Summer Break Week #9 didn’t count for much. I didn’t do a whole lot other than recover from my week at Kent State.
Oh, and I had a birthday.
But Summer Break Week #10 was spent in Branson, Missouri at the 2015 Rowse Howse Reunion.
I was not 100% sold on spending time in Branson, but we really had quite the wonderful week. I have some pics up on Instagram that document the week, if you’re over there. But this post is mostly about an important lesson I learned at the reunion: always pack a swimsuit.
I have a swimsuit that more or less fits me, but I didn’t pack it because, well, body issues. I’m not alone on this–women of all sizes (and even some men) unjustly punish themselves every summer over body issues. If not, we wouldn’t need this brilliant retort to how to best prepare for swimsuit season (some NSFW language).
The weather in Branson was the grossest humid heat I’ve felt in a while, and right outside my parents’ room was a pool that my nieces would’ve lived in if we had let them. On Tuesday, one niece asked why I wasn’t getting in the pool, and I told her it was because I didn’t have a suit.
“Then you should go buy one!” she said.
So at 11:30 p.m., under the cover of night, Deanne and I headed to the Branson Walmart.
Read that sentence again, employ any and all stereotypes you have about both Branson and Walmart, and you begin to approach the environs we entered.
Lucky for us, the swimsuits were right inside the front door. Deanne and I looked through what was left, since the right time to buy a swimsuit is NOT the last week in July, but is the first week of April, apparently.
Branson Walmart had at least a dozen bottoms in my size . . . and no tops.
The largest top for sale was a size 4-6, a size I think I just skipped right over when I was 14.
I’m really quite concerned about the dearth of tops in Branson–it’s supposed to a family-friendly vacation spot, but clearly there’s a bottomless beach somewhere.
Anyway. Deanne tried to convince me to just get some shorts, a sports bra, and a tank top and call it good, but I didn’t want to be that person at the pool–I’d rather just sit at the side in shorts and a tshirt, for heck’s sake.
So that’s what I did.
But I also learned a valuable lesson for all future travel: always pack a swimsuit. Because you just don’t ever want to have to explain to your 7 year-old niece the real reason why you don’t have one, and you definitely don’t want to be scrounging a Walmart at midnight in a city that must have private nudie beaches.