>Old Fogey Alert

> Well, it’s happened. I am officially an Old Fogey it seems.

Rather, I would like to think I am a mindful Catholic woman….but I can betcha that most will just peg me as an old fogey. I look the part: middle aged, mom, gray hair, sun spots, haggard and harried…yup, old fogey. I have been known to yell, “Hey you kids, turn that down!” and “Put that down, you could poke your eye out!” and the classic, “Because I said so.”

But now I have become an Old Beach Fogey. It’s the beach bathing suit, skin bare, modesty thing. I have a barely controllable urge to chase after these girls (and women, and young men) and offer them a nice big t-shirt or light cotton tunic. I want to sit them down and say, “Honey, what are you thinking?”

I mean, c’mon. First off, and I know, I am totally dating myself….back in the day (yes, there it is, it’s in stone now: Old Fogey-ism 101), when WE wore bikinis {and yes, I’ll get to that whole shameful episode in my life in a minute, but you can take it from this that I know of what I rant}, well they had style. Yep, they had a french cut, cute prints, nice fabrics. They flattered the figure. Not like now, where, frankly, I have yet to see a body that is made to look BETTER by the suits this year. I mean, a boy cut leg on most gals cuts RIGHT across our widest part, and for those of us with short legs, oh dear….it looks like our growth has been stunted by too much caffiene or something. No, I’m NOT talking about me, whatever do you mean??? And the bareness, well, it’s just not a good look. Back in the day (I know, again, just work with me here), well, bodies were less…um, full of super-size me portions…I don’t know how to say that tactfully and certainly back in the day, MY portions and proportions were QUITE a bit different from their currently lumpy downward slide, literally….but well, there seemed to be a different overall level of um, fitness. But maybe I was just young then, and I only saw my peers at that time. It could happen.

So, aside from my minor fashion fogey ranting on the sheer design of these suits, I have a few other issues.

The first goes to my mom issue with these suits: I have children, people!

I have TEENS and PRETEENS! The littles and the toddler types, heck they can run around half naked, nobody cares. But, really, I do NOT want my preteen girls looking to these almost naked older girls and women bopping around and thinking, “Oh, that’s what I need to do to be liked/popular/noticed.” They do not need to see quite so much of bare boy bodies.

And I do NOT want my teen boys having to have that amount of sheer naked female bodies thrown in their line of sight and have to struggle with trying to NOT ogle them. We have had many, MANY discussions about not objectifying girls/women/body parts and this just throws all those talks right out the window and onto the beach towel, slathers it with tanning oil and offers it up for all takers. Gee whiz! Jumpin’ Jiminy, if you will, if you want me to sound like a fogey…but as a mom, this is an issue that riles me up. You probably couldn’t tell.

Now my other issue is a Catholic one. You knew I had to bring it up. But still. I have a past of being on the beach. A lot. And I have a past of spending WAY too much time in a bikini. An itsy bitsy teeny weeny, but not yellow polka dot, bikini. My father would say, ‘you’re wearing that??” and I would laugh and wave as I walked by and say “Oh, Dad, it’s no big deal.” What can I say?? I was young. And stupid. I was a mere skinny girl. A teen, a young adult. But a stupid girl. Little did I know. Truly.

Now I am older, not skinny, but hopefully a little tiny bit wiser and I have learned a few more things. I am no longer young, I am arguably still stupid, but I know better now, on this issue. My daughter can’t believe I ever wore a teeny bikini, due to our many discussions on living a more modest life. Not a frumpy, dress-in-sacking life. But a life that is more chaste and modest in the sense of don’t call attention just to your looks, don’t make them less, present your self nicely (shower please) but not flashy. Your value is INTRINSIC. You are valuable because you are YOU. Not because your hair is a certain color or your shape is a certain shape or your skin is a certain shade. Your value is from God. And other’s value of you should be for your character and not your physical-ness or your fashion or your money or cars or whatever surface thing you want to point to.

In our Catholic faith (like many others) we strive to teach our children that they are to walk through this world making their mark through their faith and actions (love) and not through their surface gloss. We are made to know, love and serve God by living in this world and being the best person He calls us and made us to be. Not the glitziest, richest, sexiest, or best dressed, or undressed as the case may be. Not the “hottest” (and since when did THAT term become the standard bearer for all folks of all ages, children to adult – but not fogey’s……..don’t even start me on that word/term, that is for another post, another time). And it is only in doing that very large task of learning to be the best that God himself made us to be, to fulfill THAT…then we will find our true value and thus joy.

And that joy, contrary to what most magazines and movies will promote, doesn’t include a swimsuit that is made to reveal us before we are ready or supposed to. I know. Go ahead, point. Very hypocritical you could easily say. You’d probably be right. I wore suits that embarrass me now. Shame on me. But now, I know better. And now, I find the fun on the beach in cute comfy suits that I dont’ have to spend my beach time tugging and shifting to cover this bit or that.

Besides, when you’re in these sporty coverage suits it’s much easier to chase down the beach handing out coverups.

I woke up to this, this morning, after typing this last night. She says it all much better. Go see.

UPDATE: I hate it went people crab and moan with no offered help or solution (me especially!), so here are a few links other than the known big players (lands end, llbean, eddie bauer, etc etc): Aventura swimsuits (I got a few of these and they are well made and cute, ok you can still find some pretty skimpy ones on the site but there are also other sporty cute comfy ones too. I like ’em, even the swim dress though my 12 year old disagrees on this one, but hey, she’s 12!). Also you can check out Limeriki, cute fun suits, possibly more to the liking of you younger gals, thanks Sarah P!