|IMAGE : PINTEREST | I Hate Swimming Lessons|
* THIS POST MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF A FIRST WORLD PROBLEM.
Between the hours of 5-5.30pm every Friday you will find me at home dedicating the necessary amount of time to breathing deeply and recovering from the insanity and mayhem that is, the after school swimming lesson.
I hate swimming lessons. It's not actually the lessons per se, but more the indoor pool environment that I've grown to loathe. I. Hate. It.
Let it be said that I'm a fairly reasonable person. No really, I am. Sometimes it may seem like I'm a bit off the charts in the overthinking department but really, I'm generally pretty tolerant of other people and whatever ridiculous public behaviour they choose to adopt in their quest for winning at life. BUT. Christ on a bike. After spending an hour on a Friday arvo battling the hordes of tired, miserable children and their often equally miserable carers at the swimming pool, I'm just about ready to channel Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction with an "I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone!" typa thing. Get my drift?
The crowded, noisy and overheated public swimming pool seems to transform ordinary people from cheery, polite individuals into savage beasts who intend to get through the half hour of hell at the absolute expense of those around them. I'm reminded of many joyous events in recent times, but most particularly I recall last week's episode starring the lady who thought that the seat my friend had momentarily vacated to throw something in the bin three metres away would indeed be better used for her dripping child who had simply grown tired of her lesson and had folded into a fit of screaming tears. She landed her kid in that seat like an ninja. My friend not 20 seconds later returned to her seat where her bags were neatly tucked underneath but alas, she could not politely convince the lady that she had been sitting there not 20 seconds ago and hence after a battle lost, my friend had to stand while the pouty child occupied the seat in question for the entire duration of the lesson. MANNERS, LADY!! MANNERS!
I also raise my glass to the grumpy grandmother, who clearly was no longer enjoying the novelty of taking the grand-kids to their weekly swimming lesson (I'm with you there, Lady) and who decided that my child's swimming bag was indeed the perfect combination of soft and comfy for her toddler to sit on. Dripping wet. I can't even.. just no words. So knowing that it would be politically incorrect to give an eighty year old woman the mother of all Chinese burns, I bit my tongue, clenched my fists, ripped the bag out from under the kid, and glared at him instead. (I know. Not my finest hour).
And sadly, the beastly behaviour is not limited to the confines of the chlorinated hell chamber either - the toxicity vomits out into the swimming pool car park too. I realised very quickly that the swimming fraternity had dropped to a new low when after the lesson recently as I grumpily dragged wet children, dripping towels and school bags out to the car, a new level of my mental resilience was required indicated by the large crisscross chess board someone had meticulously drawn on my bonnet with their car keys. Checkmate, bitches! You win again! Nonetheless, kids were present so channelling my calmer, responsible self I said, "Let's breathe through it".
"There are worse things in life!" I said.
"It's an isolated incident!" I said.
"Girls!! Get in the GODDAMN car RIGHT NOW!!" I may have also said.
And just this week, the car park fun continued as someone squeezed their car in so close to mine that I had to climb through my boot in order to occupy the driver's seat wearing skinny jeans (you feel me?) while navigating over enough luggage to fill a regional airport.
"Hooray!" shouted the kids. "Look at Mum! She looks funny!"
Yes, I know. Hilarious.
"For the love of GOD just make room for me as I somersault through the backseat you ungrateful bloody brats" may, or may not have been the response I gave in my head. SEE?? That place was turning ME into one of THEM!! And incidentally, unless the other driver's name was Flat Stanley, I wanna know how the hell that miserable contortionist got out of their car in the first place. Seriously NO gap at all. None.
But dammit, my six year old bloody loves her swimming. She smiles like a split watermelon and waves at me all the way through the lesson and as I'm battling the unsavoury personalities around me, I'm keenly aware that whether I like it or not, I'm here at this pool for the long haul. And it's that little beaming face bobbing up and down excitedly in the water that keeps me (reluctantly) coming back every week. So with that in mind, I can either become one of them and rudely shove people to the side in order to make it bearable for myself, or I can do as I've done every week and grit my teeth, remain civil, probably snap unnecessarily at my kids for 20 minutes post-lesson, then calmly assume the foetal position when I get home.
I choose the latter. But with a bottle of gin.