Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poolside Psychology

Being the cool mom that I am, I recently set aside my dignity and pride for the day and took my kids to the public aquatic center. Actually, besides the fact that it requires wearing a bathing suit in front of the general public, I love going to the aquatic center. I love the lazy river, the slides and the fact that I can relax on my chair and listen to the 90’s music piped through the speakers while my kids are in eyesight in a pool that’s just the right depth for them. Perfection. An added bonus of the public pool (besides the REO Speedwagon they played), is the study that can be done on the human psyche while soaking up the rays.

Here are a few things I gleaned about the human race from our afternoon at the pool:

*If you want to see the future models and heartthrobs of America , go to the pool and check out the lifeguards. Be discreet though you don’t want them to think you’re a pedophile. They make young moms like myself, still clinging to our youth feel frumpy and old, thanks aquatic center we needed that.

*Many 10-12 year old boys are punks. I was waiting with Ryder in line for one of the slides and there were 2 tween boys in front of us. Another kid walked by and the 2 boys in front of us started ridiculing him and picking a fight with him. The line moved up but they were too busy being mean to the kid passing by to notice so being the softspoken, shy, demure person that I am gently said to them, “So are you going to move up or are you going to fight with that poor kid all day?” I may have given them the “you’re pushing the limits and you don’t want to mess with me because I wrestle goats” look because they looked terrified and immediately moved up and left the kid alone, either that or I just look THAT bad in my bathing suit. I thought about making them run laps as punishment but figured since they weren’t my kids I should probably just leave it alone. Trust me, a few laps would’ve done them some good. Also, I’m pretty sure I made the victim’s day as he walked away with a big ol’ grin on his face. I don’t like punks. Of course my perfect little angels, Blade and Ryder will NEVER act like that..right? RIGHT? Right.

*A fun game to play when at a public pool is “who’s had work done?”, especially in the affluent neighborhood where this particular aquatic center is located. At every pool there are several types of ladies: 1) the ones that have kids but are desperately trying to look like they haven’t and are going to extreme measures such as implants, tummy tucks, etc to do so. These stick out like a sore thumb and can typically be found not moving from their chaise lounger and certainly not getting wet. 2) The teenage girls who flit around in their teeny tiny bikinis thinking to themselves “I’ll never look like those women, even if I have kids and am old, like 30, I’ll still look like this.” Ahahahahahahaha….dream on girls, dream on. P.S. Here’s a towel, cover yourself up. 3) The women with serious body image issues. These women are distinguished by the full on armor they wear OVER their swimsuit IN THE POOL to include but not limited to sweatpants and turtlenecks. Seriously ladies you’re not fooling anybody. And as long as you’re not trying to squeeze into a size 2 bikini no one’s going to judge you so really just wear your swimsuit minus the sweatsuit. Your tan lines won’t be as weird that way. 4) Then there are the ones like myself that are simply just there to catch some rays and have fun with their kids. They aren’t concerned with winning the hearts of the handsome, albeit 18 year old lifeguards. We realize we won’t be gracing the cover of the Swimsuit issue anytime soon but realistically those bikinis are not good for chasing your kids around and going down slides in anyway. Stuff falls out and nobody needs to see that.

*Speaking of stuff falling out let me tell you about a little memory from the pool that I’ve been working to repress but since I have no self respect or dignity left, I’ll just tell you. The slides at the aquatic center we frequent are awesome. After watching the kids go down them about 300 times I decided it was my turn. They tried to convince me to go down the one that goes straight down but I KNOW what happens to tankinis on those kind of slides so I decided to play it safe and go down the twisty one. It seemed tame enough. I had butterflies in my stomach as I climbed the stairs and waited for the 16 year old lifeguard to give me the “nod” to go down. (It’s a very important job the top of the slide lifeguards have you know, watching people go down and giving the nod.) Finally, I got the nod and away I went. Turns out the heavier you are the faster you go down, so I was sliding at the speed of light, screaming like a little girl because I was sure I was going to go right up over the edge of the slide and land on the concrete below. My life flashed before my eyes and I started thinking things like “GI Joe had better wait at least 2 years before he remarries and whoever she is had better not be mean to my babies” and “what happens to your facebook status when you die? Does someone go in and update it to say “Holly is deceased?” and also “crap, the house isn’t clean enough for all those people to bring casseroles over after the funeral”. Obviously, I was too busy planning my funeral, to properly prepare for the dismount from the slide into the pool at the end. Ideally, you gracefully shoot off of the slide into the water, land on your feet, and don’t even get your head wet. As if. Oh no, not me, I've never been accused of being graceful. Instead I twisted, thrashed,flipped and flopped off the slide like a beached seal into the pool. Sadly, my modest boyshort tankini bottoms couldn’t keep up. I take that back, they kept up, way UP, if you know what I’m saying and I went face first into the water so the world got an eyeful of boyshorts gone thong, I mean wrong. Help us all. Imagine my humiliation when I surfaced, sputtering water, and between the straggly wet hair hanging in my face* saw, the young Brad Pitt lookalike lifeguard standing right in front of me. (**Sidenote: why is it that those swimsuit models come out of the water with their hair out of their face, flowing smoothly down their back and when I come out of the water my hair is all over the place looking like it just rained on a hay bale? I deep condition too!! I don’t get it.) Young Brad Pitt handed me my sunglasses (yes, THOSE sunglasses,I thought I’d be cool and wear down the slide because again, it was bright out and I was going to gracefully enter the pool from the slide and not even get my head wet so it would be totally fine…uh huh sure) and said “I think these are yours,” all while avoiding eye contact. Who could blame him? The poor kid was traumatized. I thought I was going to have to avoid the slide area for the rest of the day for fear of facing him again, but oddly enough he disappeared shortly after that, never to be seen again. He probably had to take a mental health day. I wonder if pools offer workman’s comp for such things as vision loss, emotional scarring, etc? They should, they really should. Maybe the sweatpants over the swimsuit isn’t such a bad idea after all. You be the judge. Here's the post water slide picture.

I blame the Reese's.


  1. I would love to post a comment but.....i really dont know what to say to all!!

  2. Okay you know I was rolling again just reading the blog, but I couldn't help think about this afternoon when you actually showed me how you went down the slide and how your hair looked.....Jerry wants a slow motion renactment tomorrow!!!

  3. Hilarious!! :) You're the best, Holly!

  4. Oh Holly!!! Only you can take a simple thing like going to the pool into a hilarious story!!! Wish I was with you, I miss the water parks in DSM!!! I miss you too!!!

  5. you never cease to amaze me... Luv you Angela Carter