Tummy Tucks Are For Sissies

Bill and I were at our favorite rec center on Sunday, lounging in the cool water, chatting and laughing with a gaggle of bobbers.

Holding court, as always, was Sylva, the Greek matriarch of the Bell Recreation center.  Everyone knows Sylva.  It isn’t because she’s almost six feet tall.  It isn’t because she weighs in at around 190 soaking wet (which she usually is).  It isn’t because she’s tanned mahogany-brown and pours her size 18 body into size 14 two-piece swimsuits.  No, it isn’t for any of these reasons.  It’s because Sylva says so – loudly, proudly and often.

When not in the water, she holds court in the southwest corner, under the cement awning in the only smoking spot in the entire center, chain smoking and sipping whatever adult beverage she’s brought that day in her thermos.  From here she has an unobstructed view of the large pool, the walking pool to the northeast, all of the dozens and dozens of lounge chairs scattered throughout the cool decking and, most importantly, the entrance from the clubhouse.  She’s admitted to Bill and me that she is addicted to the pool.

“Sveetie, I come here every day no matter vhat.”

“Even in the winter?” Bill asked.

“Yes, most certainly.  Even in da cold, da rain and even in da dust storms.  Dey make me go ven it’s da thunda and lightening.  I try to say no, no Sylva vill stay, but dey make me leaf.  Fockin’ cowards is vat dey are!”

That’s Sylva’s favorite word – f***.  She uses it as a noun, a verb, an adverb and a pronoun.  For example, Bill and I got out of the pool and were winding our way back to our lounge chairs when she called me over.

“Sveetie, come here.”

I’m sveetie, Bill’s darlink, that’s how I knew she wanted me.  I gave Bill a pleading look, but he just stifled a laugh and kept on walking.

“What’s up, Sylva?” I asked, as I entered the blue-grey smog of the smoking zone.

Putting a motherly arm around my shoulders, she asked “Vat size swimsuit do you vear?”

“I don’t know.  It’s too depressing so I try not to think about it.  I guess a large – maybe extra large.”

“Vell, I haf a suit I vant you to try on.  It’s not black like you wear.  It has focking colors like I wear.  You know, like tiger and leopard.  Dis one for you is like snake.  You’ll like it because it will hold you in.”

“Hold me in where?” I asked, knowing there were many parts of my body that could benefit from being ‘held in.’

“Here, sveetie,” she said, patting me soundly on the tummy.  “Such a nice face, you should suck dat focker in and dis suit vill help.  Also, da undervear at Walmart vorks too.”

“Underwear?” I whispered.

“Ya.  You get dat kind vat goes from your boobs to your butt.  Dat vill keep dat focker sucked in.”

“Ok, for under clothes, right?”

“Nah, for under focking everyting, even swim suits.  And get some for darlink.  He’s too goot lookin’ for such a focking big stomach.”

So here I am, walking back toward Bill and our lounge chairs, after having someone I’ve known for just a couple of weeks tell me that my husband and I are fat.  How depressing is this?

I told the story to Bill, who immediately got defensive, stating that we look no different than anyone else at the pool and besides he had worked very hard for the last 24 years to get this stomach and that he was pretty proud of it and that I should feel the same way.

“Do we have any more Cheetos in the beach bag?” I asked, giving him a well-deserved hug.  At least my honey loves me the way I am.


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