Can someone older than fifty wear a bikini? Your low-rise Victoria’s Secret bottom is on the line if you don’t believe it. Ah, but should you?

Let’s face it, those catalog models with their airbrushed and mocha spray tanned skin look great in bikinis. The day I grow seven more inches, lose 30 pounds and perfect a pout that says “I’m so hungry I could eat one entire string bean”, I will wear a bikini.

I’m lucky enough to live somewhere where summer only lasts for a few brief weeks each year. It is known as New England. Many over-50 women enjoy having a cocktail by the Atlantic with friends to talk about hormone replacement therapy, Pinterest posts, and new grandchildren. We are known for being thrifty and hardy. Some take this period of life to sport their body goods with aplomb and defend their decision to do so “because I can, that’s why, asshole”. Oh, and we also have a reputation for having fresh seafood and coastal charm.

I advise you to go, girlfriend. Rounding the fifty year mark entitles us to the “I don’t give a crap what you think” attitude.

It’s a great time in life to let those uncontrolled hormones express themselves and flaunt your pretend abs.

We are more aware of our mortality at this age than a judgmental, inebriated twenty-year-old nymph who believes that drinking and partying will go on forever without repercussions. Hear that, ladies? That’s the combined chuckles of all the mature women who once wore your bra size. Oh, how different those times were. People who we know and love are dying off like flies in our world. We realize that time is of the essence. The window of opportunity to wear the most cutting-edge (and minute) strips of fabric that allow us to burn the most skin surface is rapidly closing. If not now, then when? When I’m sixty? God, are you at 70 or 80?

I once had a slim, hard body, about 35 years and three kids ago, in a land far, far away. If I squint really, really hard without my trifocals, I can turn sideways and see that skinny girl there, dying to strut up and down the beach just one more time. What prevents me from acting on this inclination? Fear.

In the changing room, it all begins. I will pay attention to you and have admiration for you if you have the guts to select a few bikinis off the rack, take a number from the clerk in the changing room, and not say they are for your daughter. Or, if you’re like me and are embarrassed to shop in public with your chubby thighs, we may as well have been born separately. Instead, you browse a catalog or website and order a few pretty Band-Aid-sized bikinis to try on at home. What was I when the hipster bottom could not conceal the postmenopausal blubber? Surprised, horrified, or enraged? I recently sent such a purchase back and checked off “too big” on the return slip. Pathetic, I know.

I’ll put on a one-piece bathing suit with support cups and extra wide straps that looks like it could be made of Spanx material for the time being. It is basic black. Sure, the extras will protrude from my derriere and underarms, but this winter, I’m making a promise to lose the weight, work out like a beast, and prepare for next summer. I’m hoping to pull it off while I’m still in my 60s, 70s, and 80s.

I have left instructions for after I pass away, though, in case I don’t. I beg you to bury me in my adorable floral push-up halter top and side-tie bikini, which I was unable to return. I have it hidden behind my sweatpants in the bottom drawer. Spray tanning is important to remember. I want to look good.

In her own mind, Stephanie Dell is a humorist who blogs unfairly and unbalancedly about her experiences with social living and who thinks a dog and a beer are necessary ingredients for a happier life.

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