My kids are taking swimming lessons--which is great--too bad we made a fatal mistake and went into the women's dressing room instead of the family one.
A mother warned me. We sat, watching our kids swim and she flapped her lips like a dog in the wind. "Have you been in the women's dressing room?" she asked in a weird, creepy sort of way--as if clowns reside in that dressing room. I liked chatting with the woman, I did, even though she was a little eccentric and sat too close for comfort.
"No, I haven't. Why is it bad, as far as dressing rooms go?"
"Thank God I saved you." She put her hand on my shoulder like we were kid sisters and she was a prophet! Then she patted me. I am not a touchy person. I have this personal space thing that goes further around me than moons in orbit. I didn't move my head, but strained my eyes so I could see her from the corner of them. I didn't know what to do as she continued patting me. It really only lasted a couple seconds, but seemed like forever and could have saved my life if I'd been choking. I didn't want to be rude and say, "Stop giving me the Heimlich," but at the same time her hand was a hot coal burning into my soul every time it whacked me!
My one-year-old started crying and my two-year-old (the Zombie Elf) wriggled in the stroller at that point. I shot up faster than yeast-filled bread, clutched the stroller and waved goodbye to "The Patter."
"It was great talking to you," I said, because it had been until she started doing karate. "I better take these little ones for a walk."
At first it felt awesome strutting around that pool. There's no better confidence builder than wearing clothes and boots around a bunch of half-naked people. Did you ever have that classic dream about going to school in nothing but your underwear? I did. It wasn't pleasant. I didn't dream about it until I bought Scooby-Doo underwear. The cashier happened to know me from school. He looked at me really funny when I paid. "I like cartoons too," he said.
"Yeah, they're pretty awesome."
"I like underwear too." After he spoke, he blushed like a budding flower. "I didn't mean it . . . like that. I just mean that . . . we . . . we have a lot in common."
It was mortifying! And that's when the dream about going to school in my Scooby-Doos started. The cashier was always in it--saying how much he likes cartoons. I still like cartoons, but come to think of it, I'm not too hip on Scooby-Doo anymore, not after talking with that cashier.
So, strutting around the pool was the complete opposite from "the dream." It felt awesome, until a half hour passed and my babies insisted on making me do all sorts of silly things just to keep them from crying. I did peek-a-boo (the old classic); we walked and sang about a farmer who had a farm and a dog who's name was Bingo. When I sang about Twinkling Stars I passed a boy's high school swim team. They stared at me like I was the one who should feel exposed. I kept singing, turned the corner and walked faster. My baby smiled and her gums showed her happiness. But I became so flustered I headed to the side of the pool where "The Patter" sat.
"I love Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," she said, but I only waved and went on my merry way. I wasn't about to get whacked again.
"There's no running around the pool," she hollered at my back. "Stay safe."
No running around the pool--HA! I wanted to pat her a few times and see how she liked it!
So when the kids finished swimming, I was thrilled. "The patter" motioned for me to follow her into the family changing room, but there was no way I'd go in a changing room with someone named "The Patter."
With a brave face, I turned from the entrance she'd gone through. I put my hand on the women's room door, closed my eyes and stepped in. I thought she'd joked about the horrors resting within. She made it sound like the entrance to Hell.
We walked slowly. Steam filled the room and it was hard to see anything. I told "The Scribe," "The Hippie," and my boy "The Zombie Elf" to stay calm. We saw something move in the steam ahead. Then another flash shot through my vision. The place reminded me of a scary movie when you don't know when the shark will attack.
"The Hippie" stood closer to me. "I'm scared," she said.
"The Scribe" rolled her eyes. "Don't be pansy. There's nothing . . . to be afraid of."
Something else moved in the steam. My little boy, "The Zombie Elf," started singing some mumbled song that only added to our fear.
"But this place feels weird." I watched goose bumps appear all over "The Hippie's" skin as she spoke.
"We'll be okay," I said above "The Zombie Elf's" song. But I'd been wrong, when we stepped around a corner, to where the steam wasn't so thick, a nightmare awaited us. It wasn't as bad as the entrance to Hell--it was worse! "The Patter" had been right and I should have followed her.
Naked, old ladies filled the dressing room!
"The Scribe" (who always acts so tough) clutched at the stroller. "The Hippie" looked at me, terrified. And "The Zombie Elf" sang a bit louder.
"It's so yucky," the words faded from "The Hippie's" lips.
"The Scribe" covered her little sister's eyes. "Do you remember Percy Jackson? Do you remember Medusa? Whatever you do, do not look into their eyes!"
I could have peed my pants. Those girls are hilarious!!!
We went to the end of the dressing room, where skin didn't clutter in rolls around us. I have to tell you though we did make it out alive, that time.
But the girls have six more days of swimming lessons! I guess I'll brave the room where "The Patter" goes.
Today is awesome though because Cade is off and he's wanted to watch the girls swim. I think I'll send him to the pool instead.
Poor Cade, I'm always throwing him into crazy situations. At least it makes our marriage interesting. Plus, I can't wait to hear what he'll think about "The Patter."