At the pool, the babysitters and teenaged girls wear teeny bikinis. The moms wear Lands’ End tankinis in a variety of styles and colors. The mom in the turquoise halter tankini with the number two leg cut (last year’s catalog) has a toddler she’s teaching to swim. Across the pool I spot two moms, barely distinguishable from one another in their black tankinis, white visors and loose, weekend chignons. Their tans are of unintentional degrees. Moms who have recently had their hair colored sport ball caps and swim, chins grazing the surface.
We swim, or sit and read, glancing up occasionally to locate kid #1, kid #2 and less often, kid #3.
It’s time to go at the third adult swim of the afternoon, the cue I’ve given the girls (my own, plus our guest for the day). I spot them hiding behind a chair. They don’t see me. They scurry off to the restroom. I slip in as they lock themselves into stalls, plotting their next move.
“She didn’t see us!”
“Let’s stay here till she leaves!”
“We can walk home!”
I wait, wondering how long they’ll camp out with the dank floor, unpleasant odor, locked behind metal doors in their dripping suits. A friend of theirs enters. I nod, and slip back out the door, waiting silently, just outside the door in the sun. After a few minutes they tiptoe out and walk right into me.
“Busted,” I say. “I heard everything you said. If you guys pull this stunt again we won’t be having any more guests to the pool.”
Turned on my flip flop, and stalked off to gather our stuff.
The girl apologized the whole way home. It was a lovely day at the pool.