After much hemming and hawing, I agreed to go to our first party. The party is a pool party, the weather is super gorgeous and warm and I love the water anyway. Shades was super excited (what guy wouldn’t be, right? Naked bodies, a pool and hot tub – hell yeah!). I needed a bit more coaxing…. This is totally a step outside of my norm, I’m not much of one to wear a bathing suit, hell, I rarely wear shorts in the summer!
Just thinking about going to a party like this brought up so many questions and doubts in my mind. Is my body even good enough to be seen by others? Will I even fit in? Are Shades and I just gonna sit there like lumps on a log and no one will talk to us? All these questions ran through my mind, sometimes one at a time, sometimes all at once. It all boiled down to one main issue – my constant need for people to like me and to feel included as part of a group. This issue has followed me through most of my pre-adolescent and adult life. Not that I really ever show it, I normally have a pretty confident outward persona. I pretend that I don’t care what people think of me and that I’m impervious to criticism and other people’s opinions of me. But deep down, when I’m home alone and in my own head, all I can think of is how much I want people to like me and accept me and understand that I really do have feelings.
Thank goodness Shades knows me so well, we talked and talked and talked about the issues I had about going. He assured me that he doesn’t see it as “just another thing to get people to like me,” but as an experience to share between the two of us and meet some new people. We discussed expectations and chose to just go and see what happens, no pressure to do anything we don’t want to do and I have the final say in what happens.
After a week or so of discussion and thinking of the “what ifs”, I’m good to go, so off to the store it is to find a bathing suit. I think back to how excited I used to be to buy a new bathing suit – cute bikinis and tankinis, my flat stomach and gorgeous legs being shown off in the sun and water. Now, I’m in the dressing room, staring at every lump and bump and imperfection. Stretch marks where soft, supple skin used to be. My heart breaks for what was and trying to accept what is now. I text my friend who invited us to the party.
Searching for a bathing suit for Shades is so much easier. He’s got that sexy dad bod that reflects a youth filled with weightlifting and he thanks to his job, he still has hints of a fairly decent physique. We quickly grab a suit for him and get the hell out of the store. Even though I picked up two bathing suits, I still can’t decide between the two. Both are bikinis, both show off more skin than I’ve shown in years.
All I can think of is being thankful that alcohol is allowed – I make sure we pick up a case of beer. No way I’m even people-watching sober! Excited, scared, nervous and curious, we embark on our new adventure.