Daily Dose column
Last week, I was in Miami for business reasons. Although I was also there to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday, I was mainly there for work.
I thought it would be a good place to gather data for my annual Speedo column.
I also thought it would be a good opportunity to expose my daughter to the arduous process I undergo each week to create a humor column. You never know. She might want to write cutting-edge banter herself one day.
We stayed in South Beach, a hip area known for its Art Deco architecture and colorful characters. I specifically picked this beach because I figured my eyeballs would see things they had never seen before.
They are still spinning in their sockets, occasionally spraying a mist of tears. Why the travel guides failed to disclose that this beach was "clothing optional" confounds me, but, whatever -- my daughter and I survived. And get this: She wants to return! Go figure.
The first day on the beach, while anxiously awaiting our inaugural Speedo sighting, she asked me why I wrote about Speedos in the first place.
I think her exact words were: "What's wrong with you anyway? No other mother I know writes about Speedos."
I think my exact response was: "Honey, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it."
Of course, our mother-daughter reverie was broken when a body-builder in a purple Speedo the size of a peach pit crossed our united field of vision.
"Omigod!" my daughter said, squeezing the blood out of my hand. "It's a thong Speedo!"
"Welcome to my world," I said, overjoyed that the gene had indeed made it to the next generation.
The rest of the afternoon delivered a bounty of Speedos, all colors and styles, hugging a variety of shapes and sizes, which we carefully documented with the precision of true research scientists.
"Now what?" my daughter said at the end of the day. "What do we do with all this information?"
"We digest it," I said, "and then, we write about it."
"Gross. I don't want to digest it. I've had enough Spandex to last a lifetime," she said. "You write about it. I want a Pina Colada."
Of course, I knew she just needed time to process everything she'd seen. Poor thing. The first time is always the hardest. Believe me, I know. I reacted the same way when I was her age and my mother introduced me to the wide world of Speedo-watching one fine day in Daytona. But my daughter would come around. My maternal instincts told me so.
Sure enough, later that night, she brought up the thong Speedo and we had a good howl. Oh, sweet sweet Spandex, I thought, the baton has been successfully passed.
If you're thinking I'm a strange mother with "issues"…"issues" that I should not saddle my daughter with -- well, you are mistaken. I do not have "issues." I simply have "interests"-- stretchy little "interests" that warrant annual research in warm places. So what, right? It's not like I'm running after the Speedo-clad guys with a magnifying glass in my hand. Geez! Give me a little credit. I know my boundaries. A magnifying glass -- no; military binoculars -- yes. At least that's what my mother always told me.
Anne Palumbo writes this weekly column for Messenger Post Newspapers. E-mail: email@example.com.