KoKo, do you ever swim when grandma is around? If so, maybe you might keep the one-piece suit for those rare times, just to forestall more fights.
It's not as if she's asking you to wear a full diving outfit that covers you from wrists to ankles, after all.
What I'm hearing from you in these stories about your grandmother is that she thinks you can do nothing right, and YOU think SHE can do nothing right. You've got to back off.
Why do you have to back off? Because SHE isn't going to back down, and someone has to. Is that unfair? Yes, but you know what? It will be a lot easier in the long run if you let these stupid little control issues go, let her win a few fights, and allow her to relax a bit and feel she has some influence in your life. In order to change the way you two relate, you're first going to have to change the way you relate to her. Right now, your entire relationship is one circle of nonproductive anger patterns. Do you REALLY want that stress every time you interact?
Part of growing up is knowing when to walk away from a dogfight. Three years from now, what do you stand to lose if you give in now? Three years from now, what do you stand to have gained? It's negligible. Let this go. Write her a nice note. Wear the stupid swimsuit when she may see you. Quit taking every criticism of your life as a knife to the heart. Find some common ground with her. Once you stop being eternally defensive, you may find she stops being continuously offensive.
I respectfully disagree. Some people who do the "controlling" thing are just insatiable, and once they see that they can get someone to do something they want, they keep trying to manipulate that same person, over and over again. For example.......well, I hate to use my mother as an example, because we've been getting along so much better lately, but I guess since this isn't a recent series of events, it's okay to describe it:
End of grade eight: The "course selection" sheets for grade nine were sent home (if you can even call them that, because at the time, students going into grade nine were only allowed to chose which arts course they wanted to take--visual arts, music, or drama.....they've since added dance as an option, and I think there's a choice among gym classes too, but we only got to pick arts courses). Anyway.......my mom announced that I would *have* to take music, because she'd heard wonderful things about the Blahblah Whatsit Collegiate Band from friends with older kids. I didn't want to at the time, but I did, reluctantly.
Later in grade nine through grade eleven: I discovered that I liked music, and was good at it, but I was horrible at math. My mother then proceeded to make all kinds of scary-but-empty threats to take away my music if I didn't improve in math.....she never followed through, but I ended up passing by the skin of my teeth with the help of my tutor.
Grade 12-summer before first year of university: My mother started to worry about my weight...more so.....so, she'd intermittently threaten to take away my music if I didn't lose weight. Things calmed down, then in OAC, she promised me she'd buy me my own clarinet (a nice wooden model) if I got into university for music. I did, she was happy, but THEN she decided to make the clarinet contingent on......guess what? Making a commitment to lose weight. I played along for a bit, she let up and bought me the clarinet, but continued to act whiny and PA about my weight all summer, until I finally left for school.
Summer before second year of university-now: My mother decided that she'd had enough, she said I couldn't go back to school unless I lost weight, I started losing weight, I went back to school, I continued to lose weight, she was happy, so she bought me cute clothes to replace the ones that I'd "outshrunk." Fine, right? Well, after a while, whenever I'd wear my new clothes, she'd say they were indecent for one reason or another--pants too low, shirts too short or too tight (I don't dress provocatively by any stretch, so any bare midriff or back she might have seen was purely incidental). After that, my clothing became a source of never-ending lectures and tantrums from her, about how I embarrassed her, she couldn't be seen in public with me, etc. At this point, I simply started tuning her out.
So, you see, a lot of truly controlling people don't even really want whatever it is they appear to be campaigning for at the time, they just have a crazy need to always have something to control or fix. So, in Koko's case, she might start out by wearing the one-piece bathing suit to please her grandmother, but then after swimming, Grandma might take offense to a slogan on Koko's T-shirt, or think her jeans are too tight or whatever, and then take it upon herself to buy Koko a whole new wardrobe of clothes that she doesn't have room to store, and then pitch a fit on the inevitable day she either a) comes over unannounced, or b) Koko forgets which clothes are "Grandma-approved" and which aren't, and wears the wrong thing. Or, even if Grandma *is* satisified with Koko's choice of outfits, she might find something else to pick on.....I know boys have been a recurring theme, as well as Koko's movie and T.V. preferences. So, I guess what I'm saying is, Tabris, much as I normally agree with you, and I think you're a really wonderful, nice person, and a great addition to E-hell, this time, I have to say, I don't agree that "give the control freak whatever he or she wants" is necessarily the best advice, because chances are, the control freak in question will *never* be satisfied.