I’ve already made peace with the extra ten pounds I possess and the fact that they afford me the ability to eat cake, so the proliferation of moms with thigh gap on the pool deck is totally not affecting my self-esteem, I swear. Normally the kids and I have the pool to ourselves, so I really have no freaking clue where they all came from, but like I said, it’s totally not bothering me at all. I’m not comparing my cellulite to my neighbors’ firm, brown thighs, and I’m not even going to mention their perfectly round boobs (seriously, are those for real?), every set of them precariously supported by strapless bikini tops.

I can’t help wondering, do their kids really never pull down their bikini tops? If I wore a strapless top like that, the chances of one of my kids absent-mindedly yanking it off would be one hundred percent. But I’m not going to speculate as to what type of black magic these women engage in to make those types of bathing suit choices possible, because I’m totally confident and done with trying to be perfect.

One of the thigh gap ladies squats down at the edge of the pool with a glob of sunblock on her fingertips and reaches for a little blonde boy. She balances on her toes in a position I doubt I could pull off. “Come here, Carter! Come’ere, honey. Come’ere. Carter. CARTER. COME. HERE. NOW. One… two… Don’t make me get to three, Carter!

I kind of want to roll my eyes, but it would mean peeling my attention away from this perfectly-toned mother and her wriggly young child, and I simply cannot do that. I stare in open fascination as little Carter finally shimmies close enough that his mother can smear the cream on his face. I’m in awe that she can accomplish this task without a) falling in the pool or b) flashing everybody. I thought people like this only existed in movies.

But no part of this scenario is causing me to doubt my newfound preference of tankinis over bikinis. I am at peace with myself. And besides, I’m too focused on the accomplishments of my four-year-old, Mari, who is not only swimming like a dolphin, but has just learned to do somersaults in the water. I get my phone so I can take a video of her new trick to send to her daddy.

“Good job, Mari!” I tell her, “Now sit on the pool steps with the other kids while I put my phone back in the pool bag.”

I send a quick text to my husband with the video attached, and as I deposit my phone back into the bag I see that Mari has migrated from the steps and is treading water, inches from the side. I’m not in the least bit worried, as she has become such a good swimmer, and plus I’m only about five feet from her. But then she says “help,” which I have instructed her to say if she gets in a jam.

I quickly survey the situation: There are children blocking my way of jumping in the pool. I would land on one of them if I tried to jump to Mari, not to mention I would look like a lunatic as she is still treading water and doesn’t actually seem to be in any distress. I decide to take the steps. I rush though, because, I mean, who wouldn’t? She said “help.” That’s what you do when your kid is in the water and says “help.” You freaking hurry your ass up.

And everything is going fine… until my foot hits the first step and flies out from underneath me the way a cartoon character’s does when he slips on a banana peel. My arms flail hopelessly and time slows down to the kind of unbearable crawl especially reserved for moments such as these. I’m sure I’m going to land on someone else’s child, but there’s no controlling it; no amount of twisting or flailing can salvage the situation. My tankini top is riding all the way up to my boobs and my bottoms have lodged in my butt crack. In the chaos, I manage to think, This is why I can’t wear strapless bikinis.

My shin scrapes agonizingly along the edge of one of the steps and I jam my toe on the concrete. But whatever pain I’m experiencing pales in comparison to the mortification I know is coming. I’m submerged now, but my legs are over my head and out of the water somehow, brazenly defying the laws of physics. I wonder if the thigh gap ladies can see my poorly-groomed lady stubble.

I finally resurface after what feels like forty-six years, but was probably only about two seconds. I grab Mari’s arm as I discreetly tuck a wayward boob back into my bathing suit.

I sit on the steps with Mari on my lap, surveying her and my surrounding area as I gather my faculties, only now listening for the screaming of whichever child I surely pummeled to death in my glorious descent into to the pool to rescue my daughter who really needs to learn the goddamn definition of “help.” She is perfectly fine, staring at me all perplexed-like, as if to say, “Are you insane?”

And not one child is crying. In fact, the entire pool area has gone ominously quiet. I glance around and realize that everyone is either staring at me with their jaws on their laps or pretending to be totally engrossed in something fascinating that their kid is doing. Even the kids are like, “What the…?”

Finally, one of the thigh gap ladies – whose bathing suit top actually does have one strap – picks her jaw up off her lap and says, “Are you… are you okay?


“Um… I think I’m bleeding somewhere… but… I’m fine?”

I pull my tankini top back down and dig my wedgie out of my butt as delicately as one can accomplish those tasks. For the next thirty minutes, I spend all my energy pretending that I have not just experienced one of the most mortifying moments of my life.

The End.

Yeah, sorry, there is no life lesson. I fell in the pool and my boob fell out in front of the thigh gap crew and it was humiliating and that’s it, The End. It was super duper embarrassing and I’ll never forget it. I’ll be ninety-five years old, on my death bed, Mari hovering over me with tears welling in her eyes, and she’ll say, “Mom? Is there anything you want to say before… well, you know.”

And with my last dying breath, I’ll say, “Only ask for help if you really need it, you little twit.”

can't be trusted

Can’t be trusted.

— — — — —

Did this make you pee your pants a little? Share the laughter, using those pretty little buttons you see below.

Beyond the Break Newsletter


  1. Sorry it’s at your expense, but thank you so much for the laugh this evening! Your bravery in baring all to tell this story is appreciated! Humiliating moments as a parent are so difficult. Though I’ve never flashed the thigh-gap mommies, I severely injured myself taking a fall while playing tag on the playground recently with my kids…in front of an audience of parents, parents much more graceful and put together than I. Here’s to hoping our pride will eventually heal, or that our faces aren’t remembered for those moments when we return to the scene of the incidents, right?

  2. Steel Workers Wife

    I wish I could say that I have NEVER done anything like this, but well…that would be a lie. 😉 I commend you on keeping it “cool” though…and for that you are my hero of the day. 🙂

    • Haha, I was so NOT keeping it cool. I was shaky for like the whole day. SO embarrassing. lol (made for a good blog post, though!)

  3. I am honest to god not laughing at you but with you, seriously I’m not. OMG that was absolutely hilarious as I can totally see myself in that exact same predicament. Thanks for the giggle 🙂

  4. I literally laughed out loud. So to answer you on fb, no you’re not the only one who will find this funny. Thanks for sharing something that could have happened to any of us!!! But I’m so glad it was you and not me. 😉

    • That sounded awful. I am sorry it happened to you though is what I should have said. Thigh gap ladies need to disappear.

      • I totally didn’t take offense! We all think that when we someone crash and burn like this. Well, except thigh gap people. I think they’re just like, “WTF???” They can’t relate. haha

    • I think my dignity went wherever both of my kids’ placenta’s went. Regardless, it’s been lonnnng gone. 😉

  5. OMG. I’d either be laughing my ass off at my falling on my ass (and sharing said ass with the world) or I’d be hightailing it outta there with my tail tucked between my legs.

    I kind of hate to be laughing at such an embarassing moment for you but I can see you have a sense of humor about your own mishaps so that’s a good thing.

  6. Oh hell!!! I can’t stop laughing because I can perfectly envision this fall. It’s not supposed to be funny when people fall but it totally is!!!

  7. Today I made big steps. I purchased some short shorts. Not hooker worthy up the ass, I can see what you had for breakfast, but short. My cellulite and ample thigh wobble show. I am good with this. To be fair I was also rocking my new mini heel, slingback clogs that make my legs look like they go on forever. I am hoping that the below knee action will draw attention away from the gelatinous mess above. If not, then fuck it. My hubby still thinks I’m hot and my two year old said I looked like a princess. I am good.

  8. My boobs almost always fall out of my top whenever I go in the ocean. The first time? Humiliating. The 928374293847th time? Ain’t no thing. *tuck*

  9. I’m heading to the beach in a few weeks. I feel absolutely certain that at some point I’ll end up ass end up with or without my bottoms intact. I’m trying a little mental training now to alleviate the humiliation.

    Your story will now be added to my training.

    Thank you. 🙂

  10. Working in a profession dominated by women, I enjoy this very much. Very funny stuff, and easily visualized. Thank you.

  11. So sorry! So funny! 🙂 You know I’ve had plenty of embarrassing moments too, so I’m laughing WITH you. Remember my donkey punch story? Umm, yeah. Not exactly physical comedy, but verbal diarrhea is embarrassing too. Ugh, the thigh gap moms – I can’t stand those hookers! I really hate that you had to take a dive in front of them. But love that you wrote about it. 🙂

    • I’m sure every member of the thigh gap crew is a wonderful individual. The one with the one strap who asked if I was okay… she might even be my friend in real life. But yeah, it feels as though we exist in parallel universes, and that fateful day was merely a strange cosmic anomaly that caused our paths to accidentally cross. It was never meant to happen, really.

  12. I can’t imagine falling down in a bathing suit. Having on anything less than a one piece with cover-up and shorts is too daring for me. The risk that something private is gonna go public is too much for me to handle. I think the fact that you didn’t cry just goes to show what a well put together, confident woman you are. Not to mention the fact that you can write about it and make it sound HILARIOUS to boot!

    • Thank you! You have no idea how close I was to crying. I figure laughing is easier, though, if at all possible! 😉

  13. Pingback: ABANDONING PRETENSE10 Totally Random Embarrassing Moments Brought to You by Anxiety | ABANDONING PRETENSE

  14. That was effing hilarious! (But only because it didn’t happen to me.) Damn kids. (And stupid thigh gap moms – I wish it had been one of them!)

  15. I feel just awful but I am laughing so hard I am crying real tears and struggled not to spit iced green tea all over my laptop in the middle of Panera. If it makes you feel any better, people are staring….

  16. I’m sorry for laughing at you. And happy (for you) that no one was aiming a camera at the time. Although that would have added to the story. 😉

  17. Pingback: ABANDONING PRETENSEIdle Gossip and Things That Cannot Be Unseen | ABANDONING PRETENSE

  18. Pingback: Idle Gossip and Things That Cannot Be Unseen – ABANDONING PRETENSE | Yellowos