A Salutation To Strangers

To all the strangers I observed throughout the day.

Dear …

Person Driving The Car With The Columbia University Window Decal: Thank you for letting me know you were smart enough to get into an Ivy League school … and I was not. That felt great.

Creepy Guy Checking Out Girls From The Corner Of His Eye: You look like a deranged Ron Howard. You may think you’re discreet but you’re not. Us gals all know you’re watching us and it’s freaking us out.

Middle-Aged Man Zipping Around In The Audi Convertible: Driving an expensive German car does not change the fact that you’re middle aged and bald. Please drive responsibly.

Woman in Grocery Store: Thank you for offering to help me with my awkward grocery bags. It’s wonderful to know sweet people like you still exist.

Person Who Left The Plastic Shopping Basket In The Parking Lot: I know people tend to leave shopping carts in the parking lot, but baskets? You have taken laziness to a whole new level.

Person In Corvette: Your car may be fast and cost an impressive $60,000, but whenever I see Corvettes I will forever think “Barbie Car.” Blame Mattel.

3 People Standing Under Their Beach Umbrella: Is there a standing contest I am unaware of? In all my years of going to the beach I have never seen people stand under their umbrella and not sit. So far it’s been almost an hour. I wish you would sit, because now I can’t stop watching you. I should be enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean, but instead I keep waiting for you to sit down.

Woman In Bikini With Twin Baby Girls: You had a tummy tuck, didn’t you? C’mon. Admit it.  

Man Talking Loudly on Cellphone: Your white blood cell count is low? And the specialist you need to see has no appointments for three weeks?  You’re also planning a surprise party for your wife? Yet your boss won’t let you leave early that day? You bet he’s a jerk!  But listen, could you please lower your voice so I don’t hear about your bowel issues, or whatever you’re going to talk about next?

Man Hitchhiking Outside of The Department Of Mental Health Building: Dude, if you have any hope of getting a ride, you might want to scooch down a few feet so you’re standing in front of a different building .

Thank you for making my day a little more interesting.

Sincerely,

The Underground Writer

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Tiny Polka Dot Bikini

It’s that time of year again.  The temperature has barely hit 40 degrees and yet stores are displaying swimwear.  As I unwrap the scarf from around my partially frozen face, I find myself staring at a flaming red bikini. It barely seems big enough to fit on a doll, let alone a living person.

I step back and look at the rest of the swimsuits.  They are mainly two pieces, with one or two full pieces thrown in there as though they were an after thought.  “Might as well put this out,” I picture the Target employee saying as he is holding up a one-piece bathing suit that resembles a mumu, “There must be some old broad out there that’ll want it.”

That “old broad” is me.  And excuse me, Mr. Target Employee, I don’t consider myself old … nor a broad.  I am merely a woman who has some sense of modesty. I also happened  to have given birth to two wonderful children who did some major body reconstruction as they were incubating in my belly.

Above the bathing suits hangs a huge photograph displaying models frolicking around in the very swimsuits that are being sold.  Their stomachs are taught and flat; their boobs perky.  As I study these seemingly carefree, perfect bodied women, I suddenly pictured an asterisk next to their heads.  At the bottom of the photograph is the footnote that lists the disclaimers about these women:

The pony-tailed blonde in the striped bikini: Isn’t actually a blonde.  Has had breast implants and liposuction.  Smokes 2 packs a day to curb her appetite. Third toe on left foot is longer than all her other toes. Is mean to old ladies.

Brunette playing volleyball: Doesn’t actually play volleyball.  Hates the blonde in the striped bikini. Lives with 6 cats. Airbrush artist spent an hour making her waist look smaller than it actually is.  Airbrush artist also painted over her acne outbreak.

Second blonde wearing black two piece: Actually is blonde.  Smiling broadly while trying to ignore the burning pain she is still enduring from her most recent bikini waxing.  After photo shoot she is going to exercise for 4 hours straight.  Will then enjoy a salad with fat free dressing for dinner.

Brunette with arm draped over 1st Blonde’s Shoulder: Although laughing, nothing is actually funny.  Bleaches her teeth.  Has a high pitched laugh that mimics a hyena.  Airbrush artist had difficulty making the dimples on her thighs disappear. 

There.  Now these swimsuit models are just like the rest of us.  I push my cart towards the laundry detergent aisle; smiling because I suddenly feel much better about myself.