|FYI, proper beach attire is actually an ankle-length skirt.|
We placed our chairs just beyond the reach of the breaking waves. Dusk was creeping in from the corner of the clear western sky. The breeze picked up, churning the water into a stormy greyish-green. The moist sand made a happy, squeaky sound between our toes and the beer cooler was within easy reach. Spring evenings on the Gulf Coast are dangerous. It's too easy to find yourself considering life in a hammock to be a legitimate career option.
While watching the waves and coming close to a zen-like mindlessness, I was distracted by a sudden flurry of activity out of the corner of my left eye. I tried to ignore it, as further investigation required the effort of turning my head. Yet, the flurry continued to flurry and my left eye continued to not quite ignore it, and eventually I was forced to put my neck muscles in play.
“Mom,” I asked quietly of the dark-haired woman sitting next to me. “Is that girl over there in her underwear?”
Like Joe Cool's cooler cousin, my mother sneaked a quick glimpse of the person to our left and nodded “Yes,” then giggled, “Isn't that Aimee?”
The “Aimee” she referred to is a character from my first book Homecoming: A Novella, whom I describe as: “...a big girl. She was not especially tall, nor was she truly fat. She was just too much. She was a caricature of femininity, all breasts and hips and flesh. Her skin was taut and tanned, her body a combination of baby fat and budding sexuality.”
The skivvies-clad young woman, in glorious display of obliviousness for a person her age, began bounding up and down the beach in her rather large, practical beige brassiere and ill-fitting, lime green cotton underpants. She twirled, and strutted, and danced near the waterline, while I fervently prayed that no waves would splash her and further stress test the elastic of her undergarments. Sensing that people were watching her, but not for the reason she seemed to think, she increased her flirting, jiggling, and preening by an order of magnitude. I wanted to throw a tarp or something over her, but instead of smothering her with beach towels, I thought back to what I'd written about Aimee and her trip to the beach on Dauphin Island.
"Aimee had flung off her clothes the second we hit the sand, in spite of the breeze. Her suit was decidedly too small and bit into her young flesh, emphasizing the softness of her curves. Her breasts were about to burst from the small triangles of fabric wholly inadequate to contain them. Her buttocks and thighs jiggled with every move, as, to be honest, did the flesh on her belly and arms. Her hair blew wildly, first entangling her body, then flying freely behind her. She moved without grace, but with an energy and self confidence that I found myself envying."
The panties-girl at first struck me as embarrassing and I'd pitied her for failing to conform to social norms. Was my sense of self-superiority actually disguised envy? Was I jealous of, if not her choice of beach attire, her carefree disregard for common custom and public sentiment – a freedom I'm not easily able to allow myself? No matter how many (hilarious!) snarky comments I thought (or whispered) about her, or how foolish she may have looked in the eyes of any number of people on the beach that day, she was happy, having fun, content in her own skin... and underwear.
Today's lesson: A) Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (often by your very own self!) B) I miss Underoos.
Next: Something else!
*LuLu's at Homeport... crab melts and margaritas... tasty little gut bomb, that...