I returned home with my obligatory note requiring parental consent for my "special swimming lessons". If it wasn't bad enough that I was in "special swimming classes", the knitted swimsuit would exacerbate my specialness.
It was orange and knitted in the style of a Victorian swim suit with legs knitted in. It also had shiny gold buttons. To compliment the ensemble, I had a swimming hat with white material in the style of a turban with a shiny shiny gold scarab beetle pin to secure the material positioned centrally in the forehead of the hat. Bobby dazzling it was!
To go that extra mile with my Gok Wanishiness; I was a child with a lazy eye who wore an eye patch. So as I walked to the pool looking like a Oompa Lumpa pirate my humiliation would be further endured. I never got a length certificate as my costume would hold so much water I would sink. However I did complete my width certificate to the shouts of children "Miss, Miss... Meatballs sinking" . I think I only achieved my width certificate because Miss would yank me to the side with the window pole to prevent me drowning.
I never did my cycling proficiency test either. I liked having stabilisers till age 11 and wasn't that keen to have them removed. So it wasn't that I make a particular effort at being different, I just was. Would I change the knitted swimsuit? Looking back.. no I don't think I would. I am not saying its easy being an Oompa Lumpa pirate once a week at the local baths but it certainly makes you work out fast who you are I learned not to care what people think.
I went to a friend's birthday party age 35 with the the theme "Dare to be different". Women were glamorous in their burlesque finery and the men were equally handsome. Me nooo I misinterpreted the brief and turned up as a pumpkin; thinking "ooh a pumpkin in summer now that's different"!!! Dancing in the middle of the dance floor trying to negotiate my pumpkin girth round tassel's and stockings, I quietly thought to myself all I am missing is an eye patch.
What I am trying to say that at some point in our lives we should all have a knitted swimsuit moment. I think humanity should learn to accept difference rather than challenge it at every opportunity. (ooh that's a bit deep that is!). I know its easy to say don't care about what others think but stood at the side of that pool thinking "bollocks this itches" I jumped in and I have been jumping in ever since and look how I turned out.