Wednesday, July 13, 2016

La Dee Da!


“Do you really wake up every morning thinking what bad thing is gonna happen today?”
Sanctimonious Admonishment Woman gazed at me across the bubbles of the hot tub, serene in her superiority. What the hell?

Sure, I’d just been whining to DL about how some teenage girls had stolen my fins off the deck while I was swimming, claiming that they didn’t know they were mine when the lifeguard who’d so gallantly helped me locate them, asked them. I’d referred to this night of swimming as mayhem, but more on that later. I guess I’d also made some comment about waking up thinking what bad thing was gonna happen to me today, which SAW picked right up on. How do I respond?

I laughed. “Well, I’ve had a run of bad things lately, so it seems appropriate.”
SAW nodded, sagely, “Well, don’t you think that if you woke up every morning thinking ‘What good thing is gonna happen to me?’, that maybe good things might happen?”
Shit. No. I don’t believe this. But I go along with her, cuz what am I gonna do? Start an argument in the hot tub? I glance over at DL whose eyes are wide in engagement at the exchange.

I lied. “Sure, I suppose, you have a point. I’ll give this a try and see what happens.”

She nodded, satisfied, smug. She’d been water walking the entire time I’d been trying to swim amidst the mayhem. She was far away from the chaos of thieving fin teens and throwing ball kids. So, when the mayhem analysis came next, I had to refrain from pointing this out.
“And…” SAW continued, “it’s not mayhem. That’s just normal kid energy. You must not be around kids very much.”
“No,” I answered, thinking, I avoid them as much as possible, but summers in the pools at the YMCA make it difficult. They may be practicing their normal kid energy when they steal my fins, but hell, I don’t appreciate this one bit!

When I mention the fin stealing episode to Sandy later on, telling her about the kid energy perspective from SAW, Sandy had whistled softly, then shook her head, “Were your fins on the side of the pool while you were in the lane?”
“Yes.”
“Well, then they knew that the fins belonged to you no matter what they said. They stole them plain and simple.”
“Thank you!” I breathe out. At least someone else gets that the normal kid energy is undesirable. “I was just so upset, you know?”
“Of course you were!” Sandy exclaims. “Next time someone tells you that it’s just normal kid energy, you just tell them ‘La dee da!’”

I crack up. “Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Thanks, Sandy.”

Nodding seriously, she goes back to her careful lotion application process as DL and I gather up our stuff to head out of the Downtown Oakland YMCA.

And SAW? Where was she?

I have no idea. I’d never seen her before. And I hope I never see her again. But if I do, I’ll tell her how I’ve been waking up every morning and thinking what good thing is gonna happen to me today.

And when she answers with some other nugget of positive wisdom, I’ll just smile and say,
‘La dee da!!!”

Friday, July 01, 2016

Demon Shower Boy Child



“Don’t stare at me!” I stand shaking, wrapped in my towel, in the center of the women’s shower at the Hilltop YMCA. The Devil Boy Child makes a scrunchy face at me, his demon eyes glittering at me in gleeful maliciousness.

Goddamnit! Is it asking so much to be able to take a shower in the women’s locker room without a goddamn boy child staring at me?
Evidently.

He starts a spastic dance at me in the middle of the shower, his arms flapping akimbo, his devil face ablaze with evil intent. He knows he has the power over me. I can’t take a shower with him dancing there in the center of the showers. Where the hell is his mother?

“Stop staring at me!” I holler again.
He stops his dance, but continues his stare as only boy children can do when confronted with naked women.
Why oh why can’t the YMCA keep the kids in their own locker rooms at the Hilltop Y? There are no kids allowed in Oakland. There’re no kids allowed in Berkeley. Why does Hilltop allow it? Families! Remember, it’s called the Hilltop FAMILY YMCA—So, it’s the goddamn children centric situation. They rule. Especially in the summer. The pool is amuck with them. Screaming and splashing and fighting.
But to have to put up with them in the shower too? I just can’t handle it. Esp. on a Friday afternoon when I’ve had a hellish week and all I want to do is swim, sauna, and shower in peace!
Now, the Shower Demon Child starts up his dance again. I glance around for the mother. Oh, here she is, harried and entitled. Ready to do battle with me. I can tell from her firm frown.

“How old is he?” I ask her, knowing that at the very least kids over 5 can’t use the women’s locker room. Not that this is enforced, but it’s worth a try.
Smugly, she glares at me, “He’s 4!” She grabs him, trying to pry him and his staring eyes away from his prize. “Bye Bye!” she commands. To me? For the child to tell me? Or is she just yelling at me like I’m 4 years old too?
She hustles the demon child into one of the curtained stalls. The child protests, still craning his scrawny neck to get a last glimpse at me before the curtain is drawn.

And I stand there for a second wondering if I should go over to the showers on the other side where we are not supposed to ‘shampoo and condition’. I decide I will. To hell with the rules. I grab my products and peek around the corner and.... shit.

Another boy child and its mother are over there! Damn! This child is little, and doesn’t pay attention to me at all, thoroughly enraptured with mom’s ministrations.

And this is my point. If the boy child is old enough to STARE at the naked women, then it’s old enough to use the kids’ locker rooms! Why the hell is this concept so hard to get across? No one seems to care except for me and….
The Lovely I! I remember her fury at the boy children allowed in the women’s locker room at Mills College. “WTF?” she’d shake her head. “Don’t stare at me!” she’d command. And I can’t remember, but

I think they listened to her.

They don’t listen to me. Why is that? I try to be as scary as possible, but I think when a boy child has the opportunity to stare at a naked women, well, hell, he’s going to, right?
I mean part of me gets that it’s not the kid’s fault. He is just doing what comes naturally. But the mothers?

Shit. They could control the kids. Keep them from staring. Or hell, take them to the kids’ locker room if staring is an issue.

But I know better. Nothing will change. I think today, for a moment, of complaining to the management of Hilltop Y, but why bother? I’d just get the same old song and dance: “They’re little. They need their mothers…..They can go into the adult locker room with parental supervision till they’re 6….” Etc., etc., etc.!

And the staring invasion of privacy situation?
No one cares.
Except for me.
And the Lovely I.
Oh, my I miss her so!

She’d have stopped this Demon Boy Child in his tracks today. Or at the very least, I’d have someone to share my frustration with the situation.
Which is definitely worth a lot.
Esp. when a Demon Shower Boy Child is the culprit!