Halfway to 50!

Twenty somethings unite!

The Staple of Summer: The Public Pool June 4, 2012


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?

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Wanted: Childless Couple Friends May 22, 2011


I feel like a liar.  I feel deceitful.  I had a birthday last week that makes my blog title no longer true.  However, I don’ t think calling my blog, “Halfway to 50… and then some,” sounds as catchy.  On Tuesday I entered Club 26 (ooo now that has a ring to it!)  I rang it in with my hubbie, a bottle of wine, a vodka shot, and a few unexpected surprises…. let me explain.

The weekend before my birthday the hubbie and I went to dinner downtown.  You know, one of those places with dim lights, long narrow menus, and tiny tables.  The waiter came over and poured my husband a small glass of wine.  I raised an eyebrow at the smidge of wine standing in his glass and anxiously waited for him to fill up my glass when I noticed something great happen.  My husband picked up his wine glass, swirled it around, smelled it, and took a sip.  He nodded to the waiter who proceeded to pour him a full glass and then fill up mine as well.  Oooo classy!  I smirked at my husband who so gracefully handled a situation that made me giggle.  Turns out his fancy job puts him in situations like this all the time so he knew exactly how to handle it.  That’s my oh so grown up man!  We wrapped up dinner and walked, well my husband walked and I stumbled, back to the car.  We hit 2 Redbox machines up on the way home (both were out of order) so we gave up. 

Tuesday night we went out to dinner again with another couple because, well, I’m not about to cook on my birthday.  We ordered a round of shots, which my girlfriend declined.  The waitress came back with a regular glass, not a shot glass, full of vodka for each of us.  “Sorry,” she said with a shrug, “we don’t have shot glasses.”  Gulp by gulp I took about the equivalent of 3 shots and continued with my dinner.  Hey, like 50 Cent says, party like it’s your birthday!  That’s when my girlfriend dropped the news on me.  “We’re expecting,” she said.  Surprisingly my eyes began to well up with tears.  I’m not a super emotional girl so this was big.  I pushed my husband out of the booth, forced her husband out as well, and hugged her.  On the way home I tried to picture her with a baby.  “Well, another one bites the dust,” I said to hubbie.  “One more couple we can’t call to meet at the bar on a Saturday night.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited for them!  I love kids (I am a teacher after all; it’s not for the money) and I hope to have my own someday, but it’s getting tough to maintain couple friends without kids.  We’re holding tight to the ones we’ve got.  When the topic of babies comes up with them, I often try to make it sound like we’re discussing purchasing a snake. 

Childless couple friend:  When are you two thinking about having kids?

Me: Psh… (gulping a drink) Not for a while.

Childless couple friend: Really?

Me: Yes (taking another drink) I still have so many things I want to do.

Childless couple friend: Like what?

Me: Oh you know, travel, finish school… drink in a bar without paying $50 for a sitter.

Childless couple friend: Yeah… me too.

Haha!  Someday I’m going to laugh at my obnoxious self-centered thinking.  But until then, I’m going to sleep in, write papers until the wee hours of the night, change my plans at the last minute, and plan elaborate vacations.  Please don’t judge me.  Recognize that I just celebrated another birthday, receive news about friends being pregnant almost daily (thanks Facebook), and simply put, am just not ready.  Here’s to all the childless couples out there who are sitting around reading blogs on a Sunday night because there’s nothing else to do!

 

25 in the Midwest March 28, 2011


Are expectations different depending on where you live?

I had this thought today as I was driving to the gym.  I had Cosmo Radio on in the car and was listening to a segment called, Cocktails with Patrick or Cocks with P (if you’re feeling a little sassy!)  He was on a roll delivering a strong message about being 25 years old to his co-host.  Apparently she is 25 and he was telling her to relish every moment of this time, because it only goes downhill from there. 

After you’ve all stopped gasping, continue reading please.  He was telling her that she is at her prime physically, emotionally, and sexually.  He went as far as to tell her that she should throw herself a party tonight to celebrate this wonderful age!  But what really got me was when he asked her about her “old” friends, you know, those girlfriends she has who are 28 or 29 years old.  (There was even a moment where they referred to these women as “golden girls!”  Their words, not mine.)  If asked, he believed every one of them would turn back the clock 4 years.  Why? Because they have more pressure and responsibility now.  Together they listed the things that cause pressure and responsibility when you are in your late 20’s like careers, marriage, and babies.  He advised his halfway to 50 co-host to truly soak up every moment of her carefree existence right now before she becomes engulfed in life’s expectations.

Here is where my head spun around.  What he is talking about??  I’m 25, four years into my career, married, and paying a monthly mortgage.  My halfway to 50 life is full of responsibility and pressure!  Now, please don’t think I’m complaining.  I chose every element of my life and love what it has become.  I have a career that I’m passionate about, a husband who adores me, and a home that we’ve created together that someday we’ll raise children in.  So why does this radio host believe 25 year olds are free of responsibility?  Am I crazy or is he?  Where I come from, once you graduate college, you get a move on with life.  It is still filled with fun and excitement, but you have to work for it.

Most of my friends were married in their early 20’s and many are starting to have children.  We all have jobs because, well, who else is going to pay the bills?  We have fun on the weekends and work hard during the week.  We haven’t thrown in the towel on our youth yet, but still take on a lot of responsibility. 

Two of my best friends are not married.  Both have come to me with concerns about their age and the increasing pressure to marry soon.  They’re great girls with good jobs, amazing families, and dazzling personalities.  So why are they worried?  Because they want security, love, and, babies before they’re 30.  Most of the time these conversations turn to the idea that people our age in other areas of the country are partying, carefree, and starring in reality shows about living in a beach house. 

I guess what I’m saying is if I was born in Los Angeles, maybe I’d be running around from bar to bar, flirting with muscle laden bronzed men, working a temp job as a dog walker, and living in a run down apartment on the beach.  The only responsibilities I’d have is to sweep the sand off the floor at night, keep enough protection in the house for my gentlemen callers, and keep an ample supply of sunscreen on hand for my tanning sessions.

So my final thought to you is, does region determine the expectation on you and your age?  Do you think you’d have a different life if you grew up elsewhere?  What is society’s current expectation of you?

 

Bars, Movies, or Video Games? January 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 12:23 am
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I woke up refreshed, alert, and eager to start 1-1-11!  Not everyone can say that today.  In fact most people who are halfway to 50 (or near there) probably woke up sick, hungover, and trying to figure out a way to get to the car they left in the bar parking lot.  Why was I different?  Well someone had to take my halfway to 50 husband home last night  after a long game of quarters.  Don’t go feeling sorry for me though, this was the plan we prepared earlier in the day.  I wasn’t feeling like drinking that night- no it was more like I didn’t want to be sick the next day, so I volunteered myself to be the DD for my hubbie. 

 The night started off with good friends, light chats about how the holidays went, and a counter filled with a variety of boozes that I continued to politely decline every 15 minutes or so.  “But we have room for you to stay if you want,” they encouraged.  It was a kind gesture, but I think when you’re halfway to 50 the idea of passing out a friend’s house because you can’t safely drive home isn’t as cute as it used to be.  To be honest, what I was looking forward to the most at this New Year’s party didn’t look like it was going to happen- playing “Just Dance 2” on the Wii.  WHAT??? I know, I know, I’m halfway to 50 and incredibly excited about playing a video game, oh I mean, incredibly challenging yet fun cardio packed dance challenge!  But if you have ever played it, you know.  It provides you with a blueprint of dance steps that, once mastered, allow you to appear coordinated and talented!  Because you don’t know me, you don’t know that I really have nothing that I consider myself talented at.  You know how they always ask that question in interviews, “What are you good at, what are your talents?”  I usually stare at them blank and come up with the old stand by… “I’m a great listener.”  Pssh!  I’m a terrible listener!  Once my husband starts to tell me about work I soon begin to think about that show that’s on tonight and how I haven’t set our DVR to record it yet.  I’m terrible.  It’s something I’m working on. 

Anyway, back to “Just Dance 2.”  I have discovered that I’m actually talented at playing this game.  After a couple of times through each song, I can pretty much do it from memory.  I knew this house we were going to had a Wii and the game I had grown to love.  I happily packed our 2 controllers from home so that 4 people could dance at once (4 people!) and proudly placed them on the table when we arrived at the party announcing my excitement for the game!  The hours ticked by…. I declined about 4 drinks at this point…. and even threw the quarter for my husband because he could sense my unrest.  It was midnight.  We cheered, blew noise makers, and kissed our significant others.  Then we realized we had forgotten our champagne toast that we talked about and did a midnight “do-over.”  Hey, we’re halfway to 50’s, it happens.  People began to gather their things and hinted at heading home for the night when finally- it happened.  Someone suggested playing “Just Dance 2” and everyone put their things down.  We danced for about an hour and had a blast!  Thank goodness we got to play!  For without that last hour of dancing, I may have considered the New Year’s of 2011 a disappointment. 

Being a halfway to 50 is confusing, especially at New Year’s.  Do we go to a bar and get hammered followed by an expensive cab ride home?  Nope, we’re cheap and the packed bar is a little too noisy.  Do we stay in and watch a movie?  No, that’s what old people do who have no plans.  We go to our friend’s house, have a glass of champagne at midnight, and then dance along with a video game.  Is this a perfect New Year’s Eve for all halfway to 50’s?  No.  But it was perfect for me.  Happy 2011!