Sunday, October 4, 2009

YMCA Incident Follow Up

Many of you have asked me to post what "incident" happened in 2005. Well, let me tell you...

It was the summer before we bought our current home, so we did not have a pool. Since the boys were busy at soccer camp most days, the girls wanted to do something. They suggested I take them to the YMCA to swim (the weather was brutally hot, so don't ask me why they wanted to swim INDOORS). Coincidentally, I had just bought a new swimsuit and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. It was a beautiful salmon-colored number that fit me just right and I felt totally comfortable in it. (Women: As you well-know, this is a difficult find and one that will not happen often in our lifetimes. It is one to be savored. I digress...)

I put on my suit and walked out to the pool with the girls. Our YMCA has a warm pool and an activity pool (ie, cold!). We elected to try the warm pool. We swam about 4 1/2 minutes and Katie announced she had to go potty. Out we got, went to the bathroom and jumped back in. Several minutes later, the warm pool closed and we were all asked to go to the activity pool. We got out, walked through double doors and onto the activity pool deck, past the viewing window and into the pool. I noticed several people were watching us and I silently was patting myself on the back about purchasing my snazzy new suit and thought how comfortable I was in it with it's great fit and cute color. We jumped in, swam about 20 feet and the head lifeguard called me over.

(Actual transcript of incident...)

Me: "Yes?"

Lifeguard: "You need to get out of the pool, please."

Me: "Oh. Why? Did someone poop in the water or something?"

She narrowed her eyes at me.

Lifeguard: "Noooo. We can see right through your swimsuit."

What? She must be joking.

Me: "What? What do you mean?"

Lifeguard: "I mean we can see THROUGH your suit. It is completely transparent. You need to get out right now."

Surely this woman has never swam in this cold of water and my skin is clearly reacting to the cold. Prude. I argued politely. She was not giving up.

Me: "Oh, brother. Okay..."

I began to climb up a ladder.

Lifeguard: "Wait! You can't get out yet! Do you have a towel?"

This woman was a real piece of work! I motioned where my towel was and she proceeded to cover me up like a burrito. Grumbling about her obvious overreaction in my head I herded the girls to the locker room. I rounded the corner and stood in front of the wall of mirrors. My mouth dropped open and a strange, guttural, moaning noise emitted from deep within my throat. She was right! It was like the swimsuit was a mere, salmon-colored Saran Wrap over my naked body. Here were stretch-marks from four kids and that mole on your hip no one can see but you if you crane your neck just right. Oh yeah, and your ENTIRE NAKED BODY!!! I just stood there and gaped at my trauma. Finally Alexis said sweetly, "Are you okay, Mommy?" Okay? OKAY?! How could I possibly be okay about this? I replayed in my mind the last 30 minutes...

1. In the warm pool--swim for 4 1/2 minutes (slightly EXPOSED moment--underwater)
2. Out of the warm pool and walked to the bathrooms (EXPOSED moment)
3. Swimming in warm pool (EXPOSED moment--because although I am underwater, several saw me get in)
4. Walked from warm pool to cold pool (EXPOSED moment)
5. Walked past viewing window with 99% of entire population of county present (WAY EXPOSED!)

All the blood drained from my face and I quickly got dressed and somehow managed to get the girls dressed too. Dang it! Didn't I bring MORE clothes than this?! We walked out to the lobby and past all the viewing public AGAIN. I approached the now off-duty lifeguard. She smiled at me. "You alright? Let me swimsuit?" My feelings were a combination of contempt and gratitude for this wrinkly, old lifeguard. She outed me, but she also probably saved me from jumping in, additional trips to the bathroom and other visual moments. As if I were a traveling peep-show that had just been caught in the act, I started to over-explain myself nervously,

"Yes. Thank you for letting me know so quietly. I've never worn this suit before and had no idea..."

I proceeded to ask about the warm pool lifeguard. Why hadn't he SAID anything to me? For crying out loud! I'd got in and out of the warm pool TWICE and he didn't say a word. Speak of the devil, he came into the lobby. He saw me and stopped. I resisted the urge to strangle him and I demanded to know why he didn't save me from walking the length of the pool and past the viewing window. He told me (without making eye contact, by the way) he was like a deer in the headlights and he panicked when he saw me. Luckily, he told the head lifeguard who finally told me.

Hindsight, it is pretty funny, but for several years, I could not show my face and/or body at the YMCA for fear of additional humiliation.

NOTE TO READERS: By the way, the water aerobics class that JD and went to on Friday? Yeah, well, let's just say JD was all talk until we approached the pool. He said he changed his mind. I begged. He shook his head. I did the class alone and he swam laps. Wimp. The good news is that I was youngest person in the class--by 30 years!

1 comment:

  1. I love you, Terri! You are awesome! I, too, have had a moment of transparency, but nobody... (not even my husband) told me. It wasn't until I saw the picture that his co-worker took of our family that I realized how transparent my swim suit was.
    BTW... The water aerobics class at our Y has a similar age group... I swam laps during one session where I swear the old man was only in the class to look at his fit (and curvy) teacher bobbing up and down in the water... :-/