Warm pool = Cold hearts

December 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t live in Bend so I believe I can post this and not worry about reprisals. My sister on the other hand…

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to enjoy the long weekend with my sister and her daughters, who live in a spankin’ new house in Bend. To get there, we braved the icy mountain pass, 14″ of snow on the ground in Bend itself, and daily highs of 26 degrees F..

With the very packed snow — which hid a sneaky layer of thick ice — on the ground, Abby and I opted out of our usual morning jog to swim in the pool instead at her lovely athletic club in Bend which shall remain unnamed. At her club, there are two pools; they are adjacent to one another, shallow, and separated only by a low wall roughly four-and-a-half feet high. One pool is pleasantly warm and most amenable to kids, water aerobics, and folks like me with Reynaud’s Syndrome who literally cannot tolerate most lap-swim pools due to their cold temperatures. The other pool is a traditional lap swim pool, whose temperature is not only intolerable to me, but intolerable to many humans of the non-reptilian variety, such as my sister and others of her ilk.

The warmer pool — longer than it is wide — does not include lane dividers; when Abby and I swim in it, we always circle swim and do so adjacent to the dividing wall, so as to remain politely away from the stairs leading into the pool, as well as from other folks doing, say, water-aerobics activities like underwater jogging, dancing, twisting, and, in the case of some gents whose tale I tell below, standing around as if at a coffee klatch.

My sister always swims laps for an hour; I take the easy way out and throw in (or, in this case on) the towel at the 45-minute mark. On one of the holiday weekend’s days, Abs and I entered the pool, waded over to the dividing wall, and commenced swimming the crawl stroke (her at a much faster clip than I). From the instant we began our laps, a woman also in this pool — with earbuds in and some fancy water-aerobics-type gloves on her hands (the kind that make your hands webbed for greater water resistance) — glanced over at us in that catty way that clearly communicates, “I’m looking at you out of the corner of my eye but you don’t know that I am.”

And her actions proceeded to mimic that seriously bitchy look in her eyes. She likely was listening to some very bouncy tunes, because she spent the next 42 minutes dancing into and out of our very narrow, made-up lane. She did jig after jig, squat after squat, bend after bend, and twist after twist into and out of our lane. WTF? She had an entire length of pool in which to do all that showmanship, but chose to make a very passive point for the majority of our time in the warm pool. Not only did she whip and nae-nae into and out of our lane, but once she was done with her cardio, she chose the dividing wall of the pool at which to do her post-workout stretching, complete with leg lifts that bordered on the pornographic, all the while with “that” look in her eyes. The look telling us she simply had no idea we were sharing the water molecules with her and her sleek, lithe body. It’s too bad she didn’t have an underwater cam secured to her bitchy butt, because then she’d have seen Abby and I flipping her the synchronized bird.

The entire time this woman was providing us an odd form of lap-swim entertainment, there were three elderly-ish men (who didn’t smell very fresh) on the far end of the pool, hanging out and chatting together, seemingly minding their own business and certainly not minding that we were lap swimming a few feet from them. That is, until they broke away from the wall, formed a line reminiscent of those in a marching band, and slow-walked the entire length of the pool. You are visualizing correctly: They walked toward and then would have walked into us, were it not for Abby and I on two occasions ducking beneath the water in a dolphin-like fashion to avoid an unwanted close encounters. They so obviously knew what they were doing; they never made eye contact with us, but we could hear them sniggering like gangly 13-year-old boys who don’t know how to properly get girls’ attention.

Never had I encountered people in a pool so rude. I was shocked my entire three-quarter-hour swim by these folks’ antics. One might argue that the warm pool is used for the activities Ms. Bitchy Pants and Messieurs Assholes were busy engaging in, while the cold pool remains the province of lap swimmers. However, no sign indicated one couldn’t lap swim in the warm pool, and no sign indicated that water aerobics is off-limits in the cold pool.

Given we had this swimming conflict during a weekend otherwise dedicated to gratitude, it was a particularly jarring and frustrating experience.

I’m thankful for warm pools, the world’s best lap-swim partner — my sister — and our glee in acting as adolescent as the other folks “sharing” the pool with us that day: Surreptitiously flipping people off never felt so good or ever was so fun.


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