Taking the plunge ~ a swimsuit shopping adventure

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a friend and avid Just a Backpack fan, with a very interesting proposal.  Would I be open to having guest bloggers?  Hmmm.  Maybe.  Not sure.  How would that work?  Lot’s of questions and no answers at the time.  It took a while, but it finally hit me – this blog is all about seeking new adventures in our later years.   I love sharing new ideas and experiences with my readers and my hope is that they create a spark to dip your toes in the water, give it a try, and then hold your nose and dive right in when you find something that looks interesting.  So, when Judy thought she might like to give writing a blog post a try – I’m here to give her a wholehearted Yes!  You go girl. 

And, now Judy is taking the plunge and making her debut as our very first guest blogger.

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Is there anything as daunting and terrifying as shopping for a new swimsuit when you’re a “woman of a certain age”?  Truth be told, when I’ve been any of my ages, I’ve had body issues that made bathing suit shopping anything but fun.

A trip to Palm Desert and sunshine was the impetus for this particular shopping adventure.  I’d put it off as long as possible.  I even thought I’d wait until I got to California to shop, but I didn’t want to waste precious sunshine time in a store.  My old bathing suit still fit, sort of, but the straps made a crackly sound – which meant the elastic was gone.  So I had no choice.

A swimmer friend recommended Macy’s or a shop out of my usual traffic patterns.  So I checked the web and found Popina’s  – a local swimsuit shop that even has a selection of their own creations.  I asked the woman on the phone if she would help me find a suit that would make me look good.  “Oh, yes,” she replied, “and we even have beer.”  Surprised, I asked how beer could help my tummy look smaller.  “It won’t, but it will make you feel better”.  This sounded like it could be fun.

Popina's ~ a little slice of heaven in Portland

Popina’s ~ a little slice of heaven in Portland

With trepidation, flip flops and white legs, I drove to Popina’s the following day. This is a fun store, full of sunshiny decorations to get you in the mood. I was the only customer in the store at 11:00 a.m. and Kristen gave me lots of personal attention, which was exactly what I needed.   She really knew her stock and listened to what I wanted.  The racks at Macy’s would not have done that.

I learned that there are now suits that are chlorine resistant so they won’t break down easily from the chemicals.  She brought me a selection of suits to try on and they actually looked pretty good – until I looked in the rear view mirror.  No, the suit didn’t make my butt look big  – it was discovering I had back fat and the suit accentuated it.  Where did that come from? Too much information to share – too matronly. This hadn’t shown up in clothes.  This can’t be me!  I’ve had lots to contend with in the past several years – like  a kidney transplant – but not back fat!  Ughhh!

Kristen to the rescue – She totally “got it” and found a suit similar to the one I liked, but it was cut higher in the back – which made it much more flattering and kept the back fat in check.  Within about 45 minutes, start to finish – I  bought a new suit that I actually like.  Definitely a more fun than traumatic experience.  I didn’t drink the beer, but now I was totally ready for the sunshine.

Where's the pool?

Where’s the pool?

My trip to Palm Desert and sunshine was wonderful.  But the most delightful part was being amongst active women, all of a certain age, and with many different body  types… all of them enjoying life.   Having fun in the sun does not mean fitting into an itsy bitsy teenie weenie.  It does mean being who I am – a woman of a certain age, enjoying my good health, my body and my life.             ~Judy Romano~

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Judy and her husband sold their business a couple of years ago and are now exploring their own second acts in retirement.  She loves discovering all of the new possibilities and adventures life is bringing her way.  These days, Judy calls herself a very happy dilettante.