Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life's a Beach

5 days out of 7.... that's not bad, right? That's like a solid C. I'll take it.

It has been HOT here in Rome. Like too hot to leave the house between noon and 6 pm. And pretty much too hot to do much of anything else, the rest of the hours, aside from wandering up and down the shady side of the street eating gelato and drinking regular Coke. I have become a disgusting sugar addict in these past 8 months, and I've had mornings where I'll happily slurp down a cappuccino con zuccharo, a cornetto con nutella, AND still eat nothing but fruit and flavored iced tea for lunch. Gestational diabetes, here I come.

We took a day trip to Santa Marinella on Friday, which involved lots of train riding, stair climbing, toddler coaxing and sand scraping...but it also involved 90 glorious minutes of being submerged up to our ribcages in the gentle waters of the Mediterranean. Joey sort of has zero fear of the water now, and happily took off paddling in a borrowed (stollen?) water ring for 'those boats over there Mommy, imma be right back.' 

Okay, el Capitan. But dipping your head under water every 4 minutes and pretending to drown isn't helping your campaign to convince me that you know how to swim.

JP, on the other hand, was happier scrambling on the shore right where the 'waves' (this was a very protected and idyllic bay with practically zero chop) hit the sand, playing with beach toys and occasionally allowing himself to be perched, semi-submerged, in my lap. Eventually we all got burnt to hell, despite our careful re-application of sunblock and the hottest modest swimsuits on the beach. So home we went. JP spiked a fever on the train and he has been in and out of febrile madness for the last 48 hours. So, I think it's safe to say he's a 'mountains' guy.

Speaking of beachwear (we were, weren't we?) Europeans have a muuuuuuch looser definition of age-appropriate and definitely have a different take on modesty. What I found disturbing as hell 3 months ago I am now utterly accustomed to, and, in fact, I don't think there's really anything all that wrong with dressing like you're going to the beach when you're at the beach.

Plus, I really don't know how to say this tactfully, so I'll say it the way I say everything else: there is something incredibly refreshing about seeing women with less-than-perfect (read: real) bodies rocking bikinis. Am I about to bust out my 2-piece circa 2008? Mmmm, probably not, but only because I have theeeee worst stretch marks on all of God's green earth, and I would never ever feel comfortable flashing them up and down the sand.

But the cellulite on my legs? Oh, it turns out every other woman over the age of 30 pretty much has that, too. And the less-than-toned midsection that looks like it has borne children because it has...yep, everyone else has got one of those, too. So the conclusion I've arrived at is this: bikinis, the great equalizers! And the men don't look that hot, either. And they couldn't care less! What a refreshing change from the country club scene where only nipped/tucked Marilyn rocks the teeny weenie while the rest of us schlump around in tankinis and skorts that I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing in the 5th grade. Made of Lycra. Oh for the love...

Anyway, Euro're growing on me.


  1. Hah! I love everything about your musings here. Totally agree on bikinis at the beach being equalizers ;). I think people who are scandalized by them dont spend enough time on the coast. My husband agrees - if you spend alot of time in or around the water, it just doesn't jump out at you at all - even if you're a guy.

    And I personally refuse to let stretch marks stop me... I guess I decided that I would be ok with my body retaining some signs that I carried my big babies. If I were wearing a bathingsuit to best show off my bod as opposed to be most comfortable, I suppose I would go for a sucky-in one piece (which I would argue provides precious little extra modesty, those extra 4 inches of fabric notwithstanding).

    I am overtired and currently experiencing contractions so all of this comment is probably pointless and random lol. But. I just wanted to say. I got a hilarious visual of saggy boob Italian old women proudly hangin out in their bikinis and it made me chuckle in the middle of early labor. So thank you Jenny!

    1. saggy boobs - and everything else - like you wouldn't believe. I have seen some things I can never unseen. But mostly I've just seen a whole bunch of people swimming or lying in the sand not caring in the least if anyone else is looking in their direction, which is surprisingly refreshing.

      Happy contracting!!! Hope you have time for a pedi.

  2. There's been so many pins of "chunky" girls who did "this diet" and lost all kinds of weight to be skinny and toned, and I always think, "Gosh, she looked a lot cuter / prettier before." That's not to say I have ever been comfortable enough in my own skin to wear a bikini but your perspective sounds really practical and... refreshing.

  3. Wow, that's a really interesting observation about Euro beaches. And it's funny how I was a LOT more self conscious in a bathing suit when I was in high-school and even college, than post birthing two kiddos. I think the embarrassment went out the window with giving birth. While I don't think I'll be rockin' a bikini any time ever (unless it's on a Euro beach), I totally love your perspective!

  4. I love this!! I still wear a bikini, after 4 kids and WAYYYYY past my skinnier 20's and 30's. But I have a very long torso and can't find a one-piece or even a tankini that fits correctly and is remotely comfortable or flattering. Plus, I love my stomach to be tan (because by best friend's mantra is "brown fat is WAY more attractive than white fat"!)I always read all these articles from Catholic writers about modesty, not wearing a bikini, etc., and I feel like I'm second guessing myself, even though I'm perfectly happy wearing one. I have a cute cover-up and I don't roam around the pool in my bathing suit - if I'm walking around or talking to people, I have the cover-up or a towel. This was such a great perspective! And I'm totally sticking with the bikini....!!


Is your email linked to your comment? I'd love to respond to you directly, but I can't if it's not!