Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tales from Small-Town Saskatchewan: The Tiger Swimsuit

I was a very odd teenager, in many ways.

I was a super shy girl with strange tastes in everything. When everyone else was listening to pop music in grade nine, I was borrowing LPs from the Library of Tchaikovsky's 'War of 1812' and anything by the Beach Boys. I would spend hours braiding my hair to try to look like a Maybelline mascara ad from a magazine. I loved Saturday morning black and white movies. I had my own twisted fashion sense, which tended to yellow polka-dotted miniskirts with purple sweatshirts decorated with rainbows.

So anyway, the summer I was in grade nine, I bought a bathing suit at the tres chic 'Betty Lou Boutique' in my hometown of Lead.r. The suit was a black one-piece, decorated with leafy palm fronds and a tiger peeking out of the foliage from under one of my ribs.

I thought it was fantastic.

I thought I looked like film noir, or at least like one of Charlie's Angels. Off I went to the pool, as fast as possible.

It was a hot, still day, with a cloudless blue sky. The pool was full of young people. I was only in the water for five minutes, feeling chic and fabulous, when a boy popped up in the water just in front of me. I don't remember his name, but this was one of those bad boys who makes dirty jokes and goofs around, who you'd never ever date, who was a whole year younger than you, but who made your grade nine hormones secretly go 'sproing'.

"Nice pussy," he said, with a smirk.

I knew he was talking about the tiger on my swimsuit, but it was mortifying. The world spun. Film noir went down the toilet in seconds. I suddenly loathed my new suit, but I knew I was doomed to wear it until it wore out - or at least until the end of the summer.

I spent the summer running from the safety of my beach towel to the safety of the water. Oh, those Lead.r boys.


Blogger Eileen said...

Omigoodness. I feel for you, having had nearly the same experiences, over and over and over and....aren't you glad we don't live there anymore? Yay!

10:26 pm  
Blogger Gwen said...

I am EVER SO GLAD we don't live there anymore. But it's sure good for stories, isn't it.

9:21 am  

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