Do you remember your favorite summer activity as a kid? It had to be going to the public swimming pool. If not, you were deprived and missed out on the best life had to offer. Anyway, I remember waiting for my mom to get off work, in my swimsuit, towel in hand, ready to enjoy summer in the chlorine-filled abyss that is the public pool.
Flash forward to now. I’m 27 and had the opportunity to relive that awesomeness today with a friend, except… things were a little different from I remember.
First, we arrived at the pool and approached the entrance. I studied the Justin Bieber wanna-be boys with florescent colored sunglasses and daringly low-cut trunks. I had never been to this particular pool before. Because we are teachers in the area, we go to great lengths to avoid parents and students. We like them, however it is quite awkward to catch up with a former parent as you’re rocking a tiny triangle top bikini… So there we were, sitting on our towels and liberally applying sunscreen. The younger crowd of kids were throwing their towels down, ripping off their cover ups, and dashing into the pool with a carefree attitude. Damn. “Don’t these girls know the importance of protecting their skin? Psssh!” (While secretly wishing I could do that.)
Later we decided to try out the lazy river… key word here being lazy. I grabbed a two person raft and moved toward the water. My friend says, “Um, don’t you think we should get our own rafts? People might think we’re together.” Ha! If we were in a relationship, she had already taken the role as the butch. We looked all around for single rafts with no luck. We agree on the double raft and push it in the water. A Zach Efron look-alike stopped the raft with his hand and stared at us through his aviators.
Zach Efron look-alike: “Uh, you can’t both use this.”
Me: “Why not?
Zach: “Because it’s not meant for two people.”
My friend: “Then why are there two spots to sit?”
Zach: “That side is for babies.”
Me: “That’s dumb. What mother would lay their baby here and cruise down the lazy river?”
We pulled the raft out past a group of pre-teens laughing nervously. Yeah, like they knew that’s what it was for (unless one of their friends was a teen mom, then yes, they may have legitimately knew what it was for.) Moments later another young lifeguard handed us a raft that WAS for two adults and we began our float. (By the way, what is up with these über young lifeguards? I don’t seriously think one of these 16-year-old girls could pull my drowning ass from the water.) In the lazy river, it only took seconds before a group of crazed ADD children began playing bumper boats. They were ramming and pushing their way through, causing us to hit the wall several times, block up traffic, and end my tranquil summer moment. Without thinking I snapped… “Chill out guys!” They all stared in fear and disbelief. Hey, what can I say? I can’t turn the teacher in me off. We continued our gossip-filled float and manged to avoid most of the waterfalls along the way. Seriously. Who decided to have waterfalls all over lazy rivers? Most people are here to float, relax, and keep their hair dry. If we wanted to get soaked, we’d be in the damn pool! Once my friend leaned back to avoid a waterfall on her hair and instead it poured onto her chest and stomach. It looked like something out of a raunchy summer teen movie that would’ve been in slow motion. Lots of the preteens stopped their banter to watch and I quickly stole the hypothetical butch role back.
Later that afternoon we considered trying one of the water slides. It was a tube slide that literally stops halfway and catapults you 10 feet out into the water. We looked down at our swimsuits and quickly decided that we’d probably end up all sorts of undressed once we hit the water. None of these children needed to be a witness to it. Plus, the kids were coming out of the slide so nice and calm when they splashed into the water. Pretty sure I’d pull some sort of spastic flailing motion in the air that would cause a viral video. It would end wonderfully with me exiting the water without my bottoms. Perfect. I will not be partaking anytime soon. Oh to be young again!
Finally, we ended the day laying on our towels, talking about work, vacations, and boys. Next to us a group of teens were actively trying to get thier first romantic relationships started. They were screaming, giggling, smacking (yes, that’s still how the young ‘ens show affection; however with adult relationships it’s called domestic assault) and draping their arms around each other nervously. Was I ever like that? Um yes, probably times ten. When does one go from slapping cute boys to reapplying sunscreen for fear of early wrinkles?
Going to the public pool is always fun, but the experience changes with time. As a little girl, I was swinging my legs, eating an ice cream cone on a bench. Then I was chasing boys around and showing off with my sweet cannonball form. Today, I was slathering sunscreen, avoiding getting my hair wet, and watching the time to be sure I left in time to still get groceries for the week.
Have you been to the pool lately? How was your experience? Should we embrace our inner child and go for the water slide or sit back and take a spin on the lazy river while monitoring other people’s children?