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Showing posts from May, 2018

Show Some Respect!!!!

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The pink ball plops into the middle of my lane. I stop, exasperated, but undaunted as the boy springs into my lane, fetches the ball and dives back into the mayhem family lane. Yes it’s summer at the Downtown Oakland Y and while I have my own lane, I have the misfortune of it being next to the family lane. Hence the ball interruption.

But whatever. It’s no big deal, right?

I keep swimming. Swimming. Swimming. Maybe 10 laps.
Then again, the pink ball plops into my lane.
Shit. The same process is repeated. The boy hops into my lane, retrieves the ball, and hurls it back at his playmates. He’s loud. Brash. Confident. Doesn’t give me a second glance. I stop. Stare at him in amazement. Then stare at the lifeguard who’s standing on the edge of the deck observing the lap swimming interruption .

Why the hell doesn’t the lifeguard do anything?

Oh, yeah, I’m at the Downtown Oakland Y. The lifeguards are completely ineffectual. And part of me thinks, okay, it’s not their job to parent the kid…

Emotional

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“Were you swimming in the pool tonight?” ,her voice a wistful resignation.

“Yes,” I say, thinking where else would I be swimming, but refrained from being a smartass. Something about her, lying with the bag of ice on her belly, was vulnerable, tender. I don’t think I’d ever seen her before in Utopia, though Sandy knew her. But Sandy knows everyone.
Sandy’d been haranguing earlier about the idiocy of women who do whatever they want-- to hell with everyone else. This started with my relief that the hot tub was working again. “Last week, it was closed. Something about broken glass?” I reported, leaning back into the corner, letting the dry heat soothe.

Sandy had harrumphed, “Some people! They bring a bottle of Perrier, and leave it on the side of the Jacuzzi and oh gee, lookee! It fell into the hot tub and broke into tiny little pieces. Oh well. Or there was this woman last week, she brought her glass jar, glass mind you, into the sauna here, full of some unsavory soup concoction, and …

Smile!

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“Smile!”

Seriously? I glare at the beaming dorkguard at Hilltopia Pool. I’ve just finished my swim and I’m tired and cold. It’d been an okay swim till the end when some spaz got in the lane with me and I had to dodge his wave slapping stroke.

Dorkgaurd Smile Commander approaches the women’s locker room door, repeating his smile command and then even goes so far as to make a smile upward shape on his own mug with his index fingers. Grinning widely in pantomime.

Shit.
"SMILE!!!" he commands again.
“Why?” I growl as he holds the door open for me.
“Because life is good?” he exclaims. “Because it’s a beautiful day?”

I sigh, shake my head. All my life I’ve had men, and it’s always men, telling me to smile. It really pisses me off and normally I’d just let this go but today, well…he got me on a short fuse day.
“You know,” I say, “that’s a really Sexist Thing to say.”
His own smile takes a downturn.
“Do you ever tell men to smile?” I ask.
He pauses for a moment. I can see that h…