Sunday, July 13, 2003

At the Hipster Pool

Thanks to AG and CH, I got to spend time last week at a little private pool off Forest Hill Avenue, that, at first glance, seemed to be populated by the same skirted-bathing suit wearing women I saw at the swimming pools of my youth. When I looked closer, though, they turned out to be my hip friends and peers. They sport more tattoos and piercings than the moms of our youth. And, look, I see several dads, too, in the middle of the day! I wasn’t the only one getting this week’s New Yorker covered in sunscreen. We have become the adults, but with our own style.

With C and her 4 year old, we spent most of the afternoon poolside, giving me a chance to observe big kids. (Little kids come early.) Boys threw balls into a poolside basketball hoop while girls sized them up. Some younger kids played a version of the old fashioned game “Vegetable Basket.” In this game, one child is “it” and stands at one end of the pool or room; the rest of the group, on the other side, silently picks a vegetable. It then calls out a vegetable, and if it’s your vegetable, you swim or run across the space. If it tags you, you either trade places or join It (like Sharks and Minnows), depending on house rules. It can call “vegetable basket” and everybody runs. The modern version, which I’ve seen girls play before at camp, is “Categories,” allowing the players to pick bands, colors, candy bars, kind of horses, camp counselors, or anything else on their minds as the category. This can make it harder: if it’s horse camp and the girls know lots of breeds, they stump each other too fast by picking obscure ones. No one gets to run or swim.

In this way, a boy at the hipster pool brought their game to a screeching halt by choosing “medicine – no, first aid and medicine!” He started calling out “band aid, a really big band aid, bandage scissors, ice pack, eye patch . . . .” I think they had to make him start over with a new category. At camp, the girls do a good job picking things they will all know – with new friends from across the state, they don’t pick names of Henrico County schools. The friends who go to the cool pool all live in the same world. One girl picked “restaurants,” another "stores at Willow Lawn.” I love it.

I didn’t identify with everyone there, of course. A few women seemed to have conspicuously expensive cover-ups and jewelry. Upon seeing what she took to be too sparse a crowd, one uttered the sentence, “half of Richmond must be on vacation this week.” A couple of women had fat smut novels.

I got a dose of kids and a sunburn, so I’m happy.

Dept. of Good News

Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science accepted me! I'm going to grad school. This time, I will get a degree out of it, damnit.

Capital City weather Overcast and low 80s.

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