Living is South Florida has taught me this: If you want to feel really crappy about yourself and guilt yourself into a starvation diet, you should simply go to South Beach, but if you wanna feel like Giselle, go to a water park.
Look, the beaches here are filled with hot, svelte, uber-tan, scantily clad, could-be models who do things you would normally see in cheesy 80s spring break movies or the making of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, like whip their hair out of the water in a single choreographed move in slow motion.
For this reason, I always have a cover-up no more than an arm’s distance away as I sit under an umbrella and wonder, “When did I stop being that young, hot, frolicy, slow-motion girl? Wait, was I ever her? Shit, I don’t know if I was ever her, and now I’ll never be her again or for the first time…”
This is why I rarely go to the beach. Buuuuuut, I’ve also learned that to combat this feeling, one does not need to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas break in an Alaska-esque climate where she can bundle up and hide under a trendy puffer jacket.
Nope, one simply needs to take herself and her beach attire to a water park. Though water parks and beaches seem similar on the surface, they’re at their core polar opposites, like Walmart and Target.
Frankly, any park will do because here is a water park truth: No matter how much cellulite, varicose veins, stretch marks, regrettable tattoos or unsightly moles you have, there is someone within a 10-foot radius of you who has more… and she is wearing a bikini.
…a string bikini.
…a string bikini that would fit a 10-year-old.
Yep, at a water park your boobs look perky and your thighs, which usually feel like they’re abnormally friendly with one another, feel like they sit miles apart.
This revelation hits me whenever I go to a water park, and it literally makes me giddy. I begin to murmur stuff like, “Oh, I look goooooood.” “It’s amazing that more people don’t mistake me for the babysitter, or a celebrity.” “I feel like I could walk around with nothing on but this locker key bracelet.”
Then I throw back a couple dogs and a Fanta with the kids and never even pull my wrap from the undersized locker I smushed it in.
Sure, the salty nitrates in those dogs will fill with that carbonated orange syrup, but you’ve got some room to bloat here, ladies.
As for my tramp stamp? I think, “Wow, that was a really good decision. In fact, that puppy could use a redo, something with more girth, more of a message, more of a story. I mean, there are guys, with skulls tattooed on their skulls and women with complete murals on their backs.”
By comparison, my tat is more like something Cindy Crawford has on her face, which begs the question: Why has she never arted that thing up? I mean, a ladybug, maybe a peace sign? Being at a water park makes me feel like that’s a really good idea. I also feel like a supermodel, so my judgment could be skewed.
Maybe I get a bit high off of the fumes from people spraying old-fashioned tan accelerator on their bodies (I think I’ve seen actual bottles of Sun-In), or maybe the over-chlorinated water gets to my head. It certainly gets to my over-processed hair.
Except at the park, my hair doesn’t look over processed at all. G-d I love that place! Plus, your kids will think you’re awesomely cool for taking them there. Win-win!
And that’s why we should all vow to frequent water parks more often. So, the next time you feel like heading to the beach, turn that car around, and head for the nearest water slide. Maybe I’ll see you there. I’ll be the hottie with a tattoo that depicts the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party across my back.
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