When I say “our,” I’m not using the word the way Republicans do when they say things like, “This tax cut will improve our way of life” and “our” really means “my.” I’m also not using it the way Democrats do, when they say things like, “It’s our responsibility to make sure everybody can get affordable health care” and “our” really means “your.”
I’m not talking about a neighborhood here, like, say, SoHo or Hell’s Kitchen, or wherever it is Mr. Rogers used to live. This is a community with a clearly defined entrance, and a sign, and a pair of pillars you have to drive through. There’s no security or anything, just the pillars.
It’s a gateless community.
It’s a small enclave of about 30 houses, with a pool roughly in the middle of it. Everything went up in the late 50s, so I’m surprised there isn’t a community fallout shelter, too.
However, we do have an association. It’s sort of like the ones you find in a co-op or condo, only without all the drama. We lived for a couple of years in a Manhattan co-op, and 25 years in a Westchester condo, and I can tell you that the annual association meetings resembled episodes of The Jerry Springer Show. We used to go just for the entertainment value of watching upper middle class suburbanites scream at each other about shrubbery.
They have annual meetings in our new association, too. They read the minute (only one) from the last meeting, ask for volunteers to put chemicals in the pool, throw some ideas around and adjourn. You’d be surprised how much more civilized annual meetings are when your fees are $450 a year instead of $750 a month.
About a week after we moved in last year, they held the annual spring cleaning event in which the pool is prepared for the summer. And although we still had a lot of unpacking to do, we figured we’d attend, because, really, what better way is there to meet the new neighbors than by shaking hands while wearing rubber gloves and sweating profusely because you’ve been scrubbing lounge chairs.
And that’s about the only time I’ve been to our pool in two years.
What can I say? I’m just not a pool person. My theory is, if it’s hot enough to sit in a pool, it’s hot enough to stay inside with the air conditioner.
Our old condo development had a pool, too, and when our daughter Casey was growing up, we’d use it all the time. We’d go down and I’d roughhouse in the water with her and all the other kids, and the old people who lived in the development glared at me for causing a ruckus.
My ruckus-causing days are over now, and Casey’s too big for that stuff, and today’s over-protective parents tend to frown upon an older guy roughhousing with kids in the pool if one of them isn’t his own.
But even though I don’t use it, it’s good to know the pool is there. I don’t know why. Maybe in the back of my mind is the notion that one day I’ll just get the sudden urge to go for a swim.
Of course, by the time I find a bathing suit, the urge will have passed.
See you soon.
Disclaimer: The swimming pool pictured in this post is not our pool, and I’m almost positive that the obviously professional beachball volleyball players shown are not residents of our community because, if they were, the pool would be much more crowded.