Damn, I Wish the Lifeguards Would Ask Me Favors More Often!

“Excuse me?” The bashful, sweet, and definitely cute lifeguard is talking to me? The lifeguards here at the Oakland YMCA pool NEVER talk to me. What’s up?

I grin, nod encouragingly. “Could you do me a favor?” he asks, his voice and demeanor shy, hesitant.
He is so adorable. Of course! Anything, I think. I say, “Sure.”

“There are these neon rings that the kids left in the bottom of the pool and I couldn’t get them to pick them up. I can’t reach them.” He stands on the deck, hands spread in a dramatic shrug accompanied by a dazzling smile. “Would you mind going back in and retrieving them for me?”
I’d just gotten out of the pool at the 9:30 whistle and so now my earplugs were out, my cap was off, my mask wet and used. But, hell, for him? I’ll jump back in.

“No problem,” I answer in the millennial vernacular. “Anything to stay in the pool longer!”

He laughs, watches me hop back into the pool and starts to direct me to each ring’s location. “There’s one over there,” he points out one orangey one at the bottom of the first lane. Since I’ve taken out my earplugs, I have to retrieve them with my foot. This is hilarious as I try to grab the ring with my toes and then flip it up and out of the water. But voila! I’ve got it. On to the next one.
He points out all the rings to me in the first lane and then notes that there are some in the next lane over. Damn. How am I going to get into that lane without going underwater and getting water in my delicate ears?

Climb over the lane line? This is strictly verboten, but maybe under the circumstances, it’s okay to break the rules. All in the name of Ring Retrieval.

And so I do: push the lane down, clamber over it most ungracefully I’m sure, and then pop into the next lane where I can repeat the foot toss up retrieval process.

There are a LOT of rings! I mention this to him. “Yeah, like I said, I tried to get the kids to pick them up but then their mom said they had to get outta the pool and get dressed it was time for bed and so….” He shrugs.

Well, he tried.

And, it’s a fun project for me on an otherwise uneventful Wednesday night swim. No Soft and Shy Muslim Swimmer tonight. No super speedy Korean Women to gawk at. So, the Ring Retrieval delights me.

Plus the water is warm!

I finally retrieve the last one and hand it up to him; he bends down to shake my hand, introduce himself. “I’m Tyrone. And you’re?”
“Carol. Well, thanks so much. I really appreciate it.”
I climb out of the pool, satisfied with a job well done. Probably more appreciation for this job than all the jobs I’d done all day!

“Are you new here?” I ask him as I head toward the locker room.
“Nah….I’ve been here since……” He pauses, counting on his fingers. So cute! “5 months since July.”
“Okay, well, that’s pretty new. I haven’t seen you here before.”
“Yeah, well I work at Target in the afternoons before I come here and sometimes I work at night and can’t make it.”
Ah, another part time multiple jobs worker. The wave of the future in the next generation that started with my generation. At least in my field, that illustrious one of part time adjunct faculty.
“Bet it’s pretty busy at Target this time of year,” I comment, knowing full well from my years of retail how the holiday hoards descend.
“Oh, yeah!” He nods at me again, grinning that dazzling smile.

And so, we part. I head into the locker room, eager to tell DL of my adventure. Who is suitably excited. She starts to list the possible titles for this blog. “Ring Retrieval Situation” or RingTrieval Situation” or…..

I think I’ll call it “Damn, I wish the Lifeguards would ask me favors more often!”
Yes, perfect, don’t you think, DL?


Ruth Jameson said…
Dazzling Smiles will get you most places...would that the world could practice this...
Cj said…
Yes, it's true, Ruthie! And his smile radiated his entire being. So cute! Thanks for reading, as always!

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