Chillin' In The Hot Tub
If you've read any of my other hubs, you've probably heard the name Donnie before. For those who've not yet heard about him, he is my boyfriend for the last 16+ years...that is....when we're not on a break. We have a different, complicated kind of relationship. He's different, I'm complicated and it works for us...most of the time. When it's not working, he goes off in a huff, I say good riddance and we pout for a couple of days in our separate corners of the universe. The older we get, the less we go through the silliness. For one thing, with his asthma, working up a huff takes too much effort and isn't sustainable. I have trouble maintaining a pout because, at my age I forget I'm supposed to be mad.
We've never really had one of those rip-roaring yelling at the top of the lungs kind of battles. It doesn't suit either of our styles. What usually happens is he will become annoyed about something that probably doesn't really have anything to do with me. He'll stew about it silently until it colors everything inconvenient or uncomfortable that happens during his day. At some point, I'll add to his irritation without realizing it, because I'm really good at doing that. He'll end up by taking a tone I don't like about something that isn't even important and the ankle-biter in me comes out. Before long, we decide the other is cramping our space and off we go. Like I said, I'm not good about remembering to be mad, so the next day something will happen that I just know Donnie will be interested in hearing about and I'll call him at work on his cell, completely forgetting that I'm mad at him. I'm not very effective at teaching him a lesson.
We'll be talking away, jumping from one subject to another before I suddenly remember I'm mad at him. I try to be slick by finding a place to insert the old, “by the way, I'm still mad at you” routine which he totally doesn't buy. We'll end up making our usual plans for the evening or the next day and then hang up, once again forgetting to be mad.
One of the difficult areas that often posed a problem between us was our choices of friends. It wasn't that we didn't like the friends in the other's circle. We just didn't have much in common with them. My friends mostly consist of people I've known since childhood. They're women who grew with me, who shared all the ups and downs, all the crises and joys. We were there for each other, always. None of us would have blown the other off for personal selfish reasons. Our conversations centered around more intellectual topics, very philosophical.
Donnie's friends were, well, guys. They talked about guy things, always. Trucks, cars, old cars they'd owned. Cars they'd driven. How fast they drove. His friends were all either in a band with him, or had played in a band with him in the past. They relived old performances. They talked about upcoming performances. They talked about what music to do, what music they already did, what music they'd like to do.
Sometimes it was difficult to decide which invitation to accept. Donnie likes activity, movement, being busy at all times. I think that's because he drives truck all day where he spends most of his time sitting on his butt. I'm constantly in movement when I'm at my job. There is no time to sit on your butt as a restaurant manager. I prefer to spend most of my free time sitting around a table with good friends having a good conversation over a good cup of tea.
This past New Year's Eve I spent with the band, of course. On New Year's Day, we had a belated birthday party for my grandson, Noah who had turned nine the day before. Then we headed off to a party being held by our friend Charlie.
Charlie used to play guitar in the band with Donnie until he decided that he was getting up in years and wanted to start having his weekends free to spend with friends and family. The man is in his mid 60's but looks like he's in his early 50's and is married to his wife of 20 something years who is in her 40's. Got all that? Charlie and Sherry are self-proclaimed nudists that, thankfully, I'd never had to see nude. He has a heart of gold and opens his home and pool to friends all summer long. He loves to have people over and even tells his invited guests to bring as many people as they'd like. His invitation is open to children, too. My four grandchildren have all spent many a sunny day hanging out at Charlie's pool. If the heat becomes too much for you, there is always the game room where you can play air hockey, pool, darts, or even ping-pong. If you would rather get away from the crowd for a little while, there are four horses to be ridden. And if you're feeling a little achy and sore, why not take a dip in the hot tub? For all these privileges, Charlie only expects for his guests to have fun. If you insist on helping to supply the food, he might accept a bag of chips or pretzels.
I'd been hearing stories about Charlie and Sherry and their lifestyle for years. I'd only ever seen courtesy and propriety. You rarely heard even the mildest of foul language from either of their mouths and I don't think I've ever seen either of them have too much to drink. At one time, Charlie had been employed as the manager of a Swingers Club. Apparently, it's a very famous and popular club for it's type, having thousands of members who travel from all over the country to visit throughout the year. Certainly not my cup of tea, but to each their own. As it turned out, Charlie's oldest daughter by his first wife, ended up marrying one of the owners.
I had met Elaine before but not her husband. Both were at the small party at Charlie's for New Year's. Counting Donnie and myself, Charlie and Sherry, there were a total of 5 couples present. Donnie and I were the only ones who hadn't tied the knot. I was really apprehensive about what might happen because every one of these couples had ties to the club. I didn't want to be a spoil sport, but I sure didn't want to be a part of anything wild. Like I said, to each their own. But could they please do it in private?
I needn't have feared. They were a nice group of people dedicated to having fun. I had recently undergone knee surgery and my knee was giving me trouble. I sat by and watched while everyone else took turns playing pool and air hockey. The alcohol was flowing freely but I didn't have to be concerned about that either because Charlie would never allow someone to drive away from his house if they were drunk. There were plenty of sleeping quarters to accommodate all who needed to stay.
Eventually the party moved out to the hot tub area which was enclosed. A nice fireplace sat in the corner, and a projection screen TV was playing a movie. They set up a game called beer pong and chose teams. OMG! How old were these people??? Then I realized they weren't really playing it the way they were supposed to play. No one had to drink a whole cup of beer when they lost. The cups only held about a half oz of the brew.
I left to go use the bathroom. I was only gone for about 5 minutes. When I got back, the room full of nudists were all nude. What the hell had happened? I looked at Donnie. Thank God he hadn't gotten stupid and undressed. He sat there smirking at me, waiting for me to freak out. I maintained my poise long enough to make my way across the room to where he was sitting.
“OK. So, now what to we do? I don't want to sit here like a couple of voyeurs, and I sure don't want to join them,” I muttered out of the side of my mouth.
“I was thinking the same thing,” he muttered back.
I sat there with this completely insane grin on my face trying for all the world not to look at anyone, but to appear as though I was used to it all. Then I had a really mean and wicked thought. I started to giggle which drew Donnie's attention.
“What?” he asked, wondering what I was finding so amusing.
“Well, I'm so near-sighted without my glasses that I couldn't see anything if I wanted to.” I had forgotten to bring my glasses with me. Everyone present was middle-aged. There was so much physical decay in the room I was thankful I didn't have to see that much ugly all at once. “If I weren't already ¾ to blindness, I would be by the end of the night,” I snickered.
Charlie chose that moment to come over to reassure me. He was laughing as he declared nothing like this had ever happened before. He couldn't believe everyone had stripped naked, but hey, it's what they do. They're nudists. I shrugged my shoulders. Nudity didn't bother me. I just didn't want to see any activity.
A few minutes later, one by one, they all drifted over to the hot tub. Donnie and I were watching the movie and sipping our drinks, content to have our own private discussion. Charlie called over to us that we should get in the hot tub. The water was perfect. There was plenty of room.
Donnie got up and pulled his shirt off. “What the hell are you doing?” I think I was getting a little wild-eyed.
“I'm getting in,” He was pulling his jeans off.
“Well, yeah.” He saw my expression and grinned some more.
“Is this what you do when I'm not around? When we're on a break?” I was waiting for him to tell me he was joking.
He really laughed at me. “No!” He was still laughing. I'm sure my expression was priceless. “Get in,” he encouraged me. “No one's even paying attention. These guys don't care what you look like. They're all just chillin'.”
I glanced over at the hot tub. He was right. They were paired up with their spouses, snuggled and carrying on private conversations.
“It'll make your knee feel better,” he enticed me.
Oh, boy, it sure would. I looked at the couples still relaxing with each other. The water was up to their necks. Well, why not? As quietly and unobtrusively as I could manage, I got out of my clothing and quickly slid down into the water next to Donnie. I leaned back, letting the heat soak into my tired aching bones. My knee was really enjoying the heat.
Somebody moved and sloshing water could be heard as it slapped the cement outside the tub. “Uh oh,” Donnie observed, “you're losing a lot of water. It's running over the sides from so many bodies in the tub.”
Charlie yawned. “That's alright. I'll just add some tomorrow.”
I lay there, up against Donnie's side, and closed my eyes. I don't know how long I was drifting half asleep, but the water began to move and slosh more rapidly. Everybody was getting out. I didn't care. I was staying. It really felt good. Then Donnie and Charlie got out, and I felt a sudden chill race across my neck and chest down to my hips. My eyes few open.
OMG! There I was all sprawled out with just enough water to cover the lower half of me. Just as the full realization of my predicament was making itself known, Elaine's husband shouted out, “Well, well, well. Look who got naked!” from across the room.
Shrieking, I slid down under the water praying I could hold my breath until Donnie got a towel to cover me.
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