I Fucking Hate Summer

Just as I began dragging the plastic razor up my left thigh, I felt the hot water turn from warm to cool to cold.  Shaving with goosebumps is a form of torture no one should have to endure, but I had to get it done, because I was already late getting my kid to his playdate at the neighborhood pool. Usually, I would leave it to my husband to take him, but he was at work.

I fucking hate summer.

The last time I wore a swimsuit, I wasn’t carrying an extra 40 pounds or reading glasses everywhere I went, so removing the thicket of hair in my bikini area under a shower of freezing water was challenging to say the least. Over the years I’ve carved out a few creative landscapes–a landing strip, a heart, my boyfriend’s initials, but now that I’m approaching half a century on this planet, I’m over it. I really just want my pubes to behave more like stage hands than leading ladies.

“Hurry up, Mommy!” said my son Max.

“I’m coming. Grab a water bottle.” I said, as I struggled to adjust the straps on my tankini top. It would have been easier if I looked in a mirror, but I was already freaked out enough about having to wear a swimsuit in public and I was determined not to get more down on myself than I already was.

The minute we walked out the door, Max bolted down the street toward the pool. “I’ll meet you there!” he hollered.

As I walked alone, my flip flops slapped my heels lending a nice rhythm to my current mantra:

I know who I am and I am enough.

I know who I am and I am enough.

I know who I am and I am enough.

“Lisa! Over here!” shouted Janet when she saw me come in. Janet works out every day. Janet actually likes salads. Janet is ten years younger than I am.

My flip flopping went from adagio to presto as all eyes followed me from one side of the pool deck to the other.

“You want a beer?” asked Janet.

Yes, alcohol!  Why didn’t I think of that?

“Sure! Sounds great.”

I took a big swig, then another, then another. Within minutes the can of Heineken was empty.

“Wow, I guess I was thirsty,” I said.

“You want another one?” asked Janet.

“Um…”

“I’ve got plenty. This is my third one, LOL.” 

Who says LOL?

“No thanks. I’m good.”

“Come on, Mommy. Let’s get in!” said Max. 

Janet stood up and peeled off her mesh coverup. She looked like an “after” photo.

I know who I am and I am enough.

I took off my shorts and t-shirt and speed-walked to the edge of the pool. The water felt good as I stood in the shallow end chatting and watching my little boy splash around with his friend.

“Throw me, Mommy!” said Max, hugging me around the neck. Playing in the pool was really my husband’s area.

“Stop splashing me,” Janet told her son. “I told you I don’t want to get my hair wet.”

“Why?” her son whined.

“Because I said so.”

“Throw me!” Max begged. Again.

“I said stop splashing!” said Janet, but her son wouldn’t listen. 

“I’m going to get another beer,” she said, climbing the ladder out of the pool.

“Mommy! Teach me how to do a handstand under water!” said Max. “Come on! Your hair is already wet!” He backhanded some water, which just missed my face.

His friend thought it would be a good idea to splash me too. I turned my back on them and walked toward the ladder, shaking my head.

Janet sat down and pulled out a bag of chips, the kettle cooked kind. 

“How about you boys play while the mommies talk?” I said over my shoulder.

“Mommy, no! Play with us.” Max started dog paddling toward me.

I climbed the ladder out of the pool, squeezing the water out of my tankini top.

“I promise I won’t splash you anymore.”

I kept walking. I could not wait to dry off and put my clothes back on.

“I wish Daddy was here. He would play with me.”

I stopped. Mid-stride. Half way between the pool and my clothes.

He was right. My husband has played with him in the pool every single summer, while I watched from a lounge chair, sidelined by anxiety.

I know who I am and I am enough.

I took a deep breath, turned, and ran toward the pool, “Cannonball!”

As the sun began to bow toward the horizon, we walked up the hill toward home. “Did you have fun, sweetie?” I asked.

“Yeah, it was awesome. Can we go the pool again soon?”

“I don’t see why not.”

When I got home, I was anxious to get out of my wet swimsuit, so I went straight to my bedroom and shut the door. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and decided not to turn away.

I know who I am and–

What the hell is that?

My reading glasses were buried in the bottom of my pool bag, so I couldn’t quite see, but when I put my hand down there to feel around it was clear that an ensemble of pubic hairs had danced a conga outside my swimsuit.

I fucking hate summer.


Image credit: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk

This was written for Yeah Write’s Super Grid Competition (Round One).  I made it through to round two!

27 thoughts on “I Fucking Hate Summer

  1. ROFL
    But hair is ok, no? If we were not meant to have body hair, we would not have been given them.
    But don’t take my word on it..I am the kind who shaves underarms when I have to wear a full hand formal shirt to work. We women are a weird lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny – at least you had the beer, right? By the way, and this may be TMI, but the whole shaving thing goes much better (even in cold water) if you shave “with” instead of “against.” I learned that from a swimmer. LOL

    Like

  3. “a few creative landscapes”. Been there. Hope it’s a comfort to know that with the passing of decades, the desire to maintain my garden wanes as well. You made a beautiful decision that day, and I’m pretty sure that the only thing onlookers saw was a fabulous mama sharing a joy-filled day with her boy. The pubes were just along for the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I fucking hate summer too, and wearing a bathing suit in front of other (all more beautiful) humans, but I love to swim. I have learned to suck it up and say fuck-it! I’ll be happy to stand next to you in our bathing suits, and I promise I will make you look like Janet! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband is a Water Baby and he’s always looking for water. In the meantime I’m always griping behind him about his fucking pool worship. What’s wrong with a hike in the forest, as far away from a water source as possible? Gawd!

    Liked by 1 person

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