It only took us an hour and 56 minutes to get ready, but we are at the pool. Now we have a walk across a sloped parking lot, a trek down a ramp (or three sets of concrete stairs), a lobby, an elevator, two sets of glass doors, then we are on the pool deck, baby! Piece of cake. NOT. Atlanta Y Members, am I exaggerating?
In the lobby we get our membership cards scanned. One card per person. Five cards, five glances to see if we are the people pictured. Five cards rubber banded together and then put into an alphabetical card sorter. It’s so awesome, and so efficient. Then each kid is issued a different colored bracelet depending on their swimming ability and height. Every third visit or so to the pool, the exact same chick who checks us in every time we go, has to re-measure Levi. He has not shrunk, lady. The question that nags me each time is, “Why are you working at the pool desk? You are so much more than this. You really should take this exacting detail, slow pace, and commitment to safety to Hartsfield-Jackson, and get a job with the TSA. PLEASE.” I stand there thinking how we are 12 minutes, 11 minutes, 4 minutes from the next adult swim whistle. I try not to get impatient. I am frustrated, but my kids are in perfect spirits. They spend this time staring into the cages of two animals that are a bit like the Y mascots. There is a guinea pig named Layla and a horned lizard named Rico. We know a fair bit about these animals because:
A. we are there a lot
B. my kids ask a lot of questions.
Kevin, undoubtedly the coolest guy at the Y, is the caretaker of both the teen program and the pets–a perfect parallel. He’s the one to talk with about the animals. It was during one of these chats that I was struck with the strangeness of it all—me standing there, in barely any clothes, while Kevin, nice young guy that he is, stood there in his khakis and Y t-shirt. This is weird, I thought. Super weird, in fact. Why don’t I have on more clothes?! See, I didn’t see much point in wearing anything other than my bathing suit. One more thing to carry, it’s not a far drive, it’s just more laundry all that sort of logic was at work. Or maybe there was no logic, and I just hadn’t really thought about it. But then I did the big no-no; I thought about it. And then I did the grandfather of all no-nos, and I looked around at everybody else. There were some little girls walking in with just a suit on, but most of them had cute summer dresses over top. My own daughter always wears a dress, skirt or long shirt. Then I looked at the moms. They had on sundresses or caftan thingies. The 20 somethings had on high-waisted jean shorts that gave them a mom-butt to rival mine. No way. I am not wearing those. (Note: I remember having a similar feeling about skinny jeans, but I gave into that. So, if you see me in high-waist jean shorts, you have a free shot to make fun of me.) Conclusion: I should probably wear a cover-up. I have lots of dresses that I could easily throw on. I made a mental note. Wear a dress OVER the bathing suit next time even though it’s a short ride. It took me three more weird moments in the lobby of the Y to actually remember.
So I grabbed a cute coral dress Riley bought me. It’s cotton, it’s comfortable, it’s perfect. Except it was not at all perfect. See picture.
Wow. I thought those jeans shorts were bad. Charlotte looked puzzled and said, “Are you still leaking milk?” Levi said, “What happened to your dress?!” And I looked at myself and thought, what is THAT? It is almost like a smiley face. A smiling tribute to mammals. GO MAMMALS! Needless to say, that dress is now in dry dock. No more covering up a wet suit with that. Takeaway: cover ups should be prints because prints don’t show water stains, or watermarks, like fine stationary.
I tried again. I wore a real cover-up, a made to be used as a cover up jobbie. I have worn it a few times before when I was going to be in a bathing suit all day long. Yes! I have this. Well, the day I wore it, our pool was closed. Uh huh. All kids suited. All bags packed. Pool closed. Un.freakin.believable. I made the snap decision to drive to a lake and swim there. Day saved! We swam for hours. We had a great time with some friends. Yay! But the drive home was significantly longer than the 2 mile pool drive. I was on the highway, and my bathing suit top started dripping down my stomach. The synthetic fiber of the printed coverup was not really absorbing it. The drips started driving me crazy. I tried mopping them up with the front of the printed coverup. I couldn’t see the water, but I also couldn’t DRY the water. Then some greenhouse effect started happening between my coverup and my skin. I started getting SO hot. I turned the ac all the way down. The children’s lips started turning blue and they started asking me to stop. I told them I could not stop. I tried to decide if I could safely lift the inferno dress over my head, while driving on 285, without killing us. That was a definite no. But I was going to the crazy hot place. Maybe this is what menopause will be like. Where I can’t think of anything else but taking all my clothes off. And then once my clothes are off, I will begin yelling at anyone that comes near me for the next 20 minutes while my core temperature returns to the safe zone. I then pictured getting pulled over by a cop. At least while I waited for him to approach the window, I could wrench the coverup off and then be sitting in the driver’s seat in just a swimsuit waiting for whatever comes next. “Ma’am do you realize you were you driving 27 miles over the speed limit?” “Well officer, you see, this coverup, the one wadded up there in the passenger seat, is made of rayon or maybe polyester, and it was creating a life-threatening amount of abdominal heat. Rather than suffer heat stroke, I was driving at a high rate of speed to safely get my family home and my clothes off.” This cover-up was making me go all Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We got home. I did yell at the kids. I did get the clothes off.
Now, I don’t know what to do. Other than live in terror of menopause.