hot tub hangs

Violet Intertube 1 limited edition print by Annie SeatonViolet Intertube I by Annie Seaton

September 2009, small town Iowa

I’ve always dreaded pool parties and summer camps and hot tub hangs for one very specific reason. I have to be seen in a swimsuit by people whose opinions matter to me.

So, when in college, my friends and I were invited over to another friend’s parent’s house to have dinner and sit in the hot tub, I was uncomfortable before I even stepped in the door. I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. I still feel this way as a college student? I thought this was a puberty thing.

Other women with this fear will recognize this familiar routine:

I changed into my swimsuit in the bathroom after dinner. I looked in the mirror at the straps digging into my shoulders. I twisted around to see how much back fat was pushing over the strap on the back. And I pulled the bottom of my suit to cover as much of my fluffy rear as was physically possible. Even though my swimsuit fit perfectly fine, it was not good enough.

I tied my towel — the extra big one, so I could be certain it wouldn’t fall off — around my waist tightly. I shuffled through the too brightly-lit kitchen and dining room. I slipped through the sliding door, thankful that the mix of the dark night and bright house cast a not-too-bright-and-even-possibly-flattering light onto the patio.

I stood on the steps to the hot tub to be as close as possible, so when I undid my towel, I could get in the hot tub as quickly as possible without anyone really noticing how chubby I’d become in the first three years of college. 

I stepped into the prickly hot water to enjoy funny, interesting conversation and Two Truths and A Lie with some of the best friends I’ve had.

And the whole time, I dreaded getting out. 

This is the eighth post in my 31 Days series. This page will be updated each day with the newest post, if you want to come back to it from time to time.

Linked up at A Harvest of Blessing!

moments that mattered to me // 31 days @ little things + big stuff