An Unexpected Find

I like to think I know what I like, but sometimes I surprise even myself.

TMI: In anticipation of Sister Beach Weekend 2019 and being prone to ingrown hairs, I spent the last two months frantically searching for a swimsuit bottom with enough coverage to forgo any special grooming in the nether-region.

I thought I’d found my match in a Girlfriend Collective run short with a 3.5” inseam. And yes, I did wear that on this trip, but also, I wore something else entirely…

But first, an exposition.


Last year was the inaugural Sister Weekend, when my two sisters and I flew to Chicago from our respective haunts across the continent to hang out and bond and be together without our spouses and kids and cats. It was refreshing and illuminating, and this year we decided to head to the family beach condo for some laid-back sister beach time.

It’s a six hour drive for me to get from Atlanta to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and I arrived the evening before my sisters so that I could pick them up at the airport in the morning. On the way back to the condo, my middle sister needed to make a pit stop at the T-Mobile to figure out some annoying phone business. So to kill some time, my oldest sister and I popped in at an Aerie store down the street. She needed a matching swimsuit bottom to go with a top she already had.

Having settled on that pair of GC shorts as my go-to beachwear for the weekend, I certainly didn’t think I needed anything else. But in the spirit of sister fitting room fun, I picked out a few things that caught my eye, things I thought I may as well try out because we were waiting around anyway. Just because I try to be intentional with my purchases doesn’t mean I can’t go wild trying shit out. In fact, trying things on with no pressure to buy is a great way to inject some novelty into a minimal wardrobe.

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Which is how I found myself stunned, gaping in the fitting room mirror wondering how it was that this white, high-cut cheeky swimsuit actually made me feel… good? This is not what I planned on, no no no. But… I liked it.

The sisters both oohed and ahhed in agreement. So flattering. A style I never thought I’d be comfortable wearing. And white! A color I never considered, because if it isn’t black is it really classic? But there you go, life surprises you sometimes.

Maybe some of it was peer pressure, the glow of seeing my sisters together and feeling whimsical and bouyed by their supportive feedback. Maybe it was the siren song of vacation, where calories don’t count and days don’t need numbers and who you are at home is not who you are on a beach. But also, I just felt fly as shit in this one-piece. So yeah, I bought the swimsuit.

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It was 50% off and rang up at barely $30, which is insane. I have no idea whether it was made in a sweatshop, but suspended that anxiety in favor of feeling grateful for my sisters and for the weekend and for the way I felt with half my ass hanging out of a high-cut leg. And the leg isn’t even that high-cut. It’s really the back that does the hard work, somehow bisecting the butt cheek in a way that doesn’t make me want to pull a wedgie out every five seconds while ALSO making my butt look, dare I say CUTE?

In an effort to memorialize our cute butts, we made sure to take cute butt beach photos for posterity. I am HERE for it.


 
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But wait, there’s more. As if buying a fast-fashion swimsuit wasn’t bad enough, wait til you get a load of this:


 
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That’s right, we also all bought matching crop tops and shorts to wear for a sister photo. How could we NOT? It was too irresistible an opportunity when the Venn diagram of our different styles all converged on this plaid short set from American Eagle. I moaned and groaned that I already had a windowpane short set, and wouldn’t I be a bad person if I added something so similar?

But bless my sisters who have the ability to reason against my guilt complex, and in the end I was swayed by the argument that they were different enough to warrant this one a place in my closet. Plus, matching. And so I do not regret this purchase. A tinge of guilt remains, yes, but no regret. I will (and have already) definitely wear these as separates and together again this summer.


On Sunday, our dad came down and crashed Sister Weekend to see his daughters all in one place. We had on our matching outfits when he arrived to see if he would notice, which was a great joke on our sometimes unobservant dad. It took him a minute before he caught on!

It just so happened that it was also Mother’s day, which had the potential to be deeply depressing given we are without a mother. But it wasn’t. We were delighted and happy. We celebrated my dad’s recent 71st birthday and laughed and joked and named our hypothetical beach houses (mine was “Soggy Sands”) and enjoyed the evening together.

When we went down to the beach to prance a bit in our matching outfits, a fellow beach-goer stopped to ask if we were triplets, which basically made my weekend. Triplets! My mom would have loved that. It’s hard to be a family of four instead of five, but for some golden hours on Sunday, it was OK.


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