Some days are pool heaven. The sun is shining (ok, it shines every day from January to June, but still), the water is debris-free, the palm trees are gently swaying, the smell of toast is in the air. I might even have the pool all to myself.
And then there are days when you wonder what exactly takes hold of people when they take to the water in stretchy fabrics.
Today was a fine example of the latter, but rather than give you the splash by splash, let’s go straight to how NOT to deport yourself in communal water:
- Do not do laps on the pool width-ways. The lines are there for a reason, Mr. Splashing With Your Face Up In The Sun. Maybe, if no one else is in the pool, you can go the short way and feel like a hot shot for doing more laps that you can brag to your friends about. And I know that, if you’re a new swimmer, you might not be able to go the entire length of the pool, or you might be pretty scared of the water, period. That’s fine. But trust me, my heart almost busted out through my ears the first few times I hit the pool with my board last year. I just got a board and a spot by the edge until I was convinced I wasn’t going to drown.
- Don’t swim directly next to people when there are a million open lanes or, worse yet, no one else in the pool. You creep me out.
- It goes without saying, but please shower before dipping yourself in. If I can smell your disgusting sneeze-inducing smell-coverup cologne when you hit the water, you haven’t showered enough. You need a sponge and elbow grease–get to it.
- I’m usually not in the water to chat, so please leave me to my laps. However, if you stop me mid-push-off to ask me an inane question like “where are you from,” I might bite you (and hope that you showered appropriately beforehand).
- It goes without saying, but pretty please don’t sqroak into the water. If you need to expectorate, you need to turn your ass around and come back another (phlegm-free) day.
And, just like there are rules of deportment to be observed in the water, there are a few that should be observed in the dressing room.
- Ladies, please flush the toilet. Why is it that the pool toilet is always unflushed? I’ve tested the flushing many times, and it works just fine. Humidity plus unflushed toilets equal unholy stink. Surely we are better than that.
- I know that it can be awkward to change in front of other people, but don’t sigh and harrumph and carry on and give me the side eye for being in there when you want to get changed. Don’t sigh because the family shower is in use. Don’t shoot me evils because you “need” to change in the toilet stall because I’m there. I know there are body image issues and cultural issues that create discomfort for people, but goodness, my back is turned to you. And I KNOW you have no problem flashing your goodies (the same ones we share) to all and sundry for carnival.
- Do not spend ten minutes grunting in the family changing room. Swimming can be hard, but unless you’ve just broken a Michael Phelps record there is no need to alert the world of your physical exhaustion. That, and I have no idea what you’re up to in there, and it’s just a bit gross.
- Put a towel down if you’re going to be sitting butt-nekkid on the bench. Or, better yet, don’t sit butt-nekkid on the bench. Sheesh, you wouldn’t share water with me so what makes you think I want to share THAT with you?
- Gauge carefully who you want to talk to while in a state of butt-nekkidness. I’m not a prude in the changing room, but I also don’t start face-to-face conversations with fully naked folks, so I expect the same. Wait till I have at least two undergarments to stand in front of me and expect a response.
I can safely say that I saw Pool No-No’s 1,2, and 3 today (and averted what was clearly a No-No Number 4), and that I saw Dressing Room No-No’s 1,2,3, and 4 today. And it’s not like the pool was that busy. Oy vey.
If only the kind pool men could wake from their worktime slumber to put up a Miss Manners-type sign and make all naughty rule-breakers do a Walk of Shame (or two minutes in the outdoor shower for all to see), pool time would be much happier indeed.
Of course, I always dress like a lady after ending a great four mile run with every joyful expletive in the book and when I am preparing to dispense etiquette tips for all and sundry:
Skirt made by moi and revived a week ago by some nip and tuck action, t-shirt from Charlotte Russe (can I admit that this was $3 now?), white cardigan from Britain days (New Look, I think) and the same old Target pointy shoes I love so much, this time in pewter. Surely grown women don’t own three pairs of the same shoes. I have never claimed to be a grown woman.
Speaking of etiquette, I had to dispense with most strictures of etiquette (and the white cardigan) to eat my lunch, which was a gorgeous–and very staining–combination of the weekend’s chipotle chicken (the last bits!) and leftover Tibetan salsa (tomatoes, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions, pinch of sugar) over green salad:
Followed by the absolute last bit of the lemon bars that I will eat (I mean it this time):
As for dinner, the day called for something fast and relatively hands-off, so I made a batch of Little A’s peanut sauce and tossed it with thin spaghetti, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and green onion:
Cue happiness at having finished the day’s second shift before the hands-off dinner, after which cue delight at having the time to devise a new 3-mile playlist to dominate tomorrow’s run, after which cue realization that I can watch TWO episodes of Dexter tonight if I stop cueing everything off–and now cue goodnight.