The Season of SSAD

Everyone’s heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, that hits you in the winter when it’s dark and gloomy. Did you know that there’s another little-known type of seasonal disorder that’s equally distressing and depressing? It’s called SSAD – Swimsuit Shopping Affective Disorder.

It’s almost Memorial Day which means swimsuit season looms like a Dementor.  I don’t know about you, but I get about as excited for it as a clam awaiting a clam bake. Inevitably, I pull my prior-year suits out of my dresser and discover they have all shrunk two sizes. I don’t understand how, just sitting there alone, they could shrink so much. I wish my laundry pile would learn that skill.

So it’s off to the department store I go…and it darn well better happen before Memorial Day, or all that will be left will be thong bikinis and suits that appear to be gym bloomers, outlawed by fashionistas in the ‘70’s.

After an hour and forty-seven minutes of rummaging through every mismatched and inside-out swimsuit on the rack, as well as  those that have flung themselves to the floor in despair, I gather up the suits in my size that are even dubious contenders, and head for the dressing room.

“Excuse me Ma’am. You can take three in with you. Just leave the rest here. You can come out and exchange them,” a size negative-three sales minion tells me.

What?!! Does she not know what it takes to disrobe, shimmy into each rubber-glove-swimsuit, then re-robe all this über-voluptuousness to make the exchange. not once, not twice, but thrice-and-a-third times?

As I step with my three suits, into the room I’ve apparently been assigned (because a word that looks more like “Caraway” than my name is affixed to the door), I realize this store did not get the fitting room memo. Joan Lincoln, Tony Infantino’s Fashion First consultant on the WARM 101.3 morning show, advises retailers to use peach-colored lighting tones in dressing rooms. Soft white lights with a gentle peach tint give a most pleasing and flattering effect. Pleasing and flattering is not what awaits me in my dressing room mirror. I look a lot like Mrs. Shrek on a bad bathing suit day, thanks to the gracious green glow of the lighting.

On my third trip to get three of the four remaining suits, I discover they are all missing from the rack.

“Oh, were those yours?” Miss size negative-three asks in a bemused and ever-so-slightly apologetic tone. “I’m so sorry. I put them back.”

With a sigh, I decide fate has spoken.

As I leave the store without trying on my final four choices, I realize I just might appreciate a return to bloomers.

Written as Editor of and originally published in the May 25, 2017 newsletter issue.

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