I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing for sale on the Florida coast that could make me cute on the beach. But I have also come to realize that as I am no longer in the 'breeding pool' my attire, and appearance, is of little consequence.
Abandoning wardrobe shopping, today I made a singular purchase that will put my week on a new trajectory. I bought a little folding beach chair in hot pink, and a stripped six foot beach umbrella. Situated right by the water where I can hear the constant churning waves and the laughter, radio music, old ladies conversations etc. - I find I am happy. It is a very Marilyn way of being by the sea.
I sit in my little cocoon of shade, book in hand and watch the dance of the breeding pool. I have only to look six feet to the right and into the surf. Two girls in black bikinis are practicing doing handstands and cartwheels in the shallow water - clearly they are of cheer-leading caliber. I can, then, not help but notice as the focus of the beach hones in like a laser beam. A man beside me stands up from where he lay beside his baking woman and saunters down to the water and stares while pretending not to stare. Dads put babies in peril as their eyes are taken captive, old men walking jauntily tripped over their feet attempting to make their necks swivel to a degree humanly impossible. (What is it about a lithe, tanned young woman in a string bikini standing upside down with her legs spread at inhuman angles that is so sexual?)
I watch all this, wearing my own beach attire like an embarrassment, but fully satisfied that NO ONE is looking at me.
The most dignified woman on the beach is a slim Muslim woman in long pants, long sleeves and a full head wrap of silky cream, sitting poised in the shade. I don't really want her outfit, but it certainly has its merits. Her modesty has taken her out of the breeding pool as well. She retains the dignity most of my western friends have so easily and completely discarded.
So I take a dip in the pool and slosh upstairs to the third floor to shower off and change. After so many Sundays of constant work this day is pretty darned close to being a sabbath.