least favorite things – don a swimsuit.

This morning, it was my third store in the search. The first one had no suits at all, even though it is winterish outside and seems to be the time that stores do carry suits. The second one had two racks of suits in these hideous prints of glow-in-the-dark-colored flowers as large as my hand. Amongst the gore, I found two simple sets – one solid black, one navy blue with white accents. Dismayed by the selection and wondering why the designers think that big girls want big flower prints to accentuate their size, I trudged to the dressing room for more fun.

I felt like a sausage once I wriggled myself into the binding suits that were the biggest size in those styles and I felt my spirits crash. There was no way in hell I was going to go a bigger size in that store because it would mean splattering my body with atrocious flowers. No way!

So, this morning, I tried another store. I walked the entire women’s department and about started crying when I began believing they didn’t have swimwear either. Then I found them. It looked to be the end of the season for this store as all suits – women’s, plus sizes and juniors – were crammed onto one wall. I had to really search through the racks to find my sizes and also to find both parts of most two-piece suits. I felt a little optimistic though, as I walked to the dressing room with seven different styles to try in my size.

The one I really wanted was a rich royal blue one-piece that was as elegant as an evening gown in the way it was created. I could have made this one work, if I had not breathed while wearing it. I wanted the next size up because it would have been just right. So back to the rack I went. Sadly enough, there was none bigger than the one I had in my hand. So I stood there debating between feeling elegant while holding my breath indefinitely or feeling more comfortable in the black and silver sporty two-piece that also worked. I ended up with the black and silver number which actually looked fairly decent if I could have stopped being so critical.

So here is the really good part of my story…

As I was rummaging through the racks one last time I was acutely aware of how hot I was and that I wanted to strip down to my nothings. I also became aware of the quiet thoughts rampaging through my mind. Sadness. Disgust. Dismay.

At that same moment, I could feel someone’s eyes trained on me. I looked up and to the right to find a man standing dead still in the aisle, somewhat in a trance. When he realized I had caught him, he flinched and smiled embarrassedly before turning this way and that, trying to decide where to turn and where to hide.

I smiled, amused by his little dance number of dismay and confusion. He caught my smile and approached tentatively.

“Excuse me, Miss,” he said, holding his right hand out to me, palm down.

Interestingly enough, I noticed my defenses fly up and I actually took a step back.

Timidly he asked, “I don’t mean any disrespect, Miss, but may I ask you a question?”

He seemed harmless and I could feel his nervousness radiating through the space between me and his outstretched hand. He pulled it in and placed it over his heart.

I smiled and nodded.

He smiled shyly. “Do you believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?”

I let his words sink in for a moment before I smiled. “Yes, I do.”

He smiled and nodded once. “I want to tell you that you are most beautiful.”

The energy of his words sank into my body and I felt the temperature of my entire being rise considerably. I felt as though I was in a full-body flush. It was an odd combination of shock, nervousness, embarrassment and something really yummy.

He held his right hand out again, palm facing me, fingers spread and stretching toward the sky. I sensed that he could feel my nervousness. “I mean no disrespect, Miss.”

I smiled because the deliciousness of his words was finally sinking into me.

He finished, “Earlier I was watching you and was so taken with your beauty. I actually had to come back to make sure you were real. You totally brightened up my day. And I just had to tell you.”

Then he smiled, bowed slightly in a gesture of respect and said, “Thank you.”

He left me, speechless, blushing and with tears in my eyes.

In my own moment of personal struggle, uncertainty and sadness, a stranger opened his heart and changed my outlook for the day.

Indeed, trying on swimsuits was the best way to start my day today.

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