By Scarlette Quille
It’s Fourth of July time, and Sandpoint is going to be swarming with people longing for that little piece of Americana.
Our beautiful little idyllic town complete with a massive lake surrounded by mountains provides the perfect setting for a parade, fireworks, camping and a visitation from a bald eagle. It doesn’t get more American than that. In fact, spending even one Fourth of July in Sandpoint can leave such an impression on a visitor that they feel compelled to do it annually. Things like traffic, heat, packed business, road construction and capacity lodging options do not deter the hordes of people flocking here. Locals may show signs of annoyance, but deep down we know that every American should experience the Fourth of July properly in their lifetime.
I am not sure I am in shape for the Fourth this year. Have I trained my liver properly for a four-day weekend of sipping cocktails on the lake? The lack of sunshine in June has severely cut into my tanning time, and I will be forced to spend hours in some sort of suitable swimwear. I don’t even know what “suitable” means these days. For the majority of my life, I have operated under the belief that if your swimming attire covered your genitals and ass properly you were fit to be in public. The choice to cover your mid-drift is optional, and a tan can hide a multitude of figure flaws. I can tell you with certainty that these finite swimwear laws do not apply in 2017.
Have you been to a local watering hole lately? You will observe typical beach life: moms and kids, sunbathers of various ages, swimmers, overdressed people looking for attention, and of course the celebrities of the beach, local teenagers. Adolescent females in skimpy bikinis are one of the major safety hazards at any swimming facility, as teenage girls in bathing suits trigger uncontrollable horse play and violent peacocking in adolescent males vying for the attention of their female peers. Adding to the issue of male teenaged overstimulation is the adult males on the beach scrutinizing the group of 15-year-old girls, thinking they are more like 25-year-olds, and then shamefully cowering when they realize the “woman” they were ogling is really their buddy’s daughter.
However, let’s be fair to the ogling middle-aged male for once, shall we? When I took my first foray to a public beach this year I saw a couple of young ladies wearing swimwear that wasn’t quite a “thong” but definitely wedged up their butt cheeks. As a straight adult female a bit past my 20s, I had to look at their asses an unnaturally long time to figure out what was going on. Were they self-administering wedgies as some sort of social statement or joke? Were they taking the poor college student thing a little too far and saving money by shopping in the children’s department? As I walked closer to the group I recognized the faces of these girls. They were definitely not in college. I asked my own daughter what was up with the atomic wedgie posse. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she was like, “Mom, everyone wears them, they are called cheekies.”
Excuse me, child. Are you saying that females are running around the beach with fabric deliberately wedged up their ass? Her reply was, “Mom, you have Instagram. You should know about this.” So I consulted my Instagram, and sure enough swimming suits wedged up your ass and giant inflatable food floaties are the must haves for summer 2017. The only thing that makes you cooler than actually owning a wedgie suit is taking a picture of it wedged up your ass and posting it to Instagram.
I clearly needed to have a conversation with my daughters about this trend.
Have you ever told a teenage girl she can’t wear something? It’s about as fun and easy as chemical warfare. This has gotten worse through the years. When I was a teenager my mom could say, “That doesn’t flatter your figure, or that makes you look like a slut.” And my mom was praised for being a good mom because she prevented me from buying an unflattering swimming suit, and/or looking older and more sexually advanced than my actual years.
Nowadays if you mention “unflattering or slutty” to your daughter, you will likely be turned into CPS and accused of fat-shaming or slut-shaming. So you have to meticulously choose your words. I basically went with, “Neither you nor your sisters will be walking around in public with spandex shoved up your butt, do you hear me?”
She began her protest, which was something about celebrating bodies and the accusation of society being uncomfortable with female bodies. I secretly applauded her for the feminist shout out.
“Well, my job as a mother is to keep you safe. I see this swimsuit as a chafing hazard, and in the real world there is no ‘Valencia’ filter,” I said. “I have seen more teenage ass acne today than I care to in a lifetime.”
I’m sure her and her sisters are likely wandering a beach somewhere right now with their suits firmly wedged up their assess holding a giant inflatable donut, as a bald eagle solemnly flies by in the sky. Why? Because it’s America, that’s why! And they better hope I don’t catch them because the first thing I’m going to do is wedge my swimwear up my ancient butt crack and walk up right beside them and start snapping selfies.
Celebrate your right to make bad decisions!
Happy Fourth of July.