When I was eight, my family went to Hawaii on a vacation. Before my self-imposed lockup that lasted the duration of high school and left me pale from lack of sun exposure, I was very dark and tanned easily. As such, I had no patience for applying sunblock, and the task fell to my mother. She was diligent in her application and attentive to any signs of burning.
I, on the other hand, was focused solely on enjoying water that wasn’t a murky brown color and a beach free of discarded needles. Understandably, I was impatient whenever my mom would insist on reapplying my sunblock.
After several days of my squirming and huffing as she doused me in Coppertone, she finally resorted to just slathering my shoulders and sending me on my way. This resulted in my developing a tan on my arms that resembled the uneven sleeves of Peter Pan’s tunic.
For a young child with just a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder, this uneven tan was torture – and, odds are, cosmic punishment that the universe deals out only to children who are impatient with their parents.
Given that I am retelling this story on my blog, it’s obvious that this incident still has a strong impact on me. When I go to the beach, I’m careful to always apply an even coating of sunblock to my limbs, no matter how rushed I am. Nearly eighteen years later, I live in fear of reenacting this fateful tan.
With that in mind, it makes sense why the very idea of this swimsuit gives me hives.
The longer I look at this swimsuit, the more familiar it becomes. I know I’ve seen it before … if only I could place it.