Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Pool Incident

Allow me to refresh your memory; I was recently camping with my daughters at a nearby camping resort - it was our first time there. The other guests were, dare I say "White Trash"? I know that's not okay to say, but since I'm white and trashy I think I'm allowed. There were other colors of flesh there too, but they were much more refined than My People. There were a few black families who spent time in the pool with their kids, keeping their kids busy with games and out of the important people (i.e., Grown-Ups). They did not bring gigantic trays of hot dogs and chips into the "No Eating" pool area. They did not smoke stinky fat cigars that make babies gag. They did not scream at their children at the top of their lungs saying "shut up and stop screaming!"

On our last day, there was a nice family who entered the pool area for what I believe to be their first day at camp. There was a mom, dad, and two-year old girl. They did not have plastic grocery bags full of junk food. She did not have tattoos commemorating each of her five children and their respective daddies. She did not have a melanoma-style tan, and she was healthy looking. I assumed incorrectly that they were from a different country. Adding to this hypothesis was the dad's speedo. "Either swim team or European" I thought to myself. I liked them and felt sorry for them simultaneously.

They scanned the pool area as if they'd just arrived at DMV and forgot their germicidal handy-wipes. They sat in two small white plastic chairs next to us. All the giant chairs and giant loungers were taken, of course. Then the Speedo Dad and Little Adorable Girl walked cautiously into the water. Step, step, step, splash.

After a while, the Speedo Dad and daughter walk back to Pale Mommy and he's got something in his hand which he tosses to the ground at the feet of Pale Mommy. With a splat I turn my gaze to a see a bright smile on his face. Almost with pride he giggles "She's been carrying this around with her. I don't know where she finds these things?" Pale Mommy and I stare at this small round sponge and I audibly gasp. She looks at me for the first time that day with wide inquisitive eyes and I say "Oh my God. I think that really is a sponge". Silence.

Speedo Dad doesn't know what I'm talking about, so Pale Mommy says in a I'm-a-part-time-chemist voice "It appears to be a contraceptive device".

"Time to go girls!" I shout. "Gather your things right now!"
"Why mom? Why do we have to go now?"
"There's a shark in the water" I wanted to say, but actually said
"We have to start packing-up".

As I was leaving I heard Speedo Dad try to reason with Pale Mommy
"This could just be a cosmetic sponge. Is it really necessary to leave?"

Ah, the sound of a sweet naive dad trying to reason with a super mom. What Speedo Dad does not understand, and will never understand, is that even if we find out its a fairy mattress, there is no fucking way we will ever let our children swim in THAT pool again. Period. Why? Because we gather information in our brains and whether its practical, logical, pragmatic, true, or possible is irrelevant to us. Its in our head now and we cannot get it out, its true to us.

Later that night, my 10 year old asks "What is a contraceptive sponge". My husband and I always give boring medical-style scientific answers to questions like these for two reasons 1) so they will have knowledge and not sound like kindergartners for their rest of their lives and 2) so they'll be so bored with our answers, they'll stop asking us questions and finally leave us alone.

I told her, in my very best Leave it to Beaver voice "When a man and woman still want to have sex, but do not want to have babies ..."
"STOP IT. I DON'T WANT TO KNOW" and she left the room.

Yes. When it comes to being a mom, I know my shit.


  1. Truth is always stranger than fiction. (wink)

    Reminds me a bit of the candy bar in the country club pool.


  2. Speedcat Hollydale - so true. I'm writing some fiction these days and finding it difficult to create a fictional life that's more interesting than true life.


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