Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Making hydrofriends
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Sep 11, 2017
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My exercise of choice is swimming, and I have been battling my post-hip-replacement period for over four years to start my favorite regimen again. Since my bathtub offers limited opportunity for scissor kicks and backstrokes, I researched and found a year-round swimming facility in a nearby town. Voila! Chlorine molests Clarabelle.

 Back in the 40s and 50s, the bathing suit for a woman with a mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA. While shopping for a swimsuit, I tried on a suit and realized that it had no foundation. I guess the mature woman is supposed to have a chest like a speed bump. The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately, it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap. And, the design had such a high cut leg that I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it.

When I arrived at the swimming facility recently, I was relieved to discover that I was one of the youngest swimmers. In fact, the pool was full of senior citizens wearing hats and jumping up and down in the waist-deep water.

 I decided to swim laps so I could take full advantage of the no-impact benefits of swimming. I had the lane all to myself and began picking up speed, which at my age is relative. Suddenly, I collided with a silver-haired gentleman who must have accidentally crossed over to my lane. “Oh,” he said with a gurgle. “There you are. I haven’t seen you in a while.”

 “Uh, hello,” I said, realizing that he must have me confused with one of the bouncing Easter bonnets.

 “It’s not a good day for climbing trees,” he announced.

“You’re right,” I replied, puzzled. “That’s why it’s a good thing we’re in the pool.” I thought about moving to the next lane, which was vacant, but I didn’t want to risk hurting his feelings. So, I continued swimming. Each time we got close, I paused until he passed.

 Just as I started my last lap, we reached the end at the same time. “Hey,” I said suddenly. “Wanna race?”

 “Sure!” he said. And with great anticipation on his face, the man began walking and clawing the water with his hands.  I did a leisure side stroke.  I was the first to arrive at the steps.

 “That was fun!” I said. Just then another woman walked down the steps and entered the water.

 “There you are,” the man said to her. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”