Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Swimsuit Season and 60 Minutes

Monday night I had every intention of going to my Y ‘Resolution Solution’ class. In addition to a demo of healthy recipes, an aqua zumba workout was scheduled. I even retrieved my olive green tankini from a bin in the storage room.

But life intervened, and I stuffed the swimsuit into a drawer.

Few tasks strike fear in the hearts of women more than swimsuit shopping. Men may shudder at this chore, also. But the only swimsuits purchased by males in this household have been snatched off the rack or ordered from Lands’ End without an ounce of angst involved.

Actually my current suit and the two-piece navy and turquoise number (no exposed midriff, rest assured!) were purchased via Lands’ End.

I have an aversion to swimsuit shopping, and shopping in general. I once went swimsuit shopping with my husband’s younger sister. She needed a suit, not me. She was, and is, five foot eleven and slender. I am five foot two and ¾ on a good day and even at my thinnest, no one would call me slender, slim, or svelte.

Ironically, the time I felt most comfortable in a swimsuit was the summer I was pregnant with my second son. There’s liberation in just not caring about resembling a beached whale. I’m not exaggerating. While waiting at the doctor’s office that summer, someone asked me if I was having triplets.

The time I should have felt most uncomfortable – interviewing Don Hewitt, then-60 Minutes producer, poolside in Vegas, both of us clad in swimsuits, ironically did not faze me that much. Ah, the confidence of 20.

College classmates and I were attending a broadcasting honorary society convention during spring break. I had a story due for my print journalism class while I was gone, and somehow Don Hewitt became my story. I’m sure we both wore cover-ups. The only details that really matter, though, are the ‘A’ I got on the story and in the class (taught by the amazing Jim Wojcik) and the fact an article on Hewitt in TV Guide later that year used all the same quotes I did. It was the legendary producer’s standard spiel, but at least I knew enough to pick up on it.

We both could have been wearing Hefty garbage bags and one truth still would have resonated: I wanted to be a writer.

I returned from spring break to find out my father, a school administrator, had accepted a new job in Iowa. In the downriver Detroit suburb we lived in, school personnel were routinely ‘pink slipped’ due to the poor economy. They may or may not be rehired. With my sister and me in college and two brothers coming up, my dad wasn’t going to wait around to see.

It seemed easier to change my major from broadcast journalism to print journalism by following my family to Iowa and transferring to a different university. Yes, my idea of easy can be skewed.

I got hired at the Iowa State Daily, took a class from another amazing professor, Tom Emmerson, and met my husband.

I’m still afraid to face the 360 degree dressing room mirrors to try on swimsuits, but pulling out that tankini yesterday reminded me of the things I’ve done in my life that should have daunted me…but didn’t.

Not bad for a piece of spandex.


  1. Boy, do I have a collection of old swimsuits. I wouldn't be caught in any of them now. When I was young, I never thought twice about a lot of things, I wish I still had that carefree attitude today. Well, maybe not quite so carefree.

  2. I hate bathing suit shopping no matter what the size and so I do not bathing suit shop. Oh once I did in Puerto Rico visiting my sister. I was much younger! I actually bought a tiny yellow polka dot bikini and actually wore it while there but NEVER again.
    I have a bathing suit I bought for a trip to Las Vegas years ago and never wore it.
    It's my current suit, still fits still ugly. If I go to daughter's pool this summer then I'm wearing it.

    Enjoyed the picture with this.
    Blessings, Barb

  3. I'll bet you'd have to go pretty far down my morning list of "things I might encounter today" to find a blog post that dealt with both women's bathing suits and Jim Wojcik! Hi Pam, hope all is well.