lounging at the pool

lounge chair at the pool
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

The heat is still bad, but not as stunning as it was Saturday and Sunday. SuperT took me to the JCC pool – which was new! fancy! beautiful! huge! friendly! I spent a fair amount of time just gawking at the big outdoor pool with special shallow end, shallow enough even for Moomin to stand up in most of it; the separate toddler/kiddie pool; the indoor pool; the cafe with poolside window; the tiny playground right next to the pool.

There was an array of locker rooms. I am wont to make fun of uptight locker room rules. Yet… no, I don’t want to send my 6 year old kid alone into the men’s locker room, no way. This place had women’s room, and a special separate adults-only women’s room, where I kind of hoped the adult women-only action was happening, and then separate little family changing rooms.

The mom-crowd was quite diverse and I felt very comfortable! Unlike the creepy feeling I get at “Satan’s Pool” where if I’m not with the people I know aren’t members of the cult, I feel like someone’s going to lynch or convert me. And yet again, I wish like hell that this kind of wonderful place existed every few blocks, in every town, open to all… that’s why we have *government*… to make this sort of community center. Instead, the government sponsored places suck and the only nice facilities are all centered on religion. Why? Can’t people be passionate about government? Passionate and idealistic and community-focused? Without g*d coming into it? This will never stop annoying me as long as I live.

SuperT and I talked about the kids, other moms, BlogHer, Woolfcamp, Mac lipstick, her new job (yeah!), my recent job interviews, being cool playing moms vs. the moments of being loafing-moms in lounge chairs snapping at our kids to respect our personal space; and then she asked me, “So, what do you think of women’s fashion magazines?”

Full stop for the Badger…

What do I think of them? Do I have an articulate position? No… Well, they piss me off when I see them, mostly… and yet I still want to look. I hate the body-image negative stuff, and I hate the idea of pushing consumption…

“But lately… I like looking at what people wear and whether it looks cute… sooooo…. um….”

SuperT is looking at me like I’m a feminist guru… or like maybe she’s one…

“I have all these clothes from goodwill and garage sales… but then once I started to get richer, I realized sometimes expensive clothes are nicer, and last longer, and fit me… and… and…” I was sputtering lamely…. “So like, now I will totally buy a pair of 200 dollar shoes. I mean, I just did, the other day, because I had nothing else but 10 year old high heels, garage sale combat boots, and torn sneakers.”

We talked about how much is too much. Is it even ethical to own a million dollar house? How can we live this way? How much money are we wearing right at this moment? (Me: 20 bucks for bathing suit, at least 150 for prescription sunglasses, crocs probably 35-ish? and that mac lipstick. Which is a ridiculous amount of money to be wearing while at the pool.)

None of the world’s problems were solved during our decision that her style was “earthy elegant” and mine was “punky frivolity”. I declared my lifelong allegiance to armwarmers, no matter if they are in style or not.

Then we got into the pool and pretended to be dolphins trained by our kids, who rode us around until we all collapsed.

At some point, it was funny because we were both congratulating each other and ourselves for having the sweet, sensitive children… as Moomin quietly piped a request to Hamster, and Hamster replied sweetly, “Okay, why don’t you have this floatie, and I’ll have this other one…” Looking out for his smaller friend. “We can’t take the credit. They just came that way,” we said, both… rather smugly… “If we had other ones, they’d probably be hellions just to show it’s not our parenting.” Then 5 minutes later both children were screaming unattractively in our arms, Moomin insisting it was too sunny and he was cold, so I had to hold him in my lap, covered head to toe in a towel; Hamster who had mild sunburn around his eyes and who probably had some irritation from sunscreen, freaking about that. A little while of down time and they were back to normal. Ruefully… “Well that’s the flip side of the sweet sensitive ones… they can be a little too sensitive sometimes.” When our patience ran out we booted their asses to the playground.

The only thing this pool lacked… fancy cocktails. Even fake ones would be okay. I have high hopes for the pool parties at BlogHer!

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