Unlike states with year round, sunny climates, here on the East Coast, we get to take a breather and seasonally cover ourselves up. When the first Crocus bulbs begin to show, it is a sure sign that The Big Reveal is coming up along with those spring flowers. The great thing about traveling during spring break in the East is that gradual or all out exposure of one’s possibly not summer-ready body can be conducted among other vacationing strangers.
The Big Reveal—peeling off a few clothing layers, exchanging long sleeves for tank tops, and long pants for shorts along with—the really tough one—slipping into that bathing suit for the first time.
The beach, particularly in a foreign land (or New Jersey) is usually safe to test drive formerly hibernating bodies and review the success or lack thereof of one’s New Year’s Resolutions. There, anonymously, one can take stock, compare and contrast with other Revealers and not worry about being openly rude about it. It doesn’t take too long to see who achieved their goals, who might still be working toward them, and those who merrily just don’t care.
The last category, those most free from social or fashion constraints often are locals or geriatric women who proudly strut last year’s too-tight polyester crop pants with VPL (Visible Panty Line) prominently on display. Who cares!? The chances of seeing these people again are, hopefully, slim. Such is the freedom of vacationing away.
Returning home, newly tanned or burned, there is often a reprieve as Old Man Winter isn’t quite ready to relinquish his hold. There may be a redoubling of efforts, given a bit more time with spring break first Big Reveal horrors fresh in one’s memory. Or, as is often the case, acceptance and willingness to push back that deadline to say, Labor Day, when the community pool closes.
And who knows—VPL could become this year’s fashion statement and the answer to what Victoria has been hoping to keep a Secret.
I am counting on it.