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Would You Rather

Would You Rather: Walk Barefoot In a Gas Station Bathroom… Or Go Bathing Suit Shopping?

Last weekend, I found myself bathing suit shopping at the mall.
Let me rephrase that:
Last weekend at the mall, I decided I’ll just keep wearing the same bathing suits I’ve worn for the past nine years.

So basically, it didn’t go well.

If y’all don’t mind, I just need to vent about this disaster of a process.  I’m normally a glass-half-full kind of person.  Optimistic.  Hopeful.  But there is just no room in my glass right now for positivity.  If anything, my glass is half full of tears from entering the ninth circle of hell, also known as Belk’s swim department dressing room.

I know I’m not alone because I found this on the internet, and the internet doesn’t lie.

Let’s start here: the styles.
Somehow, in my advanced market research, I’ve discovered that stores either sell suits geared toward the women taking the Assisted Living Van over to the mall.. or they sell swim suits that are so itty bitty that they must have been cobbled together for garden fairies.  ATTENTION AMERICA: Last time I checked, there is no YMCA for garden fairies and the senior center’s therapy pool is booked through 2021.  They don’t need new swim suits.  I DO.

Obviously I’m mistaken, but I thought that we were all on the same page here, that bathing suits should not be responsible for unsightly tan lines.  Bathing suits with all these criss-cross strings across the top… They will be entirely responsible for creating a labyrinth of sunburn across bridesmaids’ chests everywhere and ruining wedding pictures.  I’m calling it now!!!!!  Not to mention, at the mall, I saw several swim suits that sit off-the-shoulder, which would mean I’d sacrificially accept white rings around my upper arms to be able to have evenly tanned shoulders. You guys, have we thought this thing through?  Is vanity completely dead?  Do we need a think tank to generate some fresh ideas?

I wouldn’t say I’m a high maintenance person, but if we’re being honest, I wouldn’t want to go bathing suit shopping with me.
-I need a suit that has enough fabric but not so much fabric that it creates a swim skirt.
-I need something that would pass all variations of The Toddler Test- able to hold up against the energetic two year old crawling up my torso in the pool or the hangry, thrashing toddler who’s being carried like a gym bag off the beach.
-I do not need a suit that is accompanied by a set of instructions.  If I need to read a piece of paper to understand where these pieces connect and make sense of the cut-outs, then I can already tell you that I’d rather swim in my street clothes.
-Due to the already sensitive nature of the shopping trip, I require zero models to be on the swimsuit tag.  (If models MUST be on the tag to display the swimwear, I request that they look like the rest of us commoners with a messy bun and chipped nail polish and a Cookout milkshake in one hand)

Here’s the thing though:  you finally survive the dressing room angst and find a suit that fits, that you also happen to like, but when you check the price tag, you just about lose your religion.  This was me at the mall, you guys.  I was moments away from going nuclear when I realized the bathing suit TOP that I liked was $88.  I’m sorry, WHAT??  Paging Trina Turk:  I’m gonna need you to knock off some dollar signs so I can look cute at the beach!

Long story short, I bought it.
Whatever.  In related news, we’ll be having a lemonade stand at our house this weekend.  All proceeds will go toward offsetting the cost of my diamond-lined swim top.

On my way home from the mall, I let my husband know that I was headed back and my emotional status was Code Red.  The whole saga spilled out when I got home: the bathing suits all look weird… it costs $150 to cover 30-40% of my body… my one-year-old has way better bathing suit choices than I do… I’m gonna get bizarre tan lines, is nothing sacred anymore… shouldn’t I be allowed to borrow a bathing suit and sprint after a toddling Puddle Jumper before I spend that kind of money… I’m not crying, you’re crying… fine, I’ll just eat kale sandwiches until the end of time… I’m never going shopping for swimsuits again… OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF

So, we return to our original question.  Would you rather: walk barefoot in a gas station bathroom.. or go bathing suit shopping?
bathing suit shoppingWe’re not talking like a well-lit Sheetz that’s cleaned every hour on the hour.. we’re talking like backwoods rusty old toilets and fetid standing water and gotta-get-the-key-to-unlock-the-door type of bathroom (obviously with one of those gigantic wooden blocks hanging off the key).

After serious consideration, I’ve decided I would rather walk barefoot in a gas station bathroom than ever go bathing suit shopping again.  While quality medical care and a hearty dose of antibiotics can attend to any diseases acquired from that nasty gas station bathroom, ain’t no amount of therapy can undo the emotional trauma and drama associated with bathing suit shopping.


Would You Rather: Lick the Open Surfaces of an Airplane Bathroom.. or Have to Set Up a Pack ‘N Play Alone?

pack 'n play

If I had to choose between setting up a Pack ‘N Play or wiping down an airplane bathroom with my tongue, I would make sure I was up to date on all vaccinations, pop some Zicam, and set up an appointment with Delta.

The best way to set up a Pack ‘N Play is to find someone who’s been a parent for awhile and act like you have no idea how to do it.  Really play up the fact that they’ve always been there for you, how much you respect their parenting skills, and mention something about how you never thought parenting would be so difficult.  Meanwhile, they are so moved by your flattery and filled with compassion, that they’ll set up the whole thing while you Snapchat their Mom jeans in the air.

Okay, but if you HAVE to do it by yourself, here’s the best approach, in my humble opinion:
1.  Start off with prayer and meditation, think happy thoughts (i.e. babies wearing Halloween costumes), breathe deeply for the task ahead.  Setting up a Pack ‘N Play will require enormous amounts of physical and emotional strength, so you will need to make sure you are in a spiritually healthy place.

2.  Unfold the instruction page and stare at it.  This will not help.  Ok, now go online and look at websites giving advice.  You will end up on Facebook.  Ok, now watch a YouTube tutorial video about setting up a Pack ‘N Play.  Your thoughts while watching the video: “I wonder where she bought those gold sandals.  Why is she talking to me like she knows me?  She does NOT KNOW ME.  When can I go back on Facebook?  I think it’s time to pray again.”

3.  Get all the pieces out from the Pack ‘N Play travel bag- the crib, the mattress pad, the bassinet that goes on top next to the baby jacuzzi.  You essentially registered for the Ritz Carlton Portable Crib and now you’re contemplating if CPS will come to your door if you let your child sleep on that dog bed over there.

4.  This is the playpen when you get it out:

Carefully choose two of the opposite railings of the playpen and say sweet, gentle, kind words to it while you pull it into locked position.  Then make sure you speak tenderly and lovingly to the other opposite railings when you pull them until locked, so they don’t feel disrespected.  I have memories I’m still actively trying to repress of the railings getting salty and pinching my hand skin.

5.  Once all locking mechanisms are activated, take an Intermission and treat yo self to one episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

6.  Following your Intermission, return to the Pack ‘N Play and sway a little bit whispering, “CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS CANT LOSE”.  Lower the floor of that Pack ‘N Play the best way you know how.  Maybe you push it with the palm of your hand, maybe you channel your energy into a sloppy judo kick, or maybe you just start crying until the playpen feels very, very sad for your adult tears and straightens itself.  I don’t care how you get there, just make it happen.

7.  Once the mattress pad is laid onto the floor of the Pack ‘N Play, congratulations!  I’m happy to tell you that your baby has a legitimate place to sleep and you’ve now officially graduated from Hogwarts.

Author’s Note: I don’t advise disassembling the Pack ‘N Play once you’ve finally set it up.  The playpen is designed with wheels so that you can attach it to your car’s trailer hitch and travel to your destination with the Pack ‘N Play rolling behind the car.  Kind of like an RV Travel Trailer without the skylight and sleeper sofa, but with all the swag.

Good luck to all of you setting up your Pack ‘N Play, however if you need my child, she’ll probably be sleeping on a dog bed.