When I've been asked the question "What superpower would you rather have -- invisibility or the ability to fly?" I ALWAYS say the ability to fly. Invisibility? I think I would be crushed to hear all/any of what people say about me behind my back. Please, lie to my face. Because I've always firmly believed that what other people think/say about me is none of my business.
This point was driven home the other day when I when I overheard two moms I'm acquainted with talking about me behind my back...DUN DUN DUN! While they were standing in the lobby of (EDITED FOR CONFIDENTIALITY SAKE) I was in the bathroom with my 6 year old, waiting for him to finish his constitutional, unbeknownst to them. And get this, they were talking about MY BATHING SUIT. My bathing suit.
My bathing suit.
I love my bathing suit. This suit I so enjoy wearing is incredibly functional (since I like to be in the pool or the ocean with my kids), it's vaguely retro looking and it's hot pink. It provides maximum coverage for my figure and yet I still feel sort of like Esther Williams (does anyone get this reference?) when I wear it. So it's not like I'm prancing around in a thong bathing suit with my chest tumbling out of my tiny top. I'm a mom, wearing a very respectable suit.
The two moms were talking about how it's THE ONLY SUIT I EVER WEAR.
I take exception to this. Once in a while, I wear a similar suit that is deep green except it's a halter top.
But more than that, I take exception to the fact that of all the fascinating topics under the sun (pardon the pun) these two ladies could be discussing, the one that they are discussing is....(wait for it) the frequency with which I wear my bathing suit.
It was horrifying/sort of interesting. They both acknowledged I was "really nice" and had a "great sense of humor"...which was strangely gratifying (although I was miffed they didn't comment on my exceptional cooking and baking skills). One also added the tidbit that I'm a book reviewer, as if all of this helped to negate my faux pas of always wearing the same suit.
So their conversation wasn't entirely mean-spirited ( I mean, I DO often wear the same suit) but it caused me to start thinking.
The reason why I wear the same bathing suit is because I love it and I love how it makes me feel. Yes, I generally wear only one suit but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who takes better care of her bathing suit than I do. I also only wear one suit because I hate waste and excess and I've been embracing a minimalist lifestyle where my family tries to buy/have/use ONLY what we need and let go of/donate everything else. If I didn't believe in this so deeply, I wouldn't be writing a book about it.
But the truth is, there's nothing excessive about having more than one bathing suit and I'VE BEEN MEANING to buy a new suit that's equally pleasing to me now that I've lost a few pounds -- it's just that I haven't gotten around to it. So these ladies would soon be in for a treat. They would soon see me in a WHOLE NEW SUIT...and thus they'd have something even more exciting about which to talk.
Although it was uncomfortable to overhear someone talking about me, there's not one person reading this blog (or writing this blog) who hasn't discussed or otherwise even criticized others behind their backs. It's something we all know goes on, but we don't really want to experience it firsthand when we are the topic of conversation. Either I'm JUST that fascinating (I'm not) or these girls need to focus their brain power on more meaningful topics of conversation then the frequency with which I don a particular piece of swim wear.
And you know how when you catch someone talking about you, you think you'll sweep in with a raised eyebrow and smug grin, saying "Interesting conversation, ladies?" or some kind of brilliant, cutting remark. That's not how I've ever experienced the rare times I've been in this situation. I honestly found myself feeling bad for them and not wanting to embarrass them when they realized I heard them. When I came out of the bathroom with my (now eliminated) child, their faces turned white. I genuinely felt awkward at their discomfort so I just smiled warmly and said "Hey guys" and moved along. My friend Stephanie always says that "the air is freshest on the high road". So true.
However, the downside of this situation is now when I buy my coveted new bathing suit later on this month, they'll think it's because of what they said. Rats.