When we first got here I had to get a new bathing suit because I’d left mine in NY. We wound up in the swimwear section of Nordstrom’s at Ala Moana Mall. Along with a wide variety of swimsuits they have all manner of beach cover-ups. This is generally somthing you wear over your suit when going to the beach, sitting at the beach, or leaving the beach.
I was so enamored by these light loose fitting garments that I got a few. I think I believed that these dresses would help me ‘fit in’ to what felt like an alien sunshine-filled culture. I don’t think I’d ever owned a beach cover- up before this. I also got three pairs of glittery flip flops.
I proceeded to wear these dresses not only to the beach but everywhere else too. I think I wore one to my first staff meeting at HIFF. I was always confused when people in non-beach situations would say to me ‘oh I like your beach cover-up.’ I always thanked them but then wondered how on earth they knew it wasn’t just a regular dress.
Now that I’ve had a little time to mull it over I realize it’s because of several reasons:
1. they’re usually see-through
2. if they’re not see-through they’re made of terry cloth
3. they usually come in offensively bright colors and patterns.
4. and often times they’re held together by drawstring, ribbon, or elastic.
I started to notice that outside of Kailua, people wear very normal non-beach clothes. Honestly I don’t know what took me so long to realize this. I also realized that although flip flops are pretty prevalent out here it’s not really appropriate to wear them everywhere. Say, dinner at a fancy restaurant.
So this time around I left half of my beach cover-ups back in NY so that I wouldn’t be tempted to wear them everyday. I have a new one that’s all black and doesn’t even look like one. Honest. I only wear it around Kailua and the times I wear it into town are times we’re actually going to the beach.