Monthly Archives: June 2007

Swimsuit Nightmares

Malia pictureIt’s no secret, I’m a “big” girl. But big girls like to go to the pool, too. And I have children that really like to go to the pool. And it’s summer. And I need another swimsuit.

I bought a swimsuit from a catalog a few summers ago. It was a decently styled “swim dress”, black with a blue & while trim above the bust line. It was the kind that had straps that could be fastened over the shoulders or tucked into the suit if you wanted to go strapless (ha!) which I guess was for those women that can actually tan. And since I bought it from a catalog, I couldn’t try it on ahead of time to gauge how well it fit. Turned out it fit alright – could have been tighter in some areas, looser in others, but it served it’s purposes. However, not long after I started wearing it, one of the tabs that held the straps over my shoulders came apart. I was able to repair it and went along like that until last summer when the second tab gave way in a manner that was not repairable. *sigh* That meant it was time for a new swimsuit.

I knew I would be taking the kids to the pool this summer but I still put off the swimsuit shopping. I wanted to go to the pool today (though it looks like we’ll be getting a late start since I’m sitting her blogging about swimsuits instead of actually getting us ready to go!) So yesterday, I headed to the mall on a mission – Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit. My favorite “big girl” shoppe apparently doesn’t carry swimsuits in all their stores; only certain stores have them and of course they sell them on their website. (They were having an excellent bra sale though…okay, that’s probably oversharing.) I had time to peruse three department stores. One had no swimsuits of any kind that I could find, one had swimsuits on sale, the last had swimsuits but no sale.

Now, I hold no notion of ever “looking good” in a swimsuit. I know my size, I know my body type, I’m not delusional that Lycra and spandex can at all look appealing on me. I just want a swimsuit that covers what needs to be covered and doesn’t make me look like a 70-year-old woman! Why is it that retailers of plus size swimwear think that plus size women all like garish floral prints and plunging necklines?? And why would I want to pay almost $100 (sometimes more) for something that I swear, not even my grandmother would have worn? And why is that when I do find something in the store that would actually make Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit a success it a) is sold out in my size and b) costs more money than I spend on real clothing? I mean, I know the suits are bigger and use more material but does a tankini top and a skirted bottom have to cost $50+ each?

I came home with no swimsuit. Fortunately there is the Internet! I did manage to find a nice looking suit at an on-line retailer (and I had a gift card for this website!). Of course, I can’t try it on until it gets here (which won’t be today!), so I guess I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt at the pool this week.

The swimsuit shopping nightmare is over. I’ve bought jeans, a swimsuit and bras all in the span of about 3 months. I think I’ve reached my quota for stress inducing shopping excursions for at least a year…right? Let’s hope so!

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Birthday Party Pet Peeves: Répondez S’il Vous Plaît?

Malia pictureI’ve blogged before (at the old place) about how much I loathe using the phone. Calling a parent about an RSVP is pure torture for me but only when I don’t know the parent very well or at all. And this past year with JBelle entering a new school, I knew only one parent in her class.

Once school started, it wasn’t long before the birthday invitations came rolling in. And the worst part was that the RSVP line would contain only a phone number; no name, no “let us know you are/are not coming” instruction, just a phone number. The no name thing really bit me in the butt last fall. JBelle had an invitation to a “pumped up bouncing” party for a boy in her class. The invitation listed only a phone number and I did not know the boy’s parent’s names. Turns out, his parents are divorced and he lives with his mother who has remarried. But I didn’t know then when I called, so I said, “Is this the Jones residence?” Only, the last name wasn’t Jones it was something much harder to pronounce and I butchered it (apparently). The woman on the other end got a little huffy with me and informed that it most certainly was not! Dismayed and confused and really ticked off, I tried again. Thankfully, she let the phone go to voicemail and I left a message. (Yes, I dialed the right number the first time!) What I didn’t understand was that if you’ve sent out invitations to your child’s birthday party with his name on them but not your name, how can you not expect to get some mix-ups like in my case? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say, “This is Soandso’s mom, are you calling about the party?”, instead of acting like I’ve committed the ultimate social faux pas?

When I was working on the invitations for JBelle’s birthday party, I instructed that the RSVP be to “me” for regrets only. Which I later regretted. After the invites were finished it occurred to me that I should have done two things: include my e-mail address and not say “regrets only”. I asked for “regrets only” because I figured that would cut down on the number of phone calls I’d have to field and that it gave specific instruction to the invitee about how to RSVP – no need to call if you’re planning on coming! However, I realized that replying “regrets only” could possibly put someone in an awkward situation. What if their kid just didn’t want to come? What if they already had another party that day (entirely possible since another classmate of JBelle’s was having a party that afternoon – which JBelle also attended) and they needed to choose between hers and the other? All entirely possible and understandable. And then there’s the whole phenomenon of RSVP’s being a crapshoot anyways. We sent out 18 invitations, got three regretful responses and had seven girls show up!

Do you répondez s’il vous plaît? Is there a more acceptable way of asking people to respond?

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Filed under by Malia, parenting

Birthday Party Pet Peeves: What Gives?

Malia pictureI always do a little inward groan whenever JBelle comes home from school with or receives a birthday party invitation in the mail. Unless the invitation is from a true “bff” or a someone she’s known practically from birth, I silently hope there’s some way to get out of it. Birthday parties pose two problems for me: the gift and the RSVP.

I loathe buying presents for these children that I know nothing about. It’s not that I’m miserly or mean, it’s that I usually have no idea what to get them! JBelle is not always very helpful in this situation, especially since she often is more interested in what she wants! Awhile back I stumbled upon what I thought was the perfect answer to my gift giving woes. The crafting set. There’s an entire aisle at Target with these boxes of beading, crocheting, stamping, modeling, crafting, creating, mess-making, space-consuming, fight-producing wonders! And all are reasonably priced between $9.99 and $14.99! So, “we” (read: me) starting buying these sorts of sets for all our birthday gift giving needs.

Then back at Christmas I started getting requests from family members about what to give JBelle for Christmas. She didn’t have any of those craft sets yet, so I added them to the list. We got three – 2 bead sets and a crochet set. And even though I cursed the beading sets with their itty-bitty beads and fraying strings, and even though JBelle lost interest in the crocheting kit after five minutes, I still kept the craft kit on my birthday gift radar. Until now. For JBelle’s most recent birthday, she received…three more crafting sets!! Two bead sets and a stamping set. I’m never buying one of those crafting sets for another child. I don’t hate their parents that much! So it’s back to square one on “what to give random classmates” for their birthday.

Any suggestions?

(Up next: The RSVP!)

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Filed under by Malia, parenting