THE POOL IS SO POLITICAL (cont.)
“We have good news for you....”
PP waits on the other side of the phone for good news? About the Geo?
“Congratulations! Your car passed smog.”
“You’re kiddin?” PP jumps up and down in front of her big sunny window, barely able to contain herself. The Geo passed smog? With the Check Engine light on?
Good News Auto Boy continues to explain just how this happened. PP doesn’t care. She’s just so relieved. The Geo passed smog. She can go pick the car up. Mail in the registration.
And go to the pool.
So, when she floated out on deck for the 4:30 to 7:30 Lap Swim (yes, this is what the schedule said), she was on Cloud 9. Or 10 or 11.
So so so happy to have the Geo pass Smog and not have to worry about it for another two years.
Yet, there was a tiny voice inside that nagged her. Why aren’t the lane lines in for the entire pool? she wondered. What if there’s a repeat of Pool Pandemonium from Tuesday with Attitude Bitches, Chicken Lifeguards and .....
PP’s Pool PTSD was rising in spite of reassurances to herself that this was Lap Swim time. Till 7:30. No such untoward situations should arise.
As she hopped into the pool, she couldn’t quite shake her uneasiness. In spite of her Elation around the Geo. In spite of the present peace that prevailed.
Slowly at first. She noted a small family. Mom, Dad and kid. Mom wearing her Hijab in the pool, climbed in first. Giggling as her clothes became saturated, she slowly started walking down the non-lane lined side of the pool.
Not lap swimmer was she. (PP had every confidence that no way could Mom do 20 laps.)
Then Dad climbed in while the kid just raced back and forth on the deck, from the equipment storage unit to the side of the pool, handing his parents kickboards, pull buoys, and floaty units. Laughing, screaming and running (Hey, wasn’t there ‘no running’ on deck?)
Okay, she thought. Maybe the kid was just gonna hang out on the deck while the parents did their ‘laps.’
After all the equipment had been procured, the kid jumped in, screeching on cue.
PP stopped swimming her laps in mid-lane. Glances up at the Clueless Lifeguard who’s sitting dully on her stand.
“Excuse me” PP calls to her. “But isn’t it Lap Swim right now?”
Clueless stares at her, her look saying what? Huh? It’s Lap Swim? Was it only perplexity? Or was it stupidity? Or even fear?
She doesn’t answer PP but goes and gets her co-worker, a Guy, of course, who stands over PP, arrogance oozing out of his tattoos.
“It’s Lap Swim now, right?” PP repeats. “There’s not supposed to be families in the pool till 7:30. (It was 5:30 at this time)
Arrogance Tattoo Guard shakes his head. “There’s not a lot of people here. She (Clueless Guard) didn’t know. You’ve got your own lane.”
PP starts to shake, standing in the water. And it’s not from the cold. “The fact that I have my own lane, at least for now, is beside the point. The schedule says it’s Lap Swimming and so therefore, everyone should be swimming laps, and no kids are allowed. I plan my entire day around this schedule. I don’t understand why you don’t honor the schedule. What’s the point of having a schedule if you don’t adhere to it?”
“Hey, Lady. Chill out!” Nosy Walker Man stops in the lane next to PP to admonish her for her unreasonableness, shaking a scrawny finger in her face. It takes every ounce of PP’s control not to yell, “Fuck you!” But she refrains, knows when she’s being ganged up on.
And the fact that it’s two men against one woman does not escape her notice.
ATG continues, empowered by Nosy Walker Man’s support? “The Lifeguard has the authority to make changes to the schedule. When there’s not a lot of swimmers swimming laps then it’s up to the Lifeguard’s discretion to let in rec swimmers. If you read the fine print, you’ll see that.”
“Are you Fucking For REAL?” PP wants to scream this, but again, doesn’t. Why not?
At this point, she’s afraid that she’s going to be kicked out of the pool for causing a disturbance. Even though she’s right.
Because, no way does it say anywhere on the schedule that Lifeguards have the Authority to make Capricious changes to the Lap Swimming hours. She did check later.
Later she’d told this story to the Lovely I, who’d been suitably incensed. “What is it with Young Pricks treating middle aged women like this?” She proceeded to share her own such experience with a YP at her camera store treating her like she didn’t know what she was talking about, how she was making up the problem, the general tone being, Lady you are a pain and you don’t matter and we’re not gonna listen to you and what are you gonna do about it?
And that’s just it.
There’s nothing that PP could do about this Pool Situation at this point, but back away. Still shaking, she dove under the water, swimming as hard as she could to get away from Young Prick.
Being a middle-aged woman is hard enough what with your loss of estrogen, youth and sex appeal. And this is precisely why, PP thinks, that middle-aged women get treated like they’re invisible. Because they are.
Sure she’d heard this before—it seems so cliché and dramatic.
Yet, in fact, her experience this week proved the cliché to be true.
And so, she did finish her swim, but her shaking didn’t stop until she got out, stood under the shower, and then lay down in the sauna for a good long while.
She was hot now. And more than a little bothered.
PP has a long way to go before she’ll ‘chill out.’
Young Pricks beware. Esp. if she can prevail upon the Lovely I to join her at Hilltopia.