Showing posts from May, 2010


So…. (PP likes this beginning today. Jon Carroll wrote about the empathetic reader usage of the word ‘so’—PP is paraphrasing badly here—and how the word ‘so’ implies a continuing ‘invitation’ to the reader. We were having this conversation before, we were interrupted because the column, blog, book ended, but hey, we’re back again, ready to story away. Or in this case, to blog away…)

So….PP was doing just fine until she tried to go to the Oakland YMCA. No one had broken down in tears over her paper; no one had flaked on sending in her paper over the email; no one had had anything but smiles and appreciation all day for PP.

So….she was in a good mood. Off to Utopia to meet DL. It was always an event to look forward to, right?

So, when PP landed at Broadway and 22nd street where the Y was situated, and there were no parking places, she thought, well, this was to be expected. She did expect it. She liked it when her expectations were not realized around this situation, but she never expected…

This Means You!

“Did you just get outta the pool?”

She wrinkles her pert nose, the eyes behind her wire rimmed glasses sighing, “No. Did you see the sign?”

PP had indeed seen the sign.

Please keep fecal matter out of the pool!
Wash your butt before going in the pool!
(This means you!)
Thank you very much for helping
the YMCA to keep fecal matter out of the pool.

PP esp. had liked the ‘Wash your butt—this means you!' line. Like were the lifeguards gonna check everyone’s butt before they were allowed into the pool?
"Okay everyone! Line up. Drop your suit. Spread your cheeks….”

Somehow, PP thought not.

But it was kind of a funny image as long as it stayed that: an image in her imagination.

Yet Did You See the Sign Woman was not amused. “I’m not EVER going in the pool again!” she announced, before turning away from PP and beginning her getting dressed ritual.

Grinning, PP wondered if this was going to be the general consensus. Everyone would stay out of the pool for fear of unwashed fecal matter on bu…

Puffy Ass!

“You put on a little weight, huh?” Suzy chuckles her hazy laugh as she eyes PP’s ass.

Aghast, PP turns and eyes herself in the mirror, her swimsuit hiding nothing. “Gosh, I don’t know,” she answers, thinking. What the hell? Doesn’t Suzy know that you don’t tell a middle aged American Woman that she’s put on weight no matter how ‘slim’ she may be? That there are still issues? And PP and Sandy had just been discussing cookies. “My Aunt Doreen, we call her Aunt Do –get it?" Sandy had laughed, "her secret is in the flour. She uses a particular kind of flour for each kind of cookie."

“Yup,” Suzy continues, slapping her own ass and cackling, “That’s what happens when we work out. We puff out there. Of course, not me—but you, looks like you put on a bit of weight right there!”

Would she just shut the hell up already? PP does NOT need to hear this tonight. It brings up all those suburban white girl issues around weight and beauty and shit. Will she ever get over her teens?



“ARRGGHHH!!!” She laughs into the mirror, “I guess that mascara wasn’t waterproof!”

PP nods, smiling. She’d noticed this while sharing a lane with Mascara Smear Woman. Why someone would wear mascara in the first place, let alone in the pool, was beyond her. Nevertheless, PP realized that many women (and some men?) do decorate their eyes with this black stuff.

Yet it wasn’t waterproof. Or pool proof. PP observed this whenever MSW turned her head to breathe. The black smudges were getting bigger and blacker with each lap.

It was kinda funny. But also kinda alarming. After all where was all that black stuff going?

In the water. In PP's lane. Granted the pool at Hilltopia was chlorinated to the max, but still….

PP didn’t like the idea of swimming in diluted make-up.

So later, back in front of the mirror, PP asks, “Was it supposed to be water proof?”

“I don’t know,” MSW answers. “Obviously it’s not. Wow!”

She bends over the sink, starts to splash water on her face, making the black gunk r…

It Can Kill a Kid!

“Can I ask you a question?”
The two bored YMCA Hilltopia clerks force a yes-we’ll-try-to-help-the-troublemaking- member smile.
“Kids aren’t supposed to be in the sauna, right?”
“No. No one under 18 is supposed to be in there.” Mousy Guy is adamant.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Last night there was this woman with her kid in the sauna and I was just too tired to engage in a confrontation so I let it go, but I just wanted to double check."
“How old was the kid?” Pinched Face Woman Clerk asks.
“Oh, I don’t know. She was little. 2 or 3.”
PFW shook her head. MG started in, “That’s against the rules. No one under 18 should be in the sauna," he repeated.
“Yeah, isn’t it a health risk?” PP asks.
“Yeah it is. Their little lungs aren’t as developed as ours. They can’t absorb the heat. Their temperatures rise much faster than ours. It can reach 105 like that.” He snaps his fingers to demonstrate the lightening speed of the sauna's deadly heat on wee ones.
“Okay, well that’s good to know f…