Another handy quiz

By Mir
May 12, 2010

Not sure if you’re up to the fun and excitement of owning your own pool? It can be difficult, deciding whether you’re ready to take the plunge, and that’s aside from the bad puns involved. Pool ownership is not to be undertaken lightly, so be certain you’re making the right choice with this handy screening quiz.

1) Do you enjoy running outside like a crazy person when your son is having a playdate and screaming, “GET! OFF! THE! POOL! COVER! RIGHT! NOW!!” at his baffled friends?
A) Yes.
B) No.
C) My kid told me about you. Have you considered valium?

2) Do you feel that no Mother’s Day is complete until you’ve dragged said pool cover out to the yard and gotten covered in pollen, grass, and other miscellaneous debris while helping your spouse fold it up again for storage?
A) Yes.
B) No.
C) Are you kidding me?

3) Would the ritual Spring unveiling of your very own backyard swamp fill you will glee?
A) I… think so?
B) Ewww, no thanks.
C) That explains the smell.

4) Do you have buckets of money for which you have no use, which could be best utilized by giving them to the nice people at the pool store in return for chlorine, chemical shock, and other substances likely to render you both blind and sterile?
A) Absolutely!
B) I prefer to spend my money on pretty shoes.
C) Can I save one bucket for margaritas?

5) Do you enjoy playing Name That Bloated Floating Rodent?
A) And how!
B) I think I just threw up a little.
C) Isn’t that what husbands are for?

6) Have you ever wanted to raise your eyes heavenward and shriek “SNAKES! SNAKES IN A POOL!”?
A) Absolutely.
B) No…?
C) Wait, you need a pool to do that?

7) Are your children running out of things to nag you about? Would your life feel more complete if they could chant, “Can we go swimming now? How about now? Now??”
A) It’s like you’re reading my mind.
B) That was almost funny. Still kind of deranged, though.
C) Isn’t that what husbands (and earplugs) are for?

8) Is there currently a disturbing lack of wet footprints, sodden items of clothing, and moldy towels adorning the floor of your house?
A) Dude, totally.
B) Just say no, dude. To all of that, AND the drugs.
C) Suddenly I am unsure both about the pool AND having children.

Tally your score:
* If your answers are mostly As, congratulations! You are totally ready to own a pool.
* If your answers are mostly Bs, congratulations! You are totally sane, and as such will never own a pool.
* If your answers are mostly Cs, well, I think I might like to have margaritas with you. Come on over! Did I mention we have a pool?


  1. Liz@thisfullhouse

    We haven’t opened are pool, yet — can I still come over?

  2. Karen P

    We had a pool when we moved to Olympia from Seattle. It was an above ground pool with a large deck. It was nice when 2 of our 3 children were still at home. However, if you have been to Western Washington you would know that there are not very many hot enough days in the summer to really get a lot out of having a pool. Plus our back yard is filled with lots of shade trees that dropped stuff in the pool. So late afternoon was always shady. Lots of time and money spent to maintain it for a few weeks basically. When the liner needed to be replaced and a new deck was needed, we tore it down and made a garden.

  3. Heather

    Ha! I loved having a pool as a kid, but i didn’t much think of the work involved for my parents ;)

  4. Jamie

    We’ve already got the pool, but we don’t close it for the winter because we have a hot tub that hubby enjoys using when it’s cold outside (me, not so much). I’m wondering if paying for and maintaining the pool chemicals throughout the winter would end up being cheaper? One of our neighbors swears that once the outdoor temp gets below a certain amount (45?), you don’t have to chlorinate the pool because it’s too cold for algae to grow. I think my husband tested the theory this winter and all seems to have gone okay. Might be worth doing additional research on it.

  5. StephLove

    My son’s best friend’s family has a pool. I get invited over with him once or twice a summer. That’s good enough for me.

  6. Shannon

    I hear you. I can deal with most of it except the heaps and heaps and heaps and heaps of moldy towels. Though – and perhaps this speaks to you – I have discovered we need never shop for pool towels again, as those kind souls who remember to bring their own somehow infrequently remember to retrieve them.

  7. elizabeth

    I was going to suggest transitioning to a salt water pool, but think that may only help with the buckets of money going to others problem. So, um, yeah, I’ll just stick with stocking up on margaritas and wrangling invites to other people’s pools.

  8. Crisanne

    We had a pool growing up and my parents fought the pool cover/no pool cover battle for several years. Now they have a pool service that comes out once a week and saves them buckets of money! Maybe you should research one…or have we covered that already???

  9. Brigitte

    The trick is to make sure you have friendly NEIGHBORS with pools (then again, if you are like me, you’d freak that your children went over there and promptly drowned whenever they leave your sight).

  10. elz

    Our pool is (apparently) relatively low maintenance in comparison. I had a couple pools growing up and the only major issue we had was after a hurricane deposited most of our neighbor’s roof into our pool. That said, I also ran several City pools and can tell you that bloated rodents were a fairly common occurrence. Blech. I’ve done my duty with shock, backwash, clean, repeat…Maybe the key is to have a pool in Texas versus Georgia? Y’all are wlecome to come swimming in our pool anytime!

  11. Megan

    We have now passed on THREE gorgeous houses because they all have pools (?? in the North?? Where you can used them… maybe 2 months with a week or so extra if you’re lucky?!?). I was juuuust starting to waffle and mention that a pool can’t be THAT bad, and it’s not going to make THAT big a difference.

    Now I need to convince Himself that no, we can’t drain the darn thing and start a subterranean mushroom farm.

  12. Karen

    You forgot the floating bloated frogs in the filter system. *sigh*

  13. Katherine

    This is why we chose the subdivision with a pool. But I still have to hear “can I go swimming yet? huh, huh? please!” already.

  14. Lorraine

    25 years ago, my mom rescued a baby squirrel who had fallen into our swimming pool. She just stuck in her hand and pulled it out. So of course it bit her. So of course she wrapped it up in a flannel blanket and put it down for a little nap in the bird feeder and then called the doctor who freaked. So off we went to the hospital. So they ask “Ma’am, do you have the squirrel? Cause if not, you get a whole quiverful of needles in your stomach and that really hurts apparently.” So we place a frantic call to my father who confirms that the squirrel is still sleeping it off in its little cedar hammock. So they send a vet tech out to get the squirrel to make sure it doesn’t have rabies. So my mom finds out that normally squirrels are killed to determine if they have rabies. So the upshot of this situation is that my father winds up paying $250 for the little squirrel to take a car ride to the nearest center for rabies detection (3 hours away), have a spinal tap procedure, and take a car ride back to our yard. Three days later it is floating in the pool again, this time fatally. I will never forget the look on my father’s face that morning. I think that might have been the beginning of his sad decline.

  15. Leandra

    Yeah, we used to have a pool. Been there, done that. I’ll just save my money so that I can join a place that has a pool and has somebody else do all the maintenance.

    Although we probably didn’t properly appreciate the pool because Ollie wasn’t really old enough to enjoy it. He was only about 2 at the time and I’d get me and him all slathered up with sunscreen, tug the swim diaper on him, get MY suit on and get in the pool only for him to want to get out five minutes later. Um, yeah, no thanks.

  16. Chuck

    This is one of the few advantages of apartment living…someone else worries about the pool. Of course, I’ve only been swimming in it a couple times.

    BTW I am totally down for margaritas. I’ll bring some chips and queso.

  17. Ani

    OMG that was a harrowing but hilarious dead squirrel story. Sorry, pool quiz hijacked by rabid suicidal squirrel. :-)

  18. Melissa

    Lorraine, I am DYING over here trying to hold my laughter in.

  19. Katie

    I live in So CA, and we never closed our pool for the winter. But winter is about three weeks long out here. Still, we didn’t use the pool very often. It needed to be 90 outside for it to be warm enough.

  20. sassymonkey

    I’d probably scream, “There are M______ snakes in this m____ pool” a la Samuel L Jackson.

    It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have children.

  21. Jean

    The snakes would end it for me…i’d be putting lots of backfill into the pool and building a deck over it…OMG!

  22. Katie in MA

    First, I was going to point out that answer 6A lacked a few exclamation points. Because how! awesome! to shriek comically “SNAKES IN A POOL!” Good times!

    …except then I realized – Wait, that means there are actually *snakes* in the *pool* and freakedtheheckout. I love me some snakes but someone please tell them they aren’t allowed to swim!

    Margaritas will help. (Me, not the snakes)

  23. Jean

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You kill me, Mir. And Lorraine is pretty good at slaying, too.

    No pool experience, thank you. Never had one, don’t want one. We go to the lake.

  24. Kristin

    Snakes in a pool??!?!?!?! Um yeah, I’d have to move. Out of the house, possibly the state.

  25. SillyMe

    I am allergic to pretty much the whole outdoors so my dream home has an indoor pool. or at least a screened in pool (with a roof, I’m not that fond of sun either.) and the house would definitely come with a pool service to maintain the pool (and my sanity)
    @Lorraine you cracked me up with your story. You and Mir should team up and take your show on the road. I’d buy tix!

  26. JennyM

    I am bookmarking this in case I ever start to feel bummed about my decisions to forego (a) children and (b) a pool.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go freshen my margarita.

    PS: There’s a Blogher “pool season” ad up that is (I think?) making subtle watery noises. I didn’t hear it until I was reading the comments and my first thought was “OMG, Mir has added pool sounds to her blog about the pool.”

    PPS: If I’m the only one that’s hearing the subtle watery noises, please don’t tell me.

  27. Dawn

    I live above the 49th parallel. Way above. Outdoor pools are just silly here. Not that people don’t have them, but it’s just too much work and expense for the 4 1/2 days when it’s hot enough to want to swim outdoors.

    The upside? No snakes here. Seriously.

  28. Dawn

    JennyM. You’re not the only one.

    That Mir. Always with the cool.

  29. Cele

    Mir when you’re ready there are no snakes in the hot tub.
    Oh please tell me there are no snakes in the hot tub.

  30. Karen

    Well, I think I will use my funds to join the community pool. So I can hear “Can we go to the pool? How about now?” And my trunk can hide the smelly, moldy towels that end up on floor. And I can spend rest of my money at the snack bar on pizza and ice pops. :-)

  31. Erin

    Might I suggest you look into a salt chlorinator for your pool? It is an upfront expense, but eliminates the need fro the chlorine and other chemicals. All you add is some bags of pool salt which then dissolve. The chlorinator is hooked up after your filter and before the water goes back into the pool. It “zaps” the salt molecules, breaking apart the sodium and chloride molecules, thereby making your chlorine. The chlorine is “used up” by swimming, etc. then converts back to salt and the whole process repeats. No dry, smelly skin, faded bathing suits, green hair, etc. We only need to add the occasional salt or acid to counteract rain.
    I highly reccdomend it. We were very skeptical of owning a pool until we experienced how easy it has been for the past 8 years with this one.

  32. Kemi

    I love this quiz. I really do. I have children, but no pool, and still, I could relate.

    Question 5 is my favorite. “Bloated floating rodent” is comedic GOLD.

  33. Lady M

    I think the only time to be ready to own a pool is when your parents say, “yep, we’re getting a pool,” and they are taking care of the pool cover, the rodents, and the chemicals. Can you talk your folks into it? ;)

  34. JoeMemory

    I love this quiz. Are you selling a pool?

  35. Kelly

    I am all for bucket of margaritas and not owning a pool – thanks!

  36. MomCat

    My new avatar looks *just* like me! Yay!

  37. Colleen

    My husband owns a pool service and repair company outside Atlanta and we don’t have a pool. He says it’s because they’re a pain in the ass, but he’ll help every friend we have that owns a pool.

    And any time I’ve ever gone to work with him he’s told me all about the stuff he finds in the skimmers and then the first thing he does is tell me to empty them.

  38. mamalang

    JennyM – I heard it yesterday on another site, and it freaked me out. I couldn’t figure out why my computer sounded like the ocean…the one that is about 5 miles away.

    We had a pool growing up. My husband mentions getting one every so often. His mother has one. He hates helping her with the pool and complains bitterly. I remind him of this fact (and his recent travel schedule) and he usually shuts up.

  39. Susan Getgood

    Luckily pool ownership is not an option for us. Scottish terriers are like bricks with heads, and I would never want to risk an accident.

  40. mom, again

    hooray for the California suburbs, at least the modern version. Our neighborhood association maintains not 1, not 2 but 3 pools! All we have to do is swim! (well, and pay the association fees).

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