Somehow winter disappeared and in its place not spring, but pure on summer swimsuit season. I thought I knew the horrors of swimsuit season dawning before with the “wow, I suddenly hate all my swimsuits I had!” and the “people really have to see me in barely any clothes again?!” and “I wonder if they make parkas I can wear by the pool? Let me tell you all in true seriousness: maternity swimsuit takes this to a new level.
It should probably come as no surprise since wearing anything skintight and revealing when your body is changing in ways you can’t even understand. While this is meant as a guide for significant others, I want to give all the pregnant women one protip: stop looking at pictures of pregnant people whose bodies remained impossibly perfect or whose body types you had nothing to relate with before they became pregnant. This will lead to stupid unrealistic expectations and will make the experience worse.
But alas, this is not about picking out a bathing suit or how to feel confident because, well, let’s face it, who am I kidding and what the heck do I know? Instead, this is a guide for you husbands/significant others out there who are dealing with a growing, emotional, and vulnerable person trudging out to the pool/beach/wherever with you like a freaking champion.
Step 1: The initial showing of the bathing suit. When she holds up a swimsuit and says, “oh, this looks cute, right?”
Responses can and should include any of the following:
- Super cute!
- You have such good taste!
- That’s awesome!
Responses should in no way resemble:
- …what? Oh…yes…sounds good.
Step 2: The reveal. When she goes and tries it on and then comes out in said swimsuit, this is the most critical moment. Do not mess this up. Put away your cell phone and do not even think about grabbing it. Then, in this exact order, do precisely this:
- Exclaim sincerely, “Wow!” or “That looks great!!”
- Continue looking at her/the swimsuit as if you’re actually examining it
- Exclaim a second time (yes, a second time), “that is really cute! You look great!”
Step 3: The questions. Congratulations, you have made it to the questions round and have played your hand well so far. If you have reached the questions stage without the appropriate responses to steps 1 and 2 you are in a hole but this is where you can redeem yourself. Again, put away the cell phone. Looking at your cell phone at any point during this point means certain death.
The trick here is to appear as if you are actually pondering her questions and answering them honestly.
If she asks, “is this too tight?” look and say, “No!! Not even a little bit!”
If she asks, “how do I look?” look and say again, “You look great!!”
And this is the most important piece of advice I can give you: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER say this phrase:
“You look fine.”
If you think this phrase means that she looks fine/good/great/whatever, you should already know that what it means to a woman is, “you should burn that garment immediately.” However, if you utter this phrase to a vulnerable pregnant woman, she will have an immediate meltdown and no amount of “you look great!” will dig you out of the mental grave you have dug for this person you love who is growing another person inside of her.
Do. Not. Do. This.
Step 4: The cooldown. Now, if the phrasethatshallneverbespoken was spoken, I have no words for you. Just admit defeat and offer to make her some tea or a shirley temple or something of the sort. If you have navigated Steps 1-3 according to this guide then you are over the hump. Explain how excited you are to go somewhere where she can wear said suit (example: “I can’t wait for the Memorial Day beach trip!” or “We need to head to the pool this weekend!”). Then go with the typical, “can I offer you a tea/shirley temple/foot rub?” that you should already be doing whenever you don’t know what to say.
And that’s it! Easy peasy. Or not easy. But do know that I am only here to help you. Good luck and happy swimsuit hunting!
Note: My dearest TLH (Tax Lawyer Husband) did so well until Step 3. He even pretended to examine and asked me to spin around, looking as if he were truly interested…until…thephrasethatshallneverbespoken came out of his mouth. I slightly got tunnel vision after this and there was no amount of anything that could bring me out of the depression that followed.
He learned his lesson.