Teenage Embarrassment!

Cummings Park, 1954

Beach Buddies – Elaine, Judy, myself (in the middle) and friend.

If one thinks over one’s life, one can certainly think of a multitude of embarrassing moments.  Some were forgotten right away and others are too painful to even recall.  Therefore, I have chosen an embarrassing moment that happened a very long time ago and although it may cost me a twinge or two, I will relate it.

When I was about fifteen during the early fifties, I used to spend almost every day during the summer at the beach with my friends.  We brought bologna sandwiches, fruit and sometimes a devil dog, in a paper bag with lots of mayonnaise on the bologna.  The bag sat on the blanket for a few hours and we never got sick when we ate the sandwiches, figure that!  We would swim out to the float and relax and watch the good looking boys swim and sometimes join us on the float.  There was one particular boy that I had a crush on.  He had blonde hair and blue eyes and was as Irish looking as they come, (I had a thing for Irish boys at that time of my life).  However, I ended up marrying a Czech-Swede with brown hair and brown eyes.

One day, I was swimming close to the shore because the young man that I had the crush on was swimming near by.  I decided to show him how proficient I was in swimming and began to do a lot of fancy strokes until I reached the edge of the shore.  At that point, I jumped up with a graceful leap and stood there, looking, I thought, as close to Esther Williams as I could get.  I then noticed the boy I liked staring at me in a strange manner which I assumed was due to his being impressed with my prowess in the water.  At that point this young boy about six came up to me, stopped, pointed at me and said, quite loudly “Hey Lady, do you know that the top of your bathing suit fell down?”.  I looked down and to my horror the top of my pink, one piece. Jantzen had slipped and I was exposed to all and sundry, including the boy I liked.  Fainting was out of the question as I was in the water, so I jumped down pulled up my suit, stood up and walked nonchalantly towards the shore with my face feeling like it was on fire.

Although I was well endowed for 15 and had nothing to be ashamed of in that area, I was horrified and didn’t go back to the beach for at least a week.  It was the fifties after all and one didn’t go around showing what attributes one had. In fact, Bikinis had not yet shown up on American beaches.  And in case you were wondering, it did not make the boy I had such a crush on ask me out.  I guess he liked them flat chested.

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