The Old Ladies And The Sea
Sometimes – coming out of the shower and catching a glimpse of my naked self, for instance – a great notion is born. Like, to get rid of mirrors in the bathroom. Or blind myself with an ice pick.
Last week, however, I had a new notion:
A water aerobics class at my friend Andrea’s pool! By invitation only! Members hand-picked by me!
The requirement to join was that each invitee had to prove self-loathing in a bathing suit. And I had to believe them. None of that ersatz self-deprecation hiding some, “I love my big, beautiful body” crap. Self-acceptance bugs the shit outta me. Life is too short to hang with people who are happy with themselves. Or with others. Or pretty much anyone, really.
I told Andrea, “I am going to invite a bunch of old fat women to your pool. You may not come out of your house. Your children will have to be blindfolded. And your husband better not get near any windows or I will kick his ass.”
Now, Andrea’s husband is about as buff as they come. I couldn’t kick his ass even if he were already dead. But Rich is Jewish and Korean. I knew he’d stay away. He knows better than to fuck with a strong woman.
And so it began.
Three of us descended into the shallow end of Andrea’s pool last Tuesday. Two of us came out an hour later, as I was still stuck in the deep end, wrapped around my styrofoam noodle, desperately flutter-kicking my way back, trying to hold onto the fucking useless “shelf bra” that had disengaged itself from the blouson top of my bathing suit when I was showing off by attempting to stand on the submerged noodle so it would pop itself – and me – up in a spectacular Esther Williams-esque finale to the first class. I sort of have a problem with showing off when I am feeling insecure. It never ends well for me but I never seem to learn.
We did a lot of laughing, the three of us that first morning. We did a little less laughing this morning because One Of Us made a careless comment last Tuesday that the workout wasn’t so difficult, so our teacher amped up the aerobics part of the experience this morning and we didn’t have much extraneous breath for laughter. Last Tuesday, the only time things got serious was when Roberta told Helene about the pork won tons at a new Chinese restaurant downtown. I have never seen such a serious look on Roberta’s face. And we’ve discussed the Holocaust together.
I have no idea what the instructor thinks of us. She is a cute young thing; we are, perhaps, the first Jews she’s ever met and we are certainly the least athletic students she has ever had. I would like to believe, however, that we are the most willing students she had ever had, being as she tells us to get on our noodles and start kicking and, by God, we do it. For a few seconds. Until we get tired. Or I think of something funny to say. Or Roberta has to pee. Roberta is the Bad Girl in class. She’s our Pinky Tuscadero, pretty much doing whatever the hell she feels like doing in the pool (I can only hope it’s not peeing). Helene is vying to be Teacher’s Pet, I think. She got all giggly and shit this morning when the teacher told her that she was keeping her elbows tucked in nicely during the arm exercises. She turned around to make sure we all heard that she had been singled out for commendation. Yes, Helene. You are the best student in the class.But watch your back. Roberta could fuck with your noodle.
Shit gets real in old lady water aerobics class.