PP hears lots of talk about child rearing in women’s locker rooms at the Pool. Sons. Daughters. Grandkids. Nephews. Nieces. And she’s always so relieved about THAT choice—no kid talk for her! (Though she must admit that her niece is her Favorite Person in the World ala Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel—Lucinda is so sad when Fancher Autumnbreast tells the band to just imagine their Favorite Person in the world to help with nerves for their first radio gig and Luce doesn’t even know who this is for her Ex, the band’s artsy kangaroo guy. Yet PP has to grin. She knows absolutely who her Favorite Person is, her niece, Ms. Theadosia Lohnes. Hands down.)

But PP is pretty sure she’s never given her sis any childrearing advice about her niece. At least not since Thea hit puberty.

But in Pool locker rooms, childrearing advice bounces offa the cement walls, bubbles up in the hot tub and echoes in the showers.

“I just want him to get a taste of the Real World. He’s had this tutoring job for the last year through his Senior Advisor, and he may be able to keep it part time this summer, but I really am looking forward to the day when he’s gainfully employed.”

“Yeah, I hear you. My daughter has been doing this volunteer work for the California Teachers Union and while it’s been a good experience for her, she really needs to find a pay check.”

Middle-aged Montclair Swim Club ladies are all about the Real World.

As they are at the Oakland Y:

“I tol her, what you mean your daddy’s stepping on your head? And she gets her little dolly out and lays her on the floor and spread her hair out and then steps real gently on its head with her foot and says like that. And I shake my head and say, Lord have mercy! this chil is bein abused by her daddy. There ain’t no doubt about that. I gotta go report him to the child protective services and then she tell me how he gave her beer and I say how you know it was beer and she say it was in a brown paper bag and it taste real nasty and I think to myself yeah her daddy is a drinker he probably did give her beer….”

“And how ol was she? Only 6 right?”

“That’s right. Only 6 and a chil psychologist she tol us how a kid know when they’re not wanted by the time they’s 4 years ole.

“Ummmmhuhhh….yeah….ain’t that the truth. You want in here sweetheart?”

Pink shower capped marshmallow shaped brown woman nods and gives a toothy grin as the Concerned Moms move over in the hot tub, unblocking the stairs.

PP moves over to make herself even smaller in the corner—no one notices her. She’s not a mom and she’s not big! And here at the Downtown Oakland YMCA, Big Moms Rule the hot tub.

But she’s equally inconspicuous at the Montclair Swim Club. She’s not a Mom and she’s not Rich.

“Ordering the limos for the Prom was such a hassle.”

“Yeah, I bet.”

”My son ordered the limo and then tried to collect money from all the kids but it’s hard to get the money out of the girls. There’s all this confusion about whether or not the girls should even pay so my son ended up footing the bill.”

“My son did this really cute thing where he actually ordered a school bus for the prom. It cost a little more, but it was really cute.”

“Wow. What a great idea. Next year, when Josh’s prom comes up, I’m gonna suggest that.”

“But again, it doesn’t solve the problem of getting the girls to pay their fair share.”

Oh those Wily Girls, PP thinks. Always trying to get a free ride. Where the hell did she go wrong? The free rides were there in her youth, weren’t they? But she didn’t take advantage of them and now look at her—shuffling from marginal teaching job to marginal teaching job. Working her ass off grading ESL essays while still trying to write the Great American Soap Opera Novel.

What’s a PP to do? Whine about it in her blog? This works for her. At the very least, the Pool is full of stories! From Oakland to Montclair, the stories can make her thankful for her swimming life and bring out a giggle or two.

Grinning, PP heads outta the Montclair Swim Club to meet her fellow non-breeding teacher friend, Ms. W., sunning herself in the afternoon light. Tells her about the ‘kid limo talk’ in the locker room.

Miss W chuckles and shakes her head. “Well, that’s one thing we did right. Not have kids!”

And PP smiles, happy with at least one choice that she’s made. No kids.

Well, with the exception of That Favorite Person in her life, the one and only, completely Fabulous, Miss Theadosia Lohnes!


secret PP fan said…
love the contrast... you so get the sound of the big Moms at the Y... and the limo prom kid Moms... mmm hmmm, guess which I purrfurrr?
THEA said…
I'm glad im someones favorite! yayy!!!! I miss you a lot :[

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