Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maternity Madness

Well, I haven't written in awhile and for that I apologize. I've been busy being pregnant, amongst other things.

If you read this blog at all, you know that I very much enjoy swimming (and not just because of the weird people I see at the pool). Well this whole pregnancy thing has started to present a problem for my bathing suit, leading me to visit a local maternity store. Little did I know that I'd be entering a creepy club (kind of like the wedding industry!) where I'm told that if I don't have the proper maternity apparel and products, my pregnancy is likely to be a huge embarrassment.

Up to this point, the only maternity shopping I'd done was in the four racks of maternity clothes at Old Navy, where I was left to fend for myself, something I now very much appreciate.

Anyway, off I went to the real maternity store with my mother. The moment we entered, the salespeople stalked. They wanted to give me a lesson on how to buy maternity clothes, (You buy your normal size. Thank heavens I had professional guidance on that one.) and inform me that there's a pillow with straps in the dressing room that I can wear to give myself 3 more months of tummy. Really, I can't dis the pillow thing, it was awesome but kinda lumpy.

So I found my bathing suit and tried it on (with lumpy pillow). All was good and I headed to the checkout, blissfully unaware of what I was about to encounter.

The lady at the register was abnormally happy. I can only assume this is a result of having to deal with hormonal pregnant women all day who need to be handled with caution. I handed her my bathing suit, ignorantly assuming my single item purchase would be quick and easy. Not so, friends.

First, checkout lady asked me, in a much too happy tone, if I was covered on panties. Uhhhh. This question surprised me to say the least. Do I need maternity panties? Aren't my regular panties good enough? Why is this lady asking about my panties?? I gave her a blank stare for a few seconds, but that didn't dampen her happy demeanor. Finally, I mumbled something about being ok and we moved on.

Next, she asked if I had some cream they're peddling that's sure to prevent stretch marks and itching. I said no, and she said I should really start now to get the full benefit. We talked about this for way too long before she finally accepted that I wasn't going to buy any.

Next, she wanted all my personal information. I refused to give my phone number first, which sent her into a detailed explanation about how beneficial it is to register with them. Unfortunately, I fell for the $400 worth of coupons they offered and conceded in giving my address, but rest assured, they did not need my phone number!

Finally, after ten minutes of maternity talk and sales pitches, my swimsuit was rung up and purchased and the whole ordeal was over. Needless to say, I'm going to try to avoid maternity stores from now on. I'm confident that the selection of maternity clothes at Old Navy and Gap (devoid of maternity panties and pregnancy pillows) will do the job for the time being.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pool Fun: Back from the Grave

Back when the oldies at my mom's pool died or moved on to an old folks' home, I thought my days of pool entertainment were over. Luckily, I joined this pool near my work and though it started out slow, it now provides all the mystery, intrigue, and colorful characters I could ask for.

First, there's Hot Tub Playboy. He sits in the hot tub every day waiting for his women to show up. Hot Tub Playboy has two main women: Cell Phone Girl and The Quiet One. Cell Phone Girl periodically gets out of the hot tub to yell into her phone for 10 minutes. The Quiet One is, as one would expect, pretty quiet, but one time I saw Hot Tub Playboy pinch her butt.

Then there's Over-achieving High School Girl and her parents, Passive and Aggressive. She showed up in the fall with her Passive father who was attempting to teach her how to swim without creating small tidal waves by way of loving encouragement and plenty of joking around. She's gotten kind of better and joined the school swim team. Enter Aggressive mother. Aggressive mother, it seems, has been trained as a drill sergeant and can often be found holding a clipboard and yelling things like, "You're slowing down!" and, "10 laps left! Hurry up!!" I fear Over-achieving High School Girl takes after her mother as she now meticulously times her laps and yells at her father to keep careful track of them. I can hear her stop watch beeping beneath the water.

And finally there's snorkel guy, who was apparently never taught how to take breaths while swimming so he swims with a snorkel, never lifting his head out of the water. He could likely swim for years straight using this technique.

I'm thankful for all these characters, bringing my joy me with their weirdness and flirting. Without them I'd just be swimming back and forth, thinking only of my next lap. Instead I get to witness tiny pieces of their lives and entertain myself by giving them mildly insulting nicknames. I wonder what they nickname me.