By Joe Rector
Amy and I returned from a week at the beach recently. Our vacations are planned for this time of year because I can better tolerate the chances of a hurricane than the sands covered with families and screaming children. We enjoy traveling to new seafood restaurants, but other than that, our time is spent on the beach under an umbrella. This year, the highest temperature of the week was 84 degrees. During those hours on the sand, I once again was stunned by the beach attire of many folks.
Before anyone makes a snide comment, yes, some young females walked the beaches, and they wore some rather shocking outfits. I have yet to figure out how a bikini is comfortable. For so many females, the tops are much too small to cover up things. Some will ask how I know this for a fact, and the simple answer is that I looked at people who passed by. Even worse are the bottoms. I saw some that looked as if they were constructed with a small patch of cloth and tied together with dental floss. How any woman can be okay with walking when that thin piece of fabric is deeply buried in a crevice is beyond my comprehension.
Even worse were some of the decisions of older women. In my humble opinion, anyone who is pregnant or who might be overweight has no reason to wear a skimpy bathing suit. Yes, it’s my prejudice, but I’m less than comfortable seeing a fleshy woman stretch a bikini to the point it’s about to tear asunder. I fault such folks for their poor lack of judgment.
I’m an equal rights person, so I also sat agog when some men trotted up and down the beach. Too many of us males are carrying more weight than we should. Some either don’t realize this or don’t care. They profess to wear the same size pants as when they were in high school. The trouble is that some sizes now ride around their hips instead of their waists. A huge belly cascades over the front of the pants. The sight is even worse when the man dons a bathing suit. One male who appeared to be in his early sixties (that age where he should know better) exposed a big stomach that looked like an overfilled balloon. His swimming attire of choice happened to be a Speedo. I regrettably saw him approaching but ducked my head into the book I was reading to avoid viewing his passing.
A few young families were present. Their children were below school age. Others had dogs. That was okay. My only hope was that neither child nor pet dropped anything on the sands. One child’s diaper was so droopy that everyone knew it was loaded. Sunbathers prayed that nothing escaped before parents decided to change the diaper.
I’ve always been self-conscious about taking my shirt off in a crowd. My body is not anything impressive. A Speedo will never touch my skin. The thought of that makes me throw up in my mouth a little. I’ll stick with the regular boxer short suit. No, my attire won’t be fashionable, but it won’t make a fool of me either.
Some readers will accuse me of body shaming others. That is not true. People always have the right to wear what they please. I have the same right to express my dislike for those items when the wrong people wear them. I simply wish that people would wear enough to cover up what might be unfortunate characteristics. It’s hard to ignore those folks when they block my view of the ocean.