Well, I’ve done it.
I’ve done the thing I tried so hard not to do. All that shopping for linens pants, long-sleeve shirts and ankle-length jersey skirts. I was poised to be sheltered, respectful and graceful in Abu Dhabi.
I even got a beach coverup for the British Club, where a certain lady struts about in a Monokoni. But not me. I’ve been wearing a Speedo covered by what turned out to be a nightgown. An ugly pink and white stripped one, no less. I bought it at the grocery store, which is called Lulu. And it promptly ripped under the armpits from my swimmer’s arms and shoulders. YET I STILL WEAR IT. I was hellbent on being demure in a place that prides itself on this point. Even at the expat club where I could away with showing some skin. I WAS GOING TO FIT IN FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE. DO THE RIGHT THING OVERSEAS FOR A CHANGE.
But something went wrong. Very wrong. And I just realized it today, long after the wrongness was done.
I brought one short-sleeve t-shirt with me to the UAE. My prized t-shirt with a mermaid on it. I mean, how could I not? I am a mermaid. I thought nothing of it. I figured I’d wear it to work out, to dash off to David’s school, to grab some groceries. No problem, right?
WRONG. Hay problema.
I am covered up BUT THE WOMAN ON MY SHIRT IS HALF NAKED. Yup, I’ve been seen roaming around hotels, grocery stores and David’s school with a nearly bare-naked lady on my chest. On her chest, mind you, are two sea shell covering up her assets. And her belly is showing.
NSB, YOU ARE IN THE UAE!
I wondered why I had gotten a few stares, while wearing this ensemble, but I thought it was because I was tall and blonde with pink freckled skin. Plus my arms were exposed. But this was as risqué as I was willing to get. Just testing the waters. At least my shoulders were covered.
AND THEN IT HIT ME–whilst I was looking at my sun damaged skin in the mirror when I glanced down at my mermaid t-shirt.
I also happened to catch a reverse glimpse of THE HALF NAKED MERMAID TATTOO ON MY FOREARM.
Dagnabit. (I’m purposely NOT using an explicative here.)
I actually have two half-naked ladies on my person. I’m covered, but they aren’t. How could I overlook this detail? The top half of these tails? The situation is tell-tale of my inadvertent insouciance.
I’m going to the mall tomorrow, with a jacket on, and buying 14,000 new t-shirts with long, long sleeves. Plus, more sunscreen. And a new beach cover-up THAT ISN’T A NIGHTGOWN.