Wednesday, June 12, 2013
My friend KELLYIM posted a blog about pool etiquette that gave me a chuckle, and since I am always floored by the goofiness I sometimes see in the locker room, I thought Iíd post one of my own.
Good timing, since studying is making me squirrelly, so I thought Iíd just take a fun little break.
So what kind of weirdness do I see in the locker room? Well, it depends on which pool I swim at on any given day, but they do have a few things in common. One of the pools is at the university where I attended classes for the past four years. The other is a community pool at a fitness center only three blocks from home. For typing ease, I will refer to them as ďUP,Ē university pool, and ďCP,Ē community pool.
LOUD GOSSIPY WOMEN
This happens at both pools. At the UP, itís co-eds, and at the CP, itís mostly old ladies. (No offense to our senior members, Iíve just noticed a big difference in the social habits and topics of conversation as women age. I suppose Iím guilty of the same thing.)
Anyway, with the co-eds, sometimes they actually talk about class or career goals, which can be interesting. But usually, they are complaining about unfaithful or negligent boyfriends, back-stabbing friends, or how unfair their parents are (yes, still, even though they are technically adults over the age of 18.) With the old ladies, itís snarky comments about dumb neighbors, or rotten kids and grandkids, or the woman who is usually there with them, but is not there at the moment to defend herself. Or sometimes, itís unabashed bragging about how the co-ed got overdrunk (are you really proud of that?) or about how the grandkid won his latest competition.
To be fair, sound does magnify in a tiled room with no carpet. But whatever the case, the conversation is loud and dramatic. Are you showing off? Are you looking for sympathy? Do you need to shout it from the rooftops? Please donít, or if you must, please lower your voice. I donít want to hear it. I have things Iím proud of and things that piss me off too. But you will never know about them because I donít know you and I wonít share my personal baggage with strangers in a locker room.
WOMEN TALKING ON CELL PHONES
This happens more at the UP. And itís pretty much ditto for the above, except that the conversation is one-sided. And again, I donít care. Although it is really interesting to watch you try to get into or out of your clothes with only one hand, if youíre not using a hands-free device.
HAIR IN THE DRAIN
This happens everywhere. Please, ladies, clean your hair out of the drain when youíre done showering. Itís just gross. Itís not my job to clean up after you, but cleaning it up is preferable to standing in a wad of your hair while I shower. Problem is, the CP has gotten rid of all its paper towel dispensers in favor of those stupid hand dryers that never work. So I have to use toilet paper to clean up your hair. Now think about that for a minute. Some unknown personís wet hair, in a wet drain, picked up with wet toilet paper. Gag-worthy.
Most co-eds donít have children, so this happens mostly at the CP, although it can happen during open swim at the UP also. Now, I really donít have a problem with small children using the facilities. Swimming is great fun and great exercise and a great way for kids to expend all that excess energy. What I have a problem with is kids who run around loose and screaming all over the locker room and get in the way and run into the other patrons. Parents need to control their kids everywhere, but in a locker room itís even more important. Itís a place of semi-privacy, and it can be dangerous if you arenít paying attention. If Iím walking around barefoot on a wet floor, I do not want to have to watch out for your kid to run into me, or barge in on me in the shower. And I have a serious problem with the mom who brings her ten-year-old son into the womenís locker room and then ignores him ogling all the naked and half-dressed women. He belongs in the menís locker room, Mom.
This I just donít get. I donít think Iíve ever seen a baby Ė as in an infant too young to walk Ė in the UP locker room. But today I saw my first at the CP locker room. Explain to me please, why you are bringing your infant into the locker room? The fitness center has a really nice child care center, free to members, with great, certified care providers. Your infant canít work out with you. Your infant is not allowed on the floor with any of the equipment. Your infant is not even allowed to use the pool except for a very limited shallow-depth area. So why is s/he in the locker room? To make matters worse, s/he is crying. It reverberates off the tile walls and itís deafening. Please, if you donít want to use the child care center, then leave him/her with a babysitter.
WOMEN WHO SPREAD THEIR SHlT EVERYWHERE
This one is great. And Iíve only seen it at the UP, because I think the younger the girl, the more she feels itís necessary to carry her entire bathroom and closet with her when she goes to work out. There is limited bench space in the locker room. And you are taking up the entire bench with multiple bags, clothing, towels, make-up kits, hair and body accessories, jewelry, and electronics. There is stuff falling out of your locker and there are several pairs of shoes and multiple socks spread out on the floor. And worse, you are walking away from it and leaving it there. My stuff is in the locker behind you. Please, honey, this is not your bedroom. Be courteous and leave space for others. Thatís my nice request. Now, move it or Iíll kick it across the room.
WOMEN WHO PARADE AROUND NAKED
This one happens at both pools too, and itís another one I just donít get. Now, Iím not referring to the woman who stands by her locker and removes her street clothes to put on her workout clothes, or the woman who drops her towel so she can get dressed. Iím not saying we should be ashamed of our bodies or hide them either. But thereís something about the young nubile co-ed or the older woman with age on her body who walks from one end of the locker room to the other with it all hanging out thatís justÖ I donít knowÖ somehow undignified. I canít speak for anyone else (obviously not for these women), but except for that unspoken personal space within 3 feet of my locker, or behind a shower curtain, I want at least my butt and boobs covered.
Thatís my rant for the day. This was intended to be funny, but it actually sounds a little snarky. I hope no oneís insulted. But if you see yourself in any of these scenarios, please laugh first, then examine your standards. Iím sure I do things that irritate other people too. But I try to be vigilant and aware of other peopleís space. It is a locker room after all. And please, Iím naked here too, let me be naked in peace.