Monday, June 11, 2012

Swimming Pools

I love going to the pool, and I love going to our network of city pools. Buying a season pass means that my kids and I can go to six different pools, though we only frequent five of them because one of them is extremely difficult to get to. Each of the pools has its own personality. One pool is strictly blue-collar. People (And I'm going to tell you now that I am going to stereotype. I'm going to tell you what most of them are like, of course, not like all of them) are loud, and their etiquette is not always spot on. There is a mixture of races. A lot of the women are overweight and don't pick swimsuits that flatter them. My kids love to go to this pool, because there is a 30 foot slide. I love to go to this pool to see how people interact with each other. Because they are loud, you can easily observe their family dynamic. It's a hoot.
The pool on the opposite side of town is a totally opposite dynamic. This pool draws a wealthy side. The area used to be considered new money. The old money side of town uses either a different city pool or private pools. I've noticed that the new money is settling in, though. When we went to that pool it reminded me so much of the old money side (where I grew up). A young man and his girlfriend came into the pool and heartily greeted one of the life guards. The life guard asked the guy how he had done in his tournament. I'm thinking basketball, baseball? No, that would be golf. The guy tells him his score. It must have been good, because the lifeguard high- fived the guy and gave him a hug. Then he rubbed his head and spanked his butt. It was a fascinating dynamic to watch. The guy's girlfriend dutifully stood by and smiled. Then she saw a female lifeguard, lazily called her name, and ran towards her. It was all very Great Gatsby. I loved it, because it really did remind me of my high school days. I was never wealthy. I was like the author of Great Gatsby, the observer who was invited in for awhile. But I do understand that dynamic.
The pool in our part of town is definitely middle-class all the way. But it's filled with wanna-be, loud, vulgar women. They drive me crazy, and I can't write very objectively about them. They think they're the cat's pajamas, but they so are not. They are over-weight, brash, cliquey women who live vicariously through their kids. They act as if the class activities are about them. It makes me insane, and I don't understand it.
Another pool close by is full of young families. It's hilarious to watch the stunned parents watching their young progeny take to the water. The dads are the funniest. They swim around in a daze. They're wondering what happened to their knock-out, fun, party-girl wives. How were they replaced by these mothers who now very definitely put these children first. And oh, are they starting to go bald and get soft around the middle?
The final pool is a small pool that has been slated to close for a few years. Somehow, it gets enough support to keep it open. It hasn't been re-vamped. It's an old-fashioned swimming pool with two diving boards and a small slide. A small rock wall has been added, but that's it. I love this pool because it is so secluded. It's surrounded by a forest because it's located in a park. There are not a lot of people who attend the pool. And quite a few single parents patronize this pool. So I feel like I fit right in. I actually need to frequent this pool on my own, I think.
I don't know what it is about pools that make people feel free to be themselves. Maybe it's because we're all communing in water together, frolicking in the sun. I think it's because we're all half naked. It's the one place you can basically walk around in your underwear, no matter what you look like, and it's okay. It's freeing. People shed their clothes, and they shed their inhibitions too. But I love it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Target Contest for Beneath My Heart

I'm entering a contest on Beneath my Heart to possibly win a $100 Target gift card. I'm all over that because I love Target. Beneath My Heart rated Sonia Kashuk's new makeup. And I have to say she made me want to get some of it.

So her question was "How do you take your eye makeup from day to night?" I'm afraid I don't do anything that drastic. I apply a darker shade, put on more coats of mascara, and put on darker eyeliner.

Kristin Wright

Monday, June 4, 2012

Too PC?

What is it about our country that goes to extremes? For awhile, a long while, people said and did hurtful things against others who were not them. People still do it, but it's done on the sly now or said behind closed doors. Now, everyone is included. Everyone is the same. There is no better or worse. Everyone has to be included in the same groups all the time and everyone has to get along.

Well in theory that sounds like a good thing. But I think most of us know human nature is not like this. The hard plain truth is that this will always be mean, hateful people who will say mean, hateful things to people who are different, weaker, or are not like them. Only now people do it on the sly and put a smile on their faces when they're with the larger group of people while putting their arms around the people they just hurt.

Because of our fear of hurting people we don't challenge things anymore. We don't call a spade a spade. We don't say what's wrong and what's right. We don't say that some people are just more talented or better suited in a position or smarter, even though this might be true and in the long run be better for all around them.

I'm ready to be in the middle. I want to be able to say what's right and wrong or better and worse without being condemned, guilted, or ostracized. At the same time, I want to be kind and defend those who need it. Do you think there will ever be a middle?