I just spent a solid 10 minutes trying to remember how to put on my swimsuit.

I just spent a solid 10 minutes trying to remember how to put on my swimsuit.

Ten minutes may not seem so long, but when everything is going well, slipping on a swimsuit should be accomplished in a matter of seconds. Imagine people at the beach: "We threw on our suits and took a dip before breakfast." Or, "On the spur of the moment, we jumped into swimsuits and paddled around with our water wings."

As it stands now, I can't throw on, jump into or otherwise occupy my swimsuit because I've forgotten how to get into it.

You may be thinking my suit no longer fits me, but that's not what I'm talking about. The suit fits fine, I think. At least, when I step into its lower half and pull it up over my hips I have no complaints, and I have every reason to think I'll be reasonably satisfied -- not thrilled, maybe, but satisfied -- when the suit is all the way on.

But I can't remember how to finish the job. The suit is a one-piece with what I think is called a racing back. When I first pulled it up to my waist and started to slide my arms through the arm holes, I realized my head had to go through the loop that would be around my neck.

The loop at that moment was at my midriff. I tried ducking my head to meet the loop halfway, but the loop ducked with me. After ducking and raising my head, ducking and raising my head -- I'm sure I appeared to be bobbing for apples -- I took the suit entirely off and examined it for hooks, clasps or buttons that would make the whole business more plausible.

There weren't any. I stood for a moment, wondering if somehow the suit was supposed to go over my head. But how could it go over my head? It's a one-piece suit.

Perhaps, I thought, I should drop the neck loop over my head and then pull the lower part of the suit down -- way down, far enough to allow me to step into the leg holes, a contortion I couldn't imagine pulling off without first hopping around the room while folded in half and finally crashing forward onto my face. And even if I somehow struggled to my feet with the suit successfully on, did I care to go through that every time I wanted to cool off on a hot day?

Whether swimsuit makers believe their customers are serious swimmers intent on getting their laps in or amateurs who go to the pool only sporadically, who among us wants to suffer the kind of endurance training to which early astronauts were subjected, up to and perhaps including dry heaves, just to get the suit on?

I must be missing something.

I pulled the loop over my head and examined the rest of the suit, now dangling in front of me. If I put my arms through their loops, I thought carefully, then ... then I'd still have the bottom half of the suit hanging below my chin like a feed bag. I simply could not see how the thing is done.

It does go on; I know that. I've worn this swimsuit before. But not recently -- not even once last summer, as I recall -- and I lack the long-term memory to recall the details.

I suppose I could ask the Internet for assistance. But here's the thing: Even before I watched CollegeHumor's "If Google Was a Guy," I secretly believed Google was a guy, a guy rolling his eyes and smacking his forehead and sweeping everything off his desk in displays of viral exasperation every time someone asks a dumb question such as, "How do I put on this swimsuit?"

To avoid that humiliation, I'm hoping to figure this out for myself. Before next Thursday, if possible.

UPDATE: Twenty-four hours later, I saw the swimsuit lying where I'd dropped it and picked it up again. Instantly, the truth jumped out at me: What I was holding in my hands was a simple tank suit: shoulder straps and leg holes, with the suit in between. The so-called neck loop was where the suit's straps crossed in the back. Putting my head through that circle effectively guaranteed the rest of the suit would not go on, unless I contrived to put it on sideways.

Well, don't I feel silly.

Write to Margo Bartlett at margo.bartlett@gmail.com.