The purposeful tourists

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A crowd had gathered in the street. Mom and I joined the throng, curious to see what kind of spectacle was in progress.

A scream pierced the air. We got there in time to see a man hoist a thrashing woman on his shoulders, her flailing arms useless against him.

“This is so cool,” I whispered to Mom.

We were strolling through Colonial Williamsburg, taking in the free sights. It costs money to go into the stores (that’s right: you have to pay money to have the opportunity to pay more money), but walking around outside is free. This is how we stumbled across an army camp, and how we came to witness the public arrest and banishment of a woman, guilty of selling spiritous drinks to the soldiers.

It was a good day to play tourist. Seeing folks dressed in eighteenth-century garb loses its novelty after a while; once you’ve seen Thomas Jefferson buying kitty litter, the magic kind of wears off. But Saturday was unusual in that uniformed soldiers had joined the mix. Armed with muskets and sporting brilliant red uniforms, the gentlemen were striking to behold, though frankly if I’d been wearing wool in that heat I would have fainted. Which would have been okay. Fainting was a very historical thing for women to do.

We saw dead people as well as living. Call me morbid, but I love to visit graveyards. The colonials had macabre sensibilities, decorating their headstones with skulls right alongside angels. We also saw flora (we tentatively identified one tree-looking thing as pomegranate) and fauna: horses, a cow, her calf, and some dogs.

Encounters with wildlife were plentiful during Mom’s stay. Quite apart from the tick who latched onto me, we saw squirrels, ducks, fish, itty bitty frogs, beetles, many dogs, and ants (this at Waller Mill Park) and more squirrels, bunnies, deer, ants again, a turtle, and another dog (this at York River State Park). And then, as a surprise bonus, we saw a few feral cats hanging out with two raccoons behind the Farm Fresh.

Ran some errands, too, over the three days of Mom’s visit. Recycling is just more fun with another person, and when it comes to purchasing a bathing suit, it helps to have your mother nearby.

You may be under the impression that Mom and I walked into a store to look at swimsuits. You would be incorrect. Mom and I have walked into stores to look at swimsuits in the past, many times, but the important takeaway lesson here is that none of those times were successful, at least not since I was ten. Your average swimsuit is not designed for women of my uncommon stature.

Instead, I prevailed upon Mom to help me take measurements. There’s a beach trip coming up in a few weeks, and I decided that this year I’d break down and order a suit that fits. Between us we took about a gazillion measures, and– this time using Mom as a fashion consultant– I selected the cut, colors, and trim, placed the order, and panicked over the $226 I’d just spent.

Two. Hundred. And Twenty. Six. Dollars.

By God this suit had better fit. It might not be flattering, but for that much money it had better fit like those catsuits you see on Catwoman in the movies.

And I will need to stay at precisely this weight for the rest of my life.

Might have some uncommon news to share within the next few weeks. For now I’m keeping things under wraps, but for now I ask my faithful readership to send generic, all-purpose good thoughts my way. Stay tuned!

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4 responses »

  1. OK, I'm guessing here, but I suspect this swimsuit of yours is a prime example of the "less is more" meme.Now if it had been a nifty Edwardian striped flannel number, knee length, elbow length and not showing even a hint of clavicle, it would have cost about 5 bucks. But, as is way of these things, for every inch that's snipped off, the price rises by 30%.Hm. Time to fire up my trusty calculator and figure out how much has ended up on the cutting-room floor, and then figure out how much strategic cover is provided by the few remaining shreds.Hope the material is shrink-proof.

    Reply
  2. the lesbrarian

    My swimsuit is pretty modest, as far as these things go. I do not especially like exposing skin, but I really do not like exposing skin that is covered in lycra, a malicious material that accentuates one's curves, only not at all in a good way. So it's a two-piece, but each piece is pretty chaste, though not Edwardian chaste.

    Reply
  3. Inquiring minds want to know. Where did you order the swimsuit from?

    Reply
  4. the lesbrarian

    zenaswimwear.com , located in Canada, so you'll pay international shipping fees. I can't tell you yet whether it's worth it because the Royal Canadian postal workers are on strike. And, you know, good for them. I hope their demands are met, provided I get my swimmies on time.

    Reply

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