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Friday, March 30, 2007

Swimming in the Dough

YES! The wardrobe changeover is starting to pay off – this morning I found $4.03 in the pocket of a pair of khakis that I haven’t worn since last fall. It doesn’t sound like much but it was $4 that I found AFTER the girls had left for school, so it is $4 that I still have in my possession! Woohoo. I am a simple woman, easily entertained with spring clothes and $4. Escalating the excitement: the weatherman says it is going to be SEVENTY degrees today. SEVENTY!!! Our weatherman has not said SEVENTY since last November.

All that talk of tropical weather has perhaps messed with my head. Last night I dreamed we set up the swimming pool. Don’t get excited and start planning parties at my house. It’s just one of those 15 foot above-ground metal-frame contraptions that the girls bought 4 years ago. Homer and I thought it was the dumbest thing ever but since we believe in letting life’s lessons, which include buyer’s remorse, take their course, we stood back and let it happen. We did steer them away from the inflatable-ring, tub-o-jello kind of pool, since we live on the side of a hill, and we were foresighted enough to imagine what 9000 gallons of water would look like running through our neighbors yards. ALL the way DOWN.

Anyway, ahem, cou*we were wrong*gh! I think we might have actually used it more than the kids. Which is only fair because you can imagine who gets to set it up and fill it and change the filters and buy the chemicals and test the water and clean the darn thing and then take it down. If you said Homer, you would be terribly wrong and not my friend. But my hard work does entitle me to bring a date so; again Homer slides in on my coattails.

But, alas, a $300 pool does not last forever. After four summers (very full, bake in the high-altitude, hot sun and dry air summers) of heavy use we now have a dilemma. The plastic liner is showing its age and I don’t think the filter pump will pump us through another year - it was starting to sound like a feral cat might be caught in there. I realize that replacing parts could quickly send you down that ‘I could have bought a whole new pool’ road. Which is also an option, but this summer the girls will be 15 and 17. Maybe they will be MUCH more interested in going to the neighborhood pool, where they can hang with their friends and toss back their hair in that carefree manner and giggle and do all those teenage things that make laying in the hot, torrid sun, eating Banana Boat tainted Doritos with warm pop seem like what life is really all about.

The rec pool doesn’t hold the same appeal for us parental units. Homer swears that a pre-bedtime dip makes him sleep like a baby in the summer – the public pool closes at 8 or 9 and they like you to wear trunks. As for me, there is something that soothes my soul about laying on my water lounger in the pool with my tankini pulled up to expose my fish-belly stomach so it can catch a few rays – because darker looks smaller, you know. Well, the public pool doesn’t like water lounges or fish bellies and, can you even believe this? They serve NO MARGARITAS and they even have this rule against bringing your own! Mexico is SO much more evolved in some respects.

So last fall as I was dismantling the ol’ watering hole, with mounting despair over its condition, I decided that it was the time to plant a seed. I made my report and cautioned the girls: “sorry, kids, you know the pool is getting quite old and, well, nothing lasts forever but it had a good life and we can remember the good times we had with it and know that we will always have it in our hearts”. Okay, that might be the dying-pet talk but I love anything with more than one use.

Anyhoodle, I was thinking….and that is often where I go wrong.… if they had all winter to save up their hard earned money we could perhaps be financially ready for the spring pool sales!

Well, in my excitement about SEVENTY degrees and my pool dream, I threw the matter out for discussion at the breakfast table this morning. Surely they must be as excited as I am? Have they thought at all about a new pool? I bet Target will be getting pools in any day (oh, who am I kidding, they’ve probably had them out since they took down the Christmas displays). What do you girls think? Huh? I was all smiling and excited and, I remind you this was before 7 am - before 7 am Daylight Savings Time! Yes, happy I was, no ecstatic and hopeful and then they put the knives through my heart.

Lola: “Remember, 1) I'm saving my money for my dream Jeep and 2) I will be working or training or out of town most of the summer. What would I get out of a backyard pool?”

Junie(again with the numbers): “1) I plan to spend most of MY time at my friends’ who have REAL pools and 2) You are pitiful to be trying to squeeze money for your filthy pool habit out of your children.”

Me: “Are you serious? C’mon guys! Didn’t we have fun? What about our whirlpool games and the lazy river? Wasn’t it fun to swirl the water round and round and then watch your dad try not to chum in his little innertube because he can’t handle any spinning motion? And, and…I can’t do my Shamu imitation without a pool! Shamu out of water is just…..pitiful… and NOT very....fun…..or alive.

Homer: “Honey? Honey! It’s okay.
Me: Is it?
Homer: We can still get a new pool.
Me: We can?
Homer: We don’t need those fickle children. The dream isn’t dead……….it’s just coming out of your pocket.

Of course it is.
There goes my $4.

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