April 12, 2007

10 Things That Annoy Me At The Pool

1. The special people (and you know who you are) who stay in the middle of the lane even though I am clearly sharing the lane with them. And, may I add, I have been sharing the lane with them for quite awhile. They definitely know I'm there. Which brings me to...

2. Jamming my fingers into the lane line in the middle of the stroke and screaming in pain under water, all because I'm trying so desperately to stay clear of the schmuck hogging the lane.

3. People in the next lane who stay close to the lane line while they do a highly exaggerated, version of the breast stroke, leaving me swimming in a paralyzing hit-me-in-the-face, kick-me-in-the-balls type of fear.

4. All the folks who haven't gotten the childlike cannonball out of their system and have to enter the lap pool by jumping into the shallow end. It just ends up splashing everybody around them and creating unnecessary micro-tsunamis that seem to hit my face just as I'm about to take a breath. What's so wrong with softly easing yourself into the lane like everybody else does?

5. People who ignore me even though I'm frantically waving my hand underwater in front of their face every time they approach the side of the pool in order to let them know I'd like to share their lane. We both know that you see me very clearly. We both know that you are hoping I will walk away and choose another lane. Well guess what, I'm not leaving. Deal with it. Move over.

6. People who spit - ccchaatt-ptooooey! - onto the side of the pool where I walk.

7. Those select folks who feel entitled to stroll across lanes and cut off other people mid-swim, just because they need to use the stairs to exit the pool. I'm all for using the stairs - I like the stairs. Let me suggest you try playing a few more games of "Frogger" before you ruin my flow again.

8. Wet paper towel or toilet paper on the floor around the pool. What is paper towel and toilet paper doing in the pool area anyway? Never mind, I don't want to know.

9. All the flip-turning swimmertudes who splash me while I'm standing on the edge of the pool dreading that first cold dip into the water.

10. The fact that people breeze by me in the pool just because I don't know how to do a gosh darn flip-turn.

[So you know, these thoughts were inspired not only by my recent swimming adventures, but by the recent comments made by no wetsuit girl....overseas on my I Don't Get Butterflies post. As I read her comments, I suddenly realized that the chump she was talking about is me. Ah, it's a sad realization when the person you make fun of is the same one you see in the mirror every morning. So, I dug down deep inside and became one with my inner-chump. My chump and me, we came up with these 10 annoyances. Thanks for listening. We need to go eat lunch now.]


Megan said...

My personal favorite are the old men who farmer blow their noses in the pool. It actually makes me so sick I just get out. No swim is worth that.

No Wetsuit Girl... overseas! said...

I agree with 2-10 (#9 about the loud flip turners: there's turning around, and then there's showing off). Number 1 and the blurb at the end tie in for why I have to disagree. Here's why:

I swim in a pool where my weak 1:41 per 100 is far and away THE fastest 100 in the pool. In fact, it's one of the ONLY straight 100's that happens in my pool. My pool is what I like to call a "granny soup" because I swim with the thrashing, splashing human beings that take 5 minutes to cross the pool. So when two of these well-intentioned senior citizens that take a year to swim 25 yards get in my lane I wind up having to spend a lot of time in the middle just to keep swimming. That's why I joined my pool - because there was a wide middle ground...

Which leads into a clarification on my comment about passing on the wall with a flip turn. I SERIOUSLY doubt you're that dude who sees someone who laps you every 2 lengths coming in to the wall and pushes off as they're ducking into a flip so they can't see you until they come out giving you a hummer. Triathletes have better pool etiquite than that. Elephants have better pool etiquite than that, but I once sat there for about 5 minutes trying to explain to a woman of about 70 why she should please just wait 3 seconds and let me pass. Over and over she said, "I just can't seem to understand you," and then did it again the next time I met her on a wall.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or accuse you of bad pool manners. You seem down on the pool sign language. That's why I commented. Sorry it came off wrong.

I really absolutely love your writing. Consider it fan mail!

j. said...

no offense taken at all, wetsuit girl. to the contrary, i know all too well what it's like to swim with the geriatrics every day. there's an age limit at my YMCA... you must be a minimum of 79 years old to even get a membership. i, somehow, got grandfathered in. which is odd, since i'm just about the only one in the whole damn place who is not a grandfather...much less a great-great-great grandfather.

i don't even wear Depends.