Our pool is still a murky chasm of waste water.
Oh, I know it’s only been a couple of days. It could take up to a week, everything we read told us. Maybe two! I was prepared to be patient about it, except that I’d forgotten something sort of important.
I’m not a patient person. (Surprise!)
And it didn’t help that a family member who also has a pool sent out some pictures to demonstrate that their newly-opened pool was just as frightening as ours, but then they dumped in a gazillion gallons of liquid shock and just 24 hours later the water was fresh and clean and beautifully blue. Hmph. We prefer the old fashioned method of adding only enough chemicals to cause acute neurological damage each day, rather than emptying our bank accounts and all in one day making the water pretty but capable of instantly killing any renegade hippos who might wander by for a swim.
(Note: We have never had a hippo either wander by or come swim in our pool. I use the example of a hippo for scale. If the water were capable of executing a hippo, basically I figure the children could step out on the porch and the fumes from the pool below would fell them immediately, and that would totally mess up their chances of winning Perfect Attendance this quarter.)
(Also note: The family-pool-shockers have no children, so although what they did may be perfectly safe, I choose to mock their choice as being potentially risky for MAH PRESHUS BAYBEES because it makes me feel ever-so-slightly more justified in still having a swampy pool. Obviously.)
Owning a pool is a lot like enduring harsh winters, I’ve discovered. During all of the time I lived in the north, every single winter I would reach a point where I would’ve happily chewed off my own arm to escape, to go ANYWHERE that didn’t involve feeling my nose hairs freeze in the time it took to walk from the door to the car. To say that I am not a fan of winter would be an extreme understatement. Yet, during the spring, summer and fall, if I happened to encounter someone from a different locale who said, “Oh, the winters are AWFUL where you live, right?” I’d be all “Eh, they’re not so bad.”
It’s selective amnesia. I had Winter Amnesia for years, and this week I realize I’ve developed Pool Amnesia.
“Oh, it must be SO GREAT to have your own pool!” people say to me.
“It TOTALLY IS!” I answer, because I AM A BIG FAT MORON.
Look, there are many things to recommend having your own pool, it’s true. It’s right there, whenever you want it. You don’t have to wear a bathing suit in public. It’s not crowded, unless you’re not able to hide from the neighborhood kids quickly enough. There’s better-than-average odds of the pool being urine-free. “Going swimming” doesn’t mean hauling everyone out to the car and when you’re done there are no wet butt-prints on your car seats. If someone acts up you can send them to their room and KEEP SWIMMING. I mean, that’s great stuff, right?
Unfortunately, I totally repressed the other stuff. The pool maintenance. The cost of chemicals. The added electricity. The worried babysitting of the pool pump, particularly now at the beginning of the season. (Seriously, I spend more time with the pool pump than I ever did with my infants. “Oh, pool pump, your pressure is up! Let me readjust your settings! Pool pump, you don’t seem to be running the jets properly. Are you okay? Let me check the water levels! Let me empty the skimmer basket! Pool pump, WHY DO YOU HATE ME??”)
I spent half of yesterday doing actual work and half of it down by the pool, vacuuming leaves from the murky depths, scrubbing the walls right at the water level where an impressive layer of scum had accumulated, whispering sweet nothings to the pool pump, and wondering why in the world I wanted to have a pool in the first place.
This morning, instead of, I don’t know, SHOWERING or finishing my prep to go volunteer at school or NOT THINKING ABOUT BEING ON THE TODAY SHOW AT 10, I went outside to watch Otto attempt some pool TLC, and he angered the pool pump.
Not on purpose, you understand. But he did. It stopped circulating the water, and he assured me that it would restart momentarily. We stood there and waited. And waited. And I started saying extremely bitchy things like “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” and “YOU BROKE IT!” and then I tried to do something to fix it and he snapped “THAT IS NOT GOING TO HELP!” and I stomped back into the house saying something loving and helpful like “WELL DON’T COME CRYING TO ME WHEN YOU BREAK THE PUMP!”
They say couple argue about money and children, but that’s only couples WHO DON’T OWN POOLS. Just sayin’.
Otto and I are fine and the pool will (someday?) be fine, but I may just need to make peace with the water being green and fuzzy. That’s not so bad, right? I mean, I like green. It’s a lovely color.