Rural Living

The Martha in Margo


by Margo Oxendine, Contributing Writer

Margo Oxendine

Those were the days, my friend; we thought they'd never end.

Isn't that the truth?

Its August, the height of bikini season.

I remember the days when I owned, oh, probably at least a dozen bikinis. My very favorite was the satiny pale pink, followed closely by the hot pink with white polka dots. I think they were size four.

When my friend and I moved to Key West, we had one suitcase completely dedicated to bikinis. In Key West, a girl simply cannot own too many bikinis. We wore them with pride.

I recall a certain day. We put on our suits me, the shiny pale pink; she, the oddly attractive green-and-blue one my mother handmade, complete with sarong. We hopped on our bikes and rode toward the beach. We stopped at The Fourth of July, a Cuban restaurant, probably to buy our two main food staples: Cuban bread and Bina's homemade sangria. Oh, those were the days, my friend.

We walked out of the restaurant and tires squealed, followed by a big bang. We had literally stopped traffic, and in doing so, caused an accident. The funny thing we both still remember is, while loud shouting and blame-laying usually follows such incidents, the two fellows looked out their windows at us and hollered, Wooo Hooo! Or something like that.

Rather than feel complimented, we sighed as we climbed back on our bikes.

Will there ever come a day, I grumbled, when guys will stop whistling and hollering at us? I am sick and tired of it!

I often thought, back then, I cant wait till I'm old and fat and can walk down the street without creating a stir.

Those were the days, my friend. And they have come to an end.

I do not remember the last hoot or holler I garnered, other than, Hey lady! Watch where you're going!

Funny thing about our heydays. How often, in your youth, did you see a photograph of yourself, clad in a bikini or anything, really, and think, Oh good heavens I'm fat.

Do you look back fondly on those photos today and chuckle? I do.

What did we really know, back then? By golly, we looked fabulous!

The fashion writer for the Associated Press and you know I'm a fashion maven recently wrote a piece headlined, Tips for Bikini Season. Perhaps you'll find these tips more helpful than I.

Don't worry if you forgot about bikini season, it begins. Well, I wont and I did.

Its not too late to get ready for the big reveal. Oh yeah, it is.

One key hint here, as is always the case in a fashion piece, is, Accessorize. Try a great pair of earrings, an anklet or belly ring, cool sunglasses, lovely flip flops. I do wear great earrings and lovely flip flops. They don't make anklets to fit me; I cannot imagine a belly ring; cool sunglasses do not come in trifocals.

Make the suit fit. You should not get bulging from the straps or material ... They're kidding, right? ... and the bottom should not be baggy. No danger there. The bottom should contour with your rear without pinching or sagging. My rear has not been pinched in, lo, so many years. As for the sagging, well ...

Accept yourself. Stand in front of the mirror with your bathing suit on. I can be paid to do most anything; standing in front of a mirror in a swimsuit is not one of them. I no longer even own a full-length mirror.

Focus on the features you like. My hair and nails are fabulous.

Then, focus on what you will do in the suit. About once a year, I do get into a swimsuit. It is not a bikini. The first thing I do in it is throw on a voluminous, but cool and lovely, cover-up.

Finally, Get on track. Start exercising and eating right today for a two-pound weight loss in one week.

The way I figure it, there's a slim chance pardon the pun that, if I did this, I could fit into that shiny pale-pink bikini about, oh, August 2011.

See you at the beach.  

(A note about the photo above: It was taken in July 1978 in the Florida Keys. Those were the days, my friends. I thought they'd never end.)


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