I’m not quite sure what adults do in swimming pools.
Is it still okay for us to bludgeon our friends with foam noodles? Are we still allowed to pretend like we’re floating in space? Can we splash unsuspecting enemies with unwarranted cannonballs?
Can we even play Marco Polo as adults, or are pools now strictly a swimming affair?
Truth be told, I don’t even want to play Marco Polo. It’s just that swimming laps isn’t my cup of tea, and I’m not sure what else to do. With all of my childhood pool shenanigans left as memories of bygone days, I now find myself getting in pools and just standing there in the water, thinking to myself: “Hey, it’s just like real life. Except in water.” Now what?
And then it occurred to me: Pool Life isn’t Real Life. It’s a different reality. The rules that normally govern acceptable behavior are temporarily suspended in Pool Life. You do what you want.
Imagine relaxing in the kitchen with a friend. Suddenly, you grab a foam noodle and beat him with it. That’s not okay. But when surrounded by water, it’s completely appropriate. Even invited.
Or what about just bouncing up and down, waving your arms around? If you’re on land, people look at you suspiciously and tell their children not to talk to the psychopath. If you’re in water, by golly, stretch, sway, and do the Hokey Pokey to your heart’s content! Spin like a ballerina! That’s what water is for!
Hell, you can even wet yourself, and nobody will know. That’s not something you can do at work.
Being in water makes it socially acceptable to be a complete lunatic. Why? Because, well, water.
Even then, if you’re being a responsible adult and merely using the pool to tread water or swim, you’re really just recreationally staying alive in a substance that wants to kill you. By choice. For fun. Swimming is a sport derived from a desire to not drown.
“Hey, I’m gonna go survive in water for thirty minutes.”
“Okay. Don’t die.”
“That’s the objective.”
But we do it for fun. Because, well, water. The rules don’t apply in water.