But I do like the breaststroke
According to a new study, one in five adults admits to peeing in pools, and 10 out of 10 bathing suits make me look like a bloated before-photo in an ad for experimental diet pills that help you lose weight but probably irreparably damage all the organs you can’t live without, and last year in Boston 100 percent of a woman’s body went unnoticed for two days after she drowned in the deep end a murky public pool and in the meantime families were unknowingly playing Marco Polo in chlorinated corpse water, and I’m really bad at math and don’t remember how to do fractions but even I know this all unequivocally adds up to why at age 10 falling off my bike and smashing my wrist was kind of the best thing that had ever happened to me because it meant I was spared the horror of taking swimming lessons with my fellow fourth-graders who, while blessed with a bitchy thinness that made me both hate them and want to be them, weren’t nearly as conniving as their husky classmate who would maim herself or feign malaria to get a doctor’s note every year just in time for pool season. Allegedly.
My thoughts about the popular summer pastime are further expressed in this conversation with my friend Dana:
Me: I blew everyone away with my sex appeal at the gym today. Or possibly my oppressive stench, because I didn’t get a chance to wash my workout clothes.
Dana: I can see it now, the girls lining up to ask you out.
Me: If by asking me out, you mean asking me to leave. Then yes. I can see that happening, too. On account of the oppressive stench.
Dana: It’s a gym. Stench is a badge of honor. Or at least buys you some personal space. Or is the reason I like swimming.
Me: My fear and loathing of swimsuits always stood in the way of my learning to love swimming.
Dana: Oh, I despise bathing suits. But I love swimming.
Me: But, you kind of can’t do one without the other. In public. Unless you’re leading some sort of exhibitionist lifestyle that I’m not aware of. I guess it’s true that you never really know someone …
Dana: No one can see what the hell you look like once you’re in the water.
Me: But there’s all that time before and after swimming when your body, precariously stuffed into a skimpy layer of lycra that looks like you left the house wearing only Spanx and shame, isn’t a watery blur.
Dana: You wrap your towel around yourself most of the time, so it’s just six seconds between hanging up the towel and getting into the water.
Me: The longest six seconds of. your. life.
Dana: But swimming makes your arms look awesome. And in the water, you’re almost weightless.
Me: Huh. Like space travel?
Dana: If I said it was like space travel, would you try it?
Me: No. Because in real space travel, you get to wear a slimming suit that hides all your problem areas. Actually, it hides pretty much all your areas. This is probably why people become astronauts. That, and their taste for Tang. And their aptitude for science or whatever.
Dana: Swimming is actually nothing like space travel.
Me: I KNEW IT.
Dana: This is making me want to go swimming later.
Me: This is making me want to wear shapeless clothes and never leave the house.