I’ve been thinking about the term ‘fitting in’ lately, because I’ve been going to the Y again, swimming laps. That’s my favorite form of exercise because it’s so easy on the joints after being on your feet at work, and leads to the most pleasant tension in my arms and shoulders later. Walking into the Y I couldn’t help but notice that I totally look like of 95% of the people I see there. Past their prime, gray hair, laugh lines, or possibly worry lines, but lines on their faces deposited by the years. I like to think mine have been earned. I may look like I belong, but I feel like an outsider.
The ladies in the pool drive me nuts. There always is one queen bee, with her minions bobbing around her, all wearing their sequined visors and all being ever-so-careful not to get their hair wet. The queen is holding forth on one of two subjects usually, her health problems, or how rotten her kids are. After my laps, and because I jump right in to swim if I see a lap lane open with no warming up, I grab a noodle and try to do some stretching as I also bob in the ‘well’. It’s impossible not to listen, and it drives me nuts. Sometimes there is another non-listening lady or two and we’ll catch each other’s eye and I know she is thinking the same thoughts as I am.
And the men are no better. I don’t think I have ever been there that there isn’t an older man in one of the three lap lanes that are directly in front of the lifeguard chair. Not swimming. Nope, they are chatting up the 17 or 18 year old lifeguard, who is a captive audience for their chatter. I’m convinced that they think that this adorable young girl is totally fascinated with what they have to say. Personally I have my doubts. The last time I was there the ‘older’ man was 47 to the lifeguard’s 18, so 19 years older than the lifeguard, but a bit younger than the men I’ve seen usually are. He was thoroughly enjoying himself until a gorgeous hunk of manhood in the form of one of the young members of the swim team showed up and began chatting with her. Pool guy never said another word. I wonder if he felt silly… probably not.
So I may look the part but I don’t feel like I fit in. I don’t know where my niche is these days. And belonging, that’s another issue altogether. Where do I belong? Such a loaded word. I’ll just keep swimming so at least I’ll be in better shape if I ever figure any of this out…
Oh, and the goggles. I lost mine, and the only ones I could find were at Walgreen’s, in the clearance bin, and for ages 3 and up, way up, which would be me, and cost 40 cents! They turned out to be great so I’m going back for the other pair tomorrow.