Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dignity Held in Place by Flimsy Elastic Waistband

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dignity Held in Place by Flimsy Elastic Waistband

Article excerpt

Flashback to the mid-1960s: My family had gone to Jones Beach for the day.

We loved the beach!

I was 10 years old. My brother was 7. We spent most of the day in the water, riding the waves while one or both of our parents watched us like hawks.

Around 4 p.m or so, my brother and I were taken back to our blanket for an afternoon snack. Mom was with us. Dad remained in the water.

"You guys had your fun all day," my mother said. "Now, it's Daddy's turn!"

From our blanket, I could see my father diving into the surf, disappearing for a few moments and then jumping back up again into view.

"Dad's having fun," I said, as my mother made me a sandwich.

A few moments later, my mother looked out and saw my father waving his arms.

"Your father's waving at you," she told my brother and me. "Wave to your father!"

We waved.

Moments later, he was still waving.

"Wave to your father!" she said again.

We waved. Again.

As I continued eating my sandwich I saw my father, still in the water, talking to a woman in a pink bathing suit.

A minute or so later, she walked over to our blanket.

"Is that your husband?" she asked my mother.

"Yes. Why?"

"He lost his bathing suit," she said.

It took a couple of seconds for this to sink in.

"He ... what?" my mother asked.

"He apparently dove into a wave," the woman explained, "and when he came back up ... well ... he asked if you could bring him something to wear. Like a towel or something."

My mother grabbed a towel, rushed to the shore and asked another gentleman to swim out to Dad.

"Could you bring this to my husband?" she asked. "He lost his trunks."

Today, as you know, is National Wardrobe Malfunction Day, celebrating a phrase that entered the language shortly after Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004.

I'm not going to rehash the incident, which involved Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. People have been rehashing it all week long.

But I did ask people about their own "malfunctions."

I heard a lot of stories from women who split their pants, often while bowling. There were also a few other amusing bathing suit stories. Another friend noted, "I split my skit on my honeymoon in England and mended it with the sewing kit that was in our rental car. …

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