I saw Johnny’s dad naked…sort of.
Ahhh, the swimming pool, an innocent enough pastime, a Sunday afternoon spent frolicking with your kids in the friendly splatter of the community pool, a wonderland of waterslides, hot tubs, floaties, artificial currents and…nearly naked
Something happens to parents when they arrive at the community pool. It’s the opposite of whatever happens to women when they go to the hot tub with their girlfriends on a ski weekend: “I’m so fat.” “No, you’re not, I am.” “It’s just this muffin top.” “For me, it’s my thighs.” “They don’t rub together like mine!” “Lulu Lemon called, they want their pants back.” “Whatever, I’m the one with the saggy boobs…” And on and on they drone, hating every square inch of their skin like it’s a fungus.
Not so at the community pool. All that self-conscious, body-loathing, inner/outer speak evaporates from the cells of their subcutaneous like chlorine from a 140-degree hot tub. It happens somewhere between the pool deck and the family/group/unisex (throw in old people)/special change rooms — where parents act like they’re in the comfort/privacy of their rumpus room.
“Johnny, socks off, the floor’s wet,” screams the mom stripped down to her string bikini, ass up, stuffing jackets into a locker, muffin top firmly atop. “Suzie, underwear off before
you put your swimsuit on!” barks the dad with man boobs as he bogarts a change room from a five-year-old looking to pee in a shower.
Formerly respectable, overly body-conscious folk suddenly become titans of the community aquatic experience, and they could care less whose brand-new leather boots they just kicked to the drain, or that their kids dismounted the shower head in the change room and are spraying it all over the “dry” bench while their Captain America doll whirls about the swimsuit spinner battling evil water droplets. It’s a bloody free-for-all. The only thing worse than the change room experience is the pool itself — like we all volunteered to be ringside for a typhoon and are actually enjoying it.
The capper on this wet, miserable experience is the awkward sightings. You know what I’m talking about. There you are in your elastically challenged bikini, all those much-loathed body parts you left in the roundabout now front and center, like you actually became a giant thigh, there’s nothing else to you, just thigh and fat, and more fat. And in front of you is that hipster dad who you saw once or twice at school drop-off, sorta looks like Adam Levine and (not that it matters because you’re happily married) he’s damn cute and you’re definitely not because you’re naked and
But wait, just wait, he’s no prince himself. Who knew he had a fur jacket? And what’s with those toes, are they webbed? He could work out a little more. Jeez, amazing what clothes hide. And it happened, that jolt from fleeting insecurity back to smug, as you head to the change room, giggling that you just saw Johnny’s dad (sorta) naked, and he’s not as cute as you and the rest of the moms thought he was. In fact, someone get that boy to the gym. Your thighs are suddenly glamour gams and, for all you care, your body is a ringer for Cameron Diaz.
What’s my point? Why do parents lose all inhibition at the community pool and fall right back to our “chimpanic” roots (made that word up), picking fleas off our kids in the hot tub, strutting near-naked, scratching our privates… What is going on?
Whatever it is, there’s something healthy about literally/figuratively stripping away all protection and throwing in the towel (pun intended) amidst the chaos of the community pool. Maybe we should have our PTA (or PAC) meetings there, our Christmas concerts and bake sales. Bring on the skin, it will be the only
time I see Johnny’s dad naked!
Read more of Shannon’s posts HERE.
And because no song seemed more fitting to go with this post, we’re treating you to a FREE download of “Show Us What You Got” from Lullaby Renditions of Jay Z. Yeah, we know you want to sing along, too.