By Jackie Wells-Fauth
Now, let me start by saying I am a party person. If you are selling Tupperware or showering a bride or mother-to-be or even celebrating a birthday (provided there’s cake), I am right there and I do know how to party.
Having said all that, I am going to attack that standard party of the summer: the pool party. Now here is a party that brings out the pooper in me. (Not literally, people!) There are just so many things about a pool party that are not meant for me, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Let’s start with the location. In order to have a pool party, one must be close to a pool. This presents two possibilities. Either you must be indoors in a large, echoing, reflecting building, usually so humid it will drop you to your knees, or you must be outside…in the hot sun…with bugs and stuff. Need I say more? In both cases, it requires you to walk with your bare feet over rough surfaces so as to keep damp feet from slipping. Yeah, yeah, I get it, but I don’t like it!
My second objection has to do with the attire. Most swimming suits have all the modesty of a g-string and a couple of pasties. Given that my body would better be suited to one of those suits from the early 1900s which had sleeves, a collar and a skirt, together with heavy black stockings, today’s swimming suits just don’t work. I look at the models in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and I laugh. Yeah, trying wearing one of those chains tied together with a half a tissue into any respectable pool and see how fast you rust! No, I’m afraid swimsuits are out for me!
Then there is the matter of pool party activities. I know, I know, you’re supposed to get in the pool and swim. But what happens if you can’t swim? You are relegated to the sidelines, where you crisp up like an overdone french fry and visualize what life would be like in a desert. So then, it’s into the pool. For a woman who equates “laps” with what a dog does to a water dish, swimming around the pool would be about as easy as convincing Godzilla to calm down, for heaven’s sake. Usually, it’s impossible for me to play any of the water games they have, because I have so many flippers, goggles, arm floaties, etc. on, that I move like the Michelin tire mascot!
Once in the pool, we move on to my next objection. Why do people assume that because you are in a pool, you must want to get wet…involuntarily? You have the splasher, who just can’t resist hitting the water in front of your face and planting about a gallon of it in your eyes, nose and mouth, causing you to cough, splutter and sneeze like a plague victim for the next hour. Then there is the dunker, who feels that the terrible hairdo you wore into the pool will be improved if he/she gets your head entirely under the water. That’s also unpleasant because generally, I manage to suck about half the pool into my lungs when I go under. My lungs don’t like that! And finally, we have the cannonballer (I know that’s not a word, but it’s very descriptive). This is the individual who believes that steps into the pool are for wusses and so they enter the pool at a flying leap and manage to splash you, dunk you and force a bucket or two of water up your nose in a neat, waterboarding maneuver, all in one, satisfying motion!
The exit from the pool is also on my list of things not to do at a pool party. Of course, you are soaking wet, because your fellow partiers felt that was necessary, and then, you generally have to enter a building or hallway which is air-conditioned. The sensation of walking into the north pole in a soaking wet swimsuit is one I have nightmares about. When I walk in to that chilled air in soaking wet clothing, I can’t get to a bathroom quickly enough, so I don’t add to the liquid on the floors! If you wonder who I am at the pool party, I am the person walking around in a heavy sweater and mittens, because I can’t get dry enough or warm enough after that experience.
Now, I’m sure that by this time all of you agree that I am a party pooper when it comes to pool parties. There can’t be that many people who agree with me, or there wouldn’t be so many pool parties throughout the country during summer days. Therefore, this is your fair warning: if you want to invite me to a party, have me over in the fall or the spring, over even at your annual Christmas party, but don’t include me in your pool party. I give new meaning to the phrase “all wet.”