Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot Vegas Days or My Afternoon at the Rec Center Pool

So I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I grew up in Vegas. I have also lived (briefly) in Hawaii and 13 years or so in Mecca, I mean Utah. (If you aren’t Mormon you may not understand that Utah to us Mormons is like Mecca to Muslims. We make the pilgrimage to Salt Lake City once or twice a year for General Conference and most of us dream of living there, but can’t find a job to sustain us there.)

I consider myself a Vegas Girl. I survived the heat of the summers in Vegas for 18 years before moving away. I moved back almost 10 years ago and am still waiting to adjust to the desert summers.

You need to understand I’m not a winter person either. I loved, loved, loved my college plus years spent at BYU and then working for Covey Leadership Center in Provo, and the 2 brief years living in historic Salt Lake City, but I did not like the winters in Utah. I cried every winter. My body would go into shock. I went to tanning booths, drove home every chance I got, and had some serious winter blues. The last winter I lived in Utah I finally adjusted to the winters. Go figure! (Probably because my body knew I was moving away.)

I’m a desert lizard at heart. In high school I was a runner for a law firm and drove my 1982 Toyota Corolla, without A/C, all over town delivering documents, even during the summer! I was hot and sweaty, but the summers were bearable then. We used to swim and run around outside all day long in summers growing up. Was it my optimistic, youthful attitude or was my body able to handle the heat easier?

A friend of mine has a theory that the older we get the less comfortable our bodies are with extremes like heat or cold. I tend to agree.

The really miserable desert heat of Vegas usually lasts from the beginning of July through the end of September. I don’t count September because I’m back in school all day in air-conditioned classrooms, but July and August are sheer misery. I equate it to my cousins who live in Wyoming and have to stay indoors for the winter or risk hypothermia. (You couldn’t pay me enough money to live there during the winter. I’d seriously die.) Even with good A/C everywhere you go in Vegas, the heat permeates.

We go out of town a lot. That helps, but then I have to adjust back to the heat again.

Water also helps. We don’t have a pool, so during the summer we mooch off of my parents and swim in their pool almost daily. Otherwise we hit the local rec center pool. There is little risk associated with my parents’ pool. Helping my dad keep it free of leaves, dodging my nephews’ water guns, and picking up after ourselves is usually the extent.

The rec center pool on the other hand is scary. You have to understand, it’s my boys’ favorite place to swim. There, amid the germ, diaper, and urine-infested waters, they enjoy the slides, the fountains, and an acre or two of various pools. I am not as enamored with it as they are. I tend to see the bad there. (I know, I know---I need to look for the good in things. I’m not much of a public pool or public park person though. Stems from several frightening childhood incidents I’ll deal with in later blogs.)

The rec center is scary because first of all, I have to go out in public half naked. I feel better about that now that I’m at a nice post baby weight (Finally---I had my son almost 11 years ago!) but age is starting to creep up on me. Despite my best intentions I’ve got spider veins on my legs and Relief Society arms. That crap is hard to hide, unless I want to wear a full-length wet suit. Then I’d look like a polygamist wife.

Secondly are the weirdos. Yes, Vegas has its share. (See my blog: Funny Things Part Deux.)

There are the good mommies. They are nice and clean, even if their kiddos are kicking water in your face and bullying smaller kids. There are the grannies. They tend to group together and float. There are the young high schooly (yes, high schooly with a “y”) love couples. They are a tad too touchy to be tasteful, but being out in a public place in America keeps them from too much PDA. The weirdos I’m talking about are the loner older guys. They scare me. These guys are usually 40+, single, hairy, flabby, and scouting for chicks like sharks for bait. There is at least one loner guy every time we go.

Thirdly are the bathrooms. I wish it were legal to take a picture in there. You’d die. A dark, wet cave in Tijuana, Mexico is cleaner than these bathrooms. I try not to go to the bathroom while I’m there, holding it as long as I can, but then I have to make a desperate run for it or risk the dark blue water in the pool. (A childhood urban legend of peeing in a pool where no one has informed you that peeing in said pool will cause a chemical combination turning the area around you blue or red. If anyone has ever seen this happen with their own eyes, and not in a movie, please comment below. I want details.)

Holding my breath I sprint into the women’s restroom, head for the nearest stall, avoiding both the nude lady showering with the curtain open (WTH?) and the water/urine puddle at the base of the toilet. I can only imagine what that puddle consists of. Straddling the puddle while trying to shimmy my swim shorts down is insane. And don’t even talk to me about sitting anywhere near that toilet. I pray, squat, and aim. Also---the toilet paper is wet from somebody’s damp fingers and there is no soap in the dispenser at the sink. I could die! Literally.

So today as I lounged in shallow fecal-matter, I mean shallow rec pool water, all the while keeping one eye on the shark, one eye on my boys, and gossiping with my gal pals, I endured it all because it’s 117 degrees outside and I need to cool off. Towel anyone?


  1. Oh my goodness! SO FUNNY that we were posting about the same thing on the same day, even down to the urine puddles. You and me are on the same wavelength, my friend.

    And people really WANT to live in Utah? They dream about it? Seriously, I had no idea. Maybe I should count my lucky chickens that I actually live here.

    I do enjoy living in Utah, but I am also a desert lizard at heart. I'd love to live in Vegas or Phoenix. Funny thing though - the neighborhood I live in is only about 25% LDS, so really it is not like living in Utah at all.

  2. Cheeseboy---If you only know how many people move here for school or a job and then move on (or back) to Utah. It's always hard to see them go. A LOT of people want to get out of Vegas. Sad because there are a lot of good things and people here too.

    Interesting that your neighborhood is only 25% LDS! Wow! Sounds like the SLC 1st Ward, SLC Park Stake I was in. I think we were the only people on our block who were LDS.

    If you enjoy deserts and want to stay in the state, Southern Utah has some nice ones. I have a friend in Phoenix who loves it there too.

  3. P.S. It is funny that we posted the same stuff on the same day!!! Those urine puddles in those bathrooms are NASTY!!!!