‘Frogwoman’ suit fit — sort of

Published 3:44 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I’d waited impatiently all day. Well, the wait seemed all day. Actually, the time was, oh, 1:30 p.m. when I looked on the steps and it was there. The package.

I thought it would be a rather medium sized box, but no. It was an envelope. Well, maybe it was larger than a regular envelope, but not much larger. I grabbed it, my heart aflutter. After waiting several days, I had it. My wetsuit.

I had, you see, spent hours every day (almost) this past summer kicking water around, loving my version of water aerobics, exercising in the manner I love best. Now, though, cooler weather had come upon us, and I’m a wimp when it comes to sticking my toes, much less my whole body, in a big tub of cold water. So, in order to continue my exercise program, I ordered a wetsuit.

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Reverently, I placed the envelope on the kitchen counter and pulled scissors from a drawer. Carefully cutting the package, I gently opened the package to find . . . two little garments. And I do mean “little.”

They were both encased in clear plastic. One had a zipper, which is how I knew that was the wetsuit jacket. The other looked like leggings for a Barbie doll. Teensy little rubber tubes extended from a panties-sort-of-thing. This, I knew, had to be the wetsuit britches.

Umm… surely, I thought, this rubbery stuff will stretch! Whether it would stretch enough was another question. As I soon discovered, there was reason for concern.

Disrobing in the bathroom, I clipped tags from the wetsuit bottoms and attempted to pull the rubber tubes over my legs. I got to my thighs and suddenly realized this long anticipated wetsuit might not be the garment of my dreams after all. The rubber tubes wouldn’t budge. They were stuck, refusing to go up another inch. I was bummed; what a hassle t’would be to have to send these britches back and get a larger size.

My legs still partially encased in rubber tubes, I hobbled over to the dressing table, picked up the tags and examined the size chart. The size I’d ordered was perfect for my weight. Problem was, I needed to be 6’5” with that weight, which I’m not.

Not to be deterred, I continued to tug until, yes! The britches were up and on. I couldn’t breathe, but they were on.

The jacket was much easier. I zipped it up after only a half dozen tries, and proceeded to admire myself in the mirror. I actually looked 20 pounds lighter, and no wonder. My poor body was squashed into one compact mass of organs, blood vessels and cellulite. There was no room in there for anything else, but I was a black-clad mermaid, ready for the water.

Nobody told me that when you get in the water the wetsuit gets wet. I thought the wetsuit would keep me warm because … well, I didn’t know why. I just thought I’d be dry and toasty in all that rubber. Wrong.

But I am happy to report I refused to give up. Inch by inch, I submerged myself in the cold water, shivering, even hollering to ease the shock. I did it, I exercised, and I was proud.

Thirty minutes later, I left the pool, exhilarated, refreshed, tickled with my perseverance. The real challenge, however, was yet to be confronted: How was I going to get those wet rubber britches off?

I came close to reaching for the scissors, but again, perseverance won the day. I eventually extricated my limbs from the rubber tubes, vowing throughout the tugging to hold off on the britches till I shed a few more pounds or grow another 12 inches, whichever comes first.

Remember actress Dawn Addams in the movie “Frogwoman”? I don’t either, but I read she looked so good in her wetsuit that she ended up marrying an Italian prince. That’s what I’m aiming for — not the Italian prince, but the looking good part.

According to those rubber britches, which are now dripping in the shower stall, I’ve got a long way to go.

No pain, no gain, right? Ciao!

(Write: bethjacks@hotmail.com)