Today’s the last day of swim practice, and on that note I have issues to complain about.
We belong to a little country club where the pool hasn’t been updated in 20 years, but everyone is nice, probably because they don’t have to pay the equivalent of the national deficit to join. But we compete against uber-swanky clubs around the Washington D.C. area – clubs that have heated towels, valet parkers, dads who are supreme court justices, moms who have a one-nanny-per-child policy. When we compete at these clubs, I have to gather up my low self-esteem and try to look more spic-n-span than I usually do (which is hard) and to brace myself for the onslaught of Lily Pulitzer golf skirts, wide-brimmed straw visors with ribbons on them – the hallmark of the country club mom – and my newfound heated-towel-envy.
This mom from an opposing swim team was was timing. I did not like her, oh no I did not. Why? She was overheard in the parking lot telling her friend what a “monster” her son was and using derogatory terms like “little shit” to describe him.
Right in front of him.
When he swam his event (backstroke) and got out of her lane and looked up at her he had a gleam of pride on his little face.
She said: “You could have done much better.”
He was 5!
I saw his face fall.
It crushed me.
At swim meets, I spend a lot of time attempting to avoid the parent volunteer coordinator. This is not because I am lazy, it’s because I am an unreliable timer – I get distracted looking at a Lily Pulitzer outfit, say, or eavesdropping on conversations – and I’ll forget to push the start button. I space out, a lot. At one meet, I spaced out like this three times and forgot to push the start button.
I’m not good at it, and I’m not the swimmer in the family – my husband is.
At one meet, after the parent volunteer coordinator yelled at us that she needed one more volunteer, I sheepishly put down my David Sedaris book (When You Are Engulfed In Flames - what an appropriate book) and stepped forward to time. But I was too late in coming forward so naturally, she was pissed at me.
Note: I over-volunteer during the school year, just FYI. I am not a volunteer-slacker.
I was standing in my lane with the other two backup parents, trying with all my might not to space out, when the crowd parted and I saw my husband arrive from work. He was in his suit and it was unbelievably hot. When he saw me standing there, he laughed and shook his head, came right over, and said he would time.
A little later I was standing near him eavesdropping on someone’s conversation and doing what I do best – spacing out – and the dreaded parent volunteer coordinator gave me a mean look and said, “I think you should really be paying more attention to your lane.”
I explained to her that my husband was doing the timing because he was better at it than I was. I even smiled and said, “He’s the swimmer in the family.”
She scanned my husband: his shirt and tie, suit pants, and leather shoes. Then she looked at my shoes – flip flops. She hissed (and I’m not exaggerating), “The least you could have done is trade shoes with him.”
I’m sorry but what a biaaatch!
When he returned the timer to her, my husband said:
“I would’ve traded shoes with my wife but I didn’t get my pedicure this week.”
Then he winked at her, like only an Irishman could.
God, I love that man.
Most mornings during practice at our club I’ll sit on a chaise lounge and read, write, or (more likely) gossip with my mom-friends. But one day, Ella pointed to the chaise lounge I’d been sitting on and said:
“Look at the volcano crater your butt left, Mommy.”
And that sort of ruined the chaise lounge experience for me. Now every time I get up off one of those chairs I notice the volcanic-sized crater left by my ass.