I click through the hundreds of swimsuits available online at Victoria’s Secret as I imagine the perfect beach getaway. I’m in search of a new suit or two and am considering a two-piece. Mind you, it’s been YEARS since I’ve touched a two-piece suit. I’ve been sporting my favorite go-to, the tankini with skirt, for the most recent few years. But this year I’ve been working out, eating great and feeling really good and my husband is really excited about the prospect of me in a bikini for our ten year anniversary trip. Yes, two-piece it is…
I found a beautiful blue ombre bikini with just the right amount of shimmer, sized it out and added it to my cart. I added some cute hipster and cheeky undergarments and a sexy dress to the cart and purchased them. As I eagerly anticipated the delivery, I began planning other preparations for the trip. Bikini wax scheduled, haircut and color scheduled, pedicure scheduled, anniversary rings ordered. Yes, everything was going to be just right for this trip!
I spent hours on pinterest seeking out the ideal haircut and color. I wanted to do something completely different because it’s the first time I don’t have to consider professional demands when getting my hair done. Yes, a wispy short cut with beautiful red color and highlights. More of a blue-red than an orange red. It’s a short, care-free looking cut. Sassy, yet sexy.
Two weeks pass as I eagerly anticipate the swim suit and dress. Imagining how well they will go with the hair style I’ve selected and considering what color I should get for my pedicure to pull it all together. Finally, they arrive. I can hardly wait to try it on. I sneak upstairs to try them on privately (no small task with two kiddos). I know my husband will want to see them, but I wanted to see them first.
I ripped the bikini from the package and tried it on. I spun the full length mirror around and…wait for it…I was mortified! Surely there is less fabric in the one they shipped to me, right? They must run small, right? It turns out that months of working out and eating well do not turn a woman who has had two kids into a bikini wearing Victoria’s Secret model. What is Victoria’s Secret anyway? I had a few choice words for her. There were bulges in places bulges should not be. My boobs, displaced from feeding two kids, were certainly not perky for the far-too-small-triangle fabric swatches they call a top. And those strings! They seem to cover so much more in the picture. Yikes!
Fighting back the tears, my husband walked in. He always has impeccable timing. He was super excited about the new suit and wanted me to keep it. “You are beautiful.” he said. “What? Are you seeing what I am seeing?” I exclaimed.
A week later, I am sitting in the chair with my hairstylist eagerly awaiting my new cut and color. During the consultation, she comments about how it has been six months since I’ve been in. “Yes, I know, the new budget since I’ve chosen to stay home has come with some sacrifices.” I said to her. I pull up pinterest and show her the sassy red hair color that is matched with the cut I want.
“Well, if you are going to Mexico, you definitely don’t want to go with red. In the sun and chlorine, it will fade to a color that is not pretty.” My heart sank, again fighting back the tears, asking questions, hoping there would be some way that I could still get the color and yet protect it from the elements in Mexico. “Yes, if you wear a hat the entire time and don’t go in the pools.” she shared. Well, that’s certainly not realistic. Ok, so we will do some blonde and caramel highlights. “What about the cut?” I asked. “Yeah, that’s not going to work for you either. Unless you are going to come in every five-six weeks for cuts (at $50 a pop plus tip) and are willing to put a lot of time into styling it every day.”
This plan was going to shit. We decided to cut six inches off into a bob, which was supposed to be easier to style and will grow out without the need for frequent cuts. I sat in the chair, disappointed, waiting for this transformation, which was not what I wanted or had planned for.
I was really upset about my hair. “I love it!”, my husband said, “I really love it short. I’m sorry it isn’t what you wanted.”
Now I don’t have a suit, the color and cut I picked didn’t work out, the dress I bought was awful and the cheeky and hipster underwear are quite uncomfortable. Nothing was working out right.
Over the next several days I had a realization. In my mind, I was doing this for my husband. It’s our anniversary trip and I wanted everything to be just right. The reality is that my husband loves my body. He loves how I look in anything. A two piece suit or a tankini, it doesn’t matter. My husband loves my hair-long, short, brown, red or blonde. My husband loves me. So any preparations I was making for this trip were really to fulfill some need of my own because all he needs from me in Mexico is for me to show up. This is why I love him. This is why I am so grateful to be celebrating the last decade of life with him and why I am certain we will enjoy many more decades in the future.
I really need to work through what my needs were about making this trip “just right”. The reality is that nothing is right but everything is perfect.
What are you trying to perfect in your life that may be unnecessary?