Category Archives: Mermaid Envy

Silent Pool Drama

Last year, we had an issue with the gate at one of our pools not closing properly.  I reported the issue to our HOA, and it was never fixed.   It’s gotten worse, as things tend to do, and it got to the point that in order for the gate to close, it had to be manually pulled shut.  No one does that except for the most conscientious of people, and let’s face it, that is NOT the majority of the population.

So, last month, my mom went up there to swim some laps.  When she got there, she intended to go in the women’s bathroom and change, except she heard voices in there.  One of which was manly.  After a bit, the door opened, a man came out and then a woman.  She asked him if there was something wrong with the men’s bathroom and he said the light didn’t work.  LOL  Rrright.  She said they were quite cozy with each other over at the spa, but she just tried to ignore them.  She noted as they left that the woman made mention of the gate being latched, because my mom had latched it when she came into the pool area.  The next day when I went up there to swim, in the women’s restroom, there was an empty condom wrapper on the ground and a used condom in the open feminine hygiene disposal container.  I reported all this to the HOA.

A couple weeks ago, the HOA finally fixed the gate and it latches with great authority now with no effort at all.  A few times I’ve driven by and seen people sitting on the step outside waiting for someone to let them in.

Then last night, as a Valentine’s day gift to me, Tony told me to go on, go lap swimming.  So, I hied myself up there, and I’m swimming laps and it’s a beautiful night under the stars.  Venus is making quite a statement with her bold, bright self being visible.  Orion is straight ahead of me.  Many of the stars are visible and it’s just a glorious night.  As I search for the north star overhead, I see a downward movement in the corner by the pool maintenance room and a man comes walking past with confidence and purpose like he’d been there all along, except I know for a fact that he hadn’t been.  I check restrooms and corners before I swim as a safety precaution; I don’t like surprises.  So this man, he walks over and unlocks the gate and lets his girlfriend in.  She’s carrying a bedroll and a pillow and I think that maybe she’s homeless?  She kind of looks homeless, with her wild, curly, unkempt hair and baggy sweats, and carrying that bedroll and pillow.  Odd.

They go over to the spa and set up their “camp” and I’m keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t touch my stuff, and they don’t breach my “bubble” of safety space.  He marches over to the men’s restroom, goes inside.  He comes out dressed in swim trunks.  She then goes into the women’s bathroom, goes inside, comes out in a one piece swimsuit, but then as she walks past I realize that 3/4 of her butt cheeks are hanging out.  I mentally raise my eyebrows at this, this is a community swimming pool after all and that is definitely not a swimsuit I would wear around other people, but maybe I’m a prude after all?

So, they’re over there in the spa now.  Pretty soon I see her sitting on his lap, but as best I can tell, they are just sitting.  Kissing deeply, but just sitting.  Then pretty soon they move over to the steps, and she’s sitting on the steps and I see the back of her head and he’s standing in front of her… and then they switch places, so he’s standing up in front of the steps and I see his back, and she’s “sitting” (kneeling??) in front of him… there’s movement now, and I’m pretty sure there was inappropriate public behavior going on for a couple of minutes.

After a few minutes, they separated and sat all cozy next to each other.  Then they leisurely got out of the spa and, I was kick boarding at that point, so I had my ear plugs out of my ears, and I heard him asking her if they wanted to go somewhere else.  I didn’t hear her answer, but she went into the women’s bathroom and he followed her, got within 2 steps of the women’s bathroom door, looked over his shoulder at me, and turned and went into the men’s bathroom.  And I was left with the distinct impression that he was used to being in there with her.

Overall, they were there for 25 minutes or so, and I was left with the feeling that I interrupted their “star gazing” plans for the night and that they frequently do “star gazing” there and that I was “trespassing” on “their” place. (Yes, I know I’m overusing my quotes, I know.)  She left with her pillow and bedroll under her arm, he followed her to her car and, after a bit, she drove off and he walked back down the street.  After I was done swimming, I went out and looked around the outside of the pool maintenance room and the fence on that side, and I have no clue how he managed to get over it, but then I’m not a randy billy goat, either.

The whole thing kind of makes me wonder what their story is … I mean, why do this at a public community pool or in a community bathroom?  Surely there are other places they could go and be together?  Do they have a fetish for doing this stuff in public, in front of people or something?  Does he live in the community?  I don’t think she does, given where they went afterwards.  Why doesn’t he have a pool gate key?  So many questions and I still don’t know how I should have handled this awkward situation… and I feel resentful that I *have* to ponder these things.  I mean, I was already there and they chose to enter illegally over the fence and be intimate publicly.  Just so awkward.

So, what’s the solution to this?  I debated hopping out of the pool and going all perky-like up to them and start talking about the amazing visibility of Orion’s belt and Venus, but I really didn’t want to see this guy’s junk being all out there.  I also thought about getting out and calling our security company or the sheriff, but I know that by the time they got there, these people would likely be done and gone.  And if they did show up while they were there, these people would know it was me who called them and … well, they wouldn’t be arrested, they know that I swim there, what if they come back the next night or next week and retaliate against me?  Obviously the fencing around the pool is a non-issue to them and is no protection.

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Swim Disguise

At Chick-Fil-A this past Saturday, I glanced over to the line of people waiting to order and noticed my neighbor. While she waited, she looked around Chick-Fil-A, and as her eyes neared me, I waved at her.

We primarily see each other at the pool and occasionally will lap swim together. We’ve had many discussions over the years while we kickboard together, from the loss of her mom, turmoils at our jobs, the loss of her job, cost of electricity, discussions about travel, etc. We’ve known each other for years. She has an incredible memory for details and pretty much remembers every single thing anyone tells her.

She looked at me, then looked again. I could tell she didn’t recognize me at the first glance, and when she did recognize me, she said, “Oh, I’m so glad you waved! I didn’t recognize you at first. Is William here?”

I replied that he was, he was just playing in the playground area. She said, “Oh, that makes sense.”

I didn’t think anymore about it until the next day and remembered she had done that to me before. I showed up at a community board meeting and she didn’t know who I was until I started talking to the board about some of the issues we were having at the pool. She told me later she hadn’t recognized me, and that I sure looked nice dressed in my business suit.

Now, I’m starting to wonder… do I really look THAT different in street clothes than when I’m at the pool? I’m not sure if my swim suit is totally grungy (probably), or if I just look way different in a swim cap vs. having long hair (maybe?), or maybe we’re just pool friends (fair weather friends?). Possibly, I’m just “William’s mom” now (grunt.). Or maybe, now that I’m in my 40’s, I’ve finally melded into the non-descript portion of the population (another grunt).

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Early Morning Swim.

This year, instead of swimming late in the evening like I have in years past, I’ve been doing early morning swims.  There is nothing I don’t like about early morning swims, actually.  The only part that’s challenging is the getting out of bed part of it.

I lure myself with the promise of sluicing through the water, that feeling where the water is actually warmer than the air outside of the pool.  I never know if it’s going to be a dewy morning, the type that leaves drops of water on the flowers and spider webs… I love those types of mornings.  Sometimes some of the flowers are still sleeping from the night, just barely opening as I make my wake back home.  Sometimes a bird or two will come sit at the side of the pool, or up on the fence.  It’s like finding presents from nature all over the place.

It’s rare, but sometimes I have an interesting sky as the sun rises higher and higher, too.  I really appreciate mornings like that, but often I’ll get one morning like that and the next morning the sun just comes up and there’s nothing all that spectacular about it, except that’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

Maybe one day I’ll keep a waterproof camera on the side of the pool to take pictures of the cloud formations above me while I do my backstrokes.   This morning, for example, I saw a teddy bear with his arms crossed over his chest giving himself a hug, then I looked a few laps later and a sly fox laughing had taken form, and then a few minutes later an enormous Great Dane was running as he looked sideways at the Earth.  All in the clouds.

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Those Little Boys.

I saw them last week. It was evening, not morning, and I had been swimming laps for about 10 minutes when they entered the pool area. It was just their mom with them, and so I wasn’t actually sure it was them… the boys have grown so tall. Not yet at the gangly pre-teen stage, they moved with the grace of youth and their voices were still slightly shrill in their excitement as they threw a water football back and forth to each other.

Their ball got in my path 3 or 4 times, a missed pass here and there. I smilingly tossed it to them as I swam past it to let them know it was OK, but they still apologized to me.

They were high energy, as I remembered them to be. The younger one still seems to have that impish mischief that is inherent to him. Just moments before I got out of the pool to shower, their mom joined them in their game in the pool. I managed to get her attention when I was leaving the pool and confirmed that they were who I thought they were by inquiring if her husband has red hair. She gave me an odd half smile and paused before answering in the affirmative… her reaction gave me the feeling there was a “story” there, like maybe they’re not together anymore? I acted like I didn’t notice and just told her that, from one mom to another, I was impressed with her boys… that they played well together.

As most people are, she was reluctant to accept the compliment without a qualifier, and she said, “Oh, they’re not always this way.” I just smiled and said with a shrug, “They’re kids…” and left it at that.

I was surprised to realize that I actually enjoyed seeing them again. Knowing that they are OK. Growing up, as children do. I hope I gave their mom some encouragement. If nothing else, I know she had a smile on her face for that moment.

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Filed under I feel Glad, I feel Hope, Mermaid Envy

Summertime and Swimtime Drama

It’s mid-summer already and our community’s pool drama is in full swing. Every year I write about parents who send their kid off to the community pool unattended, and it seems like every year it keeps getting worse.

Our community’s pools underwent a major overhaul over this past winter season. They pulled out all the concrete and poured new. They replaced all the lounge chairs and even the shower. I’m not crazy about the shower, as it’s now on a timer and shuts off right went you’re in the middle of rinsing something off.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, except it’s related to the pool, not the drama I want to talk about.

We’ve had a lot of trouble over the past couple years with teenagers hopping the fence. The fence that has pointy spears that bend outward at the top. A deterrent you wouldn’t find me willingly trying to vault over, not even when I was younger and more nimble. This year is the first year that I’ve seen it first hand… and it was when I was kickboarding with no ear plugs or goggles, so I know it wasn’t a figment of my overactive imagination.

Thump, clang, clang, and there they were. The kid hoisted himself over and then let his girlfriend in. They seemed a bit startled to see me. Not surprising since the timer on the pool light was off, so it was unlit and I was swimming in the dark. He claimed they lived there and his dad lost the pool key. I responded that it was an odd way for him to gain entrance to the pool. It happened again a couple nights later, and I called the sheriff on them after I left.

My neighbor claimed they did it again in front of her in broad daylight, and then when she confronted them, they got violent and ran their car into a community streetlight. What point that proves, I have no idea. But it must have made sense to them, right?

So it happened that over the weekend Tony and William were on their way to Walmart. I asked him to drive by the pool and if it was full of kids to come back and get me. I’d rather go to Walmart than try to lap swim in a pool full of kids. If it were all clear, though, I’d go swimming. He texted me and told me to call the Sheriff, that those teenagers were in the pool area, that they’d hopped the fence right as he was driving by. When he told them they needed a key for entry, they got confrontational, So, I called the Sheriff. I headed down the pool intending to act like I knew nothing, except the pool area was empty and there were two teenage boys walking around the toddler playground next to the pool.

The Sheriff showed up, took a look around, and informed me that even if there had been someone unauthorized in the pool area, there was nothing for him to enforce … he needed a “No Trespassing” sign and a “Key required for pool entry” sign posted on the gate. Funny no one had ever mentioned that in all the years past, but kind of makes sense I guess. Meanwhile, the two teenage boys had meandered off out of sight.

My neighbor then comes in with one of the teenage boys and introduces him to me as a neighbor who lives on the corner of her street. Suspiciously I look at him and ask him if he hopped the fence a half hour ago. “No, we thought about it but decided not to.” Hmmm. I asked him if he got confrontational with someone, “Well, my cousin did but he’s kind of a hothead.” My neighbor leaves, and then enters this kid’s “hothead cousin.” They go sit in the spa together and stare at me as I swim my laps.

Shortly after that, their mother comes in and talks to them. After a few minutes, she comes to the side of the pool and it’s obvious she wants to talk to me. I could have kept swimming, I suppose, but she was just this side of annoying, so I stop my workout, pull out my earplugs and ask her if I can help her.

She wanted to discuss the fact that my husband had confronted her darling son and nephew. To me, there was nothing to discuss. You break the rules (hopping the fence and getting confrontational with someone), you get the Sheriff called on you. End of discussion. She claimed my husband said the “F” word to the boys. I know Tony, and even without asking him, I know that’s not his style, and certainly not with a Toddler who parrots everything we say in the vicinity. So I told her that wasn’t true. She started to argue with me, and I shrugged and said, “Look. You’re going to believe your teenagers, who have already proven themselves to be untrustworthy, and I’m going to believe my husband.” She said, “I’ve lived in this community now for 9 years…” I interrupted and said, “Good for you. Then you know very well that we’ve had issues with security here, and you also know that a key is required for entry. That’s the rule. You hop the fence, the sheriff gets called.” I continued, without waiting for a response, “There’s nothing further to be discussed here. I’m on a limited time schedule and I’m going to finish my swim.” She waves her hand at me and the path I was swimming, and instead of apologizing for wasting my time, she says smartly, “OK, well, go ahead then.” I pause, look at her and say, “You misunderstood. I wasn’t asking your permission.” I put my earplugs in and continued my swim.

She left the pool area shortly after, leaving the two kids alone in there with me. So, now I know why her son and nephew think nothing of breaking the rules. Also, why they think it’s OK to get confrontational when they’ve done something wrong.

Also, even though I donned a crazy, mismatched swimsuit last night (a pink paisley swim top and blue Hawaiian flowered board shorts) I was glad for the 11 people who filed into the pool area at 9:15pm. I kind of don’t like being alone now when I swim late at night.

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Filed under Best Husband, I Judge Bad Parents, Mermaid Envy

Gym Hater.

Just until April, that’s what I tell myself every year around this time.   Swimming should be all nubile beauty, sleek water and natural light.  During the winter months, though, it’s filled with dirty water, hideous florescent lights and things the eye shouldn’t behold.  It’s when my patience with ugly nudity and rude people starts to wear thin on my mermaid mentality, because at this point I’ve been swimming at the gym for about 3.5 months.

Seriously, I don’t change outside of my shower or bathroom stall and I certainly don’t bend over in all my glorious nudity when the only thing protecting me from the outside world is a bend in the wall.  I don’t hang my shower bag over other people’s items.  And I most certainly don’t stick my feminine hygiene products on the wall of the shower.  It’s disgusting.  When swimming my laps, if I’m sharing a lane, I make sure that I stay on my side, even though it takes a little extra attention and I can’t relax like I usually do… I expect the same courtesy in return.

Our local gym’s pool has been closed off and on during this period, making it difficult to be reliable.  They claim they renovated it, but it looks the same to me.  Scuzzy dirty sidewalls, band aids in the bottom and random dirt in the corners.  Yuck.  Tony says a sign was up saying it had been shut down by the health department. That makes more sense to me since I was well on my way to chlorine burns again.  This week they have it shut down to replace the lights in the pool.  I didn’t even know the thing had lights in it and I’ve been swimming there for over 4 years.

My backup plan when this happens is to swim at another gym, but it’s further away, and when my schedule is as limited as it is these days, it makes it really hard to be motivated about it when every traffic light is in a conspiracy to take my precious minutes of sleep away from me.  But I go anyway.  Because even though I hate getting home after 10pm, and then I have to shower and lotion up, I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel.

Our community renovated all of its pools this past winter and, yes, it’s a renovation you can actually see.  I can’t wait for them to start heating them for the season… in April.  I will be posting pictures of the newly fancified pools and in the meantime, I keep telling myself, “Just until April, just until April.”

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Filed under I feel Irritated, Mermaid Envy, Who I am

Tuesday Tidbits.

* At work, there is a crevice between the elevator carriage and the floors when the door opens. I don’t know why, but for some reason I always want to throw a gum wrapper or some small piece of trash down it. I won’t ever do it, but I always think about doing that when I step in or out of the elevator.

* My community is heating its pools 2 weeks early this year. Which is really great because we had some really warm weather this past weekend and so I had a couple hours of amazing swims. Pure bliss for me.

* Traffic has been lighter than usual this week. I assume because of spring break everyone went away. Instead of a 30 minute commute each way, it’s 20-25 minutes each way. Every minute matters!

* Another free oil change this past weekend thanks to the strange “loyalty” card the dealership gave me. I say strange because I’d only ever had my oil changed there once before, and they sent me a card for five free oil changes because I was loyal? Two used, three to go!

* We went to Sea World on April 1st. It was two years ago on April 1st that I miscarried our first baby. It was one year ago on April 1st that we found out I was pregnant with William and I was peeing on anything that stood still long enough because I couldn’t believe it. Now we have a beautiful baby boy who pees on us.

* Sometimes it’s important to pause to enjoy a beautiful sunset. So sometimes I do. Especially when a light turns yellow and I have no other choice.

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