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My Funny Story About Diving Into A Swimming Pool
Funny Story About Diving into a Pool
I think I've established that I am a bit of a klutz - kind of a Lucille Ball in the present day. In fact, the phrase ‘poultry in motion’ would best describe me on any given day. Everything I do seems to turn into a comedic farce. However, you might think that this was a recent development, or at least something I came upon later in life – some sort of cosmic shifting of my psyche so to speak when I became motor impaired!
Ah, there you would be wrong my dearest friends. This lack of agility and knack for comedic outcomes has been with me my entire freaking life! From as far back as I can remember, when I think of my life, I hear people laughing – albeit sometimes first gasping – but ultimately laughing. I guess in terms of ‘being someone’ this is not a bad thing. And unfortunately since this appears to be my lot in life, I can do nothing but laugh along.
From the first time I got my dress caught in my accordion, front and center, all alone on the stage playing my little heart out in my first recital on this horrendous instrument, I have been an America’s Funniest Video waiting to happen. To say that it got 'better' would be perhaps in part true – the stage for my inevitable faux pas seems to only get bigger. I guess my 'exposure' has grown since more and more people over the years regularly tag me with 'okay – hit me with your latest story'. Sigh – it is important to have friends and to be amusing. It is after all, one of the things I am most famous for. In truth, I wouldn't have it any other way – laughter is a balm.
Now let me take you back to a time in my life when like all other young people, I was extremely vulnerable and ah yes, starting out on my journey of life – only to become increasingly inevitably prone to humorous outcomes.
By the way, the picture isn't me - big surprise! It's as close as I can get in my imagination to what I might have looked like - or what maybe I'd wanted to look like!
Setting The Stage - or the Pool
I left home the day after I graduated from high school. I was a ripe old 17 years old. I had my reasons but I was savvy enough to know that being on my own completely at that age was probably not the best idea. For many reasons that I will not go into here, I had decided to become religious. It was truthfully either that or I would have found myself in serious trouble with drugs or some other 'hideaway' so as safety nets go, I think religion was a good choice for me at the time. It was a form of solace for me at that moment in my life and I daresay that if I had not gone into religion, I might have ended up a sad statistic. Suffice it to say that it served a great purpose for me and protected me in many ways. It also taught me a lot about myself and about life - all valuable tools. But I digress.....
The religion I chose was one of the most radical I could have chosen (go figure). I only mention this because being young, in this particular religion we were very 'hindered' by said religion. There was no Pepsi-Cola drinking, no dancing, no going to movies, no wearing jewelry, no coffee drinking, no meat eating, etc – you are getting my drift no doubt! What is left of course are simple things in life – and sex. As an aside, I did find that the boys in particular had a definite preoccupation with sex. Of course they did – what was left? And of course – they were male! Need I say more?
Not to say that girls were not as equally focused on the subject, myself included. Of course, the fact that I was a part of this religious group to me is now laughable since I am probably the poster child for most wicked! However, it was a good place for me to be at that time in my life. I of course was one of the youngest ‘converts’ and was subsequently taken into the female population. All us girls/women lived together in one house and worked at a religious cafe on the beach in San Diego while the men/young guys lived in another house.
We had many social activities such as choir and helping out all around town, prayer groups, missionary work, cafe keeping, etc. to keep us busy – but still we did have time for some ‘appropriate forms’ of recreation - to include of course the many, many trials at making out and trying to get past first base!
All this said, swimming was an ‘allowed’ activity and one I happened to love. The beach was my all-time favorite by far, but if you said we were going swimming anywhere, I was there. Someone in the congregation lived in a huge apartment complex and they had kindly reserved the pool for all of us on a summer night. After weeks of working hard and after finishing our multitude of chores, we were to have an outing – with nothing to do but frolic in the water and have a cookout. I could barely contain myself because it was something 'non-religious' and something I really loved to do – frolic (not really) - swim!
Well, it started out okay. We all arrived at once but everyone was chatting it up like we'd never seen each other. We were just enjoying our time off. It also turned out that there was not ONE pool – but TWO pools! Oh happy days! Short of horseback riding (which I had significantly curtailed because of my lack of money), this was my favorite activity – and lucky me – both pools were outdoors! We chatted it up some more but eventually we realized that our time would be speeding past and we’d best get to swimming before we missed out on our big 'luxury'.
As I stripped off my bathing suit cover, I suddenly became aware of a LOT of attention. As much as I liked the attention of guys though, I suddenly felt practically naked. I only had one bathing suit to my name – and it just happened to be a bikini. This was of course purchased before I found religion - not my fault! It was a yellow and red polka dot bikini at that and I was very tanned. I’m not even sure what anyone else was wearing to tell the truth. All I know is that when I stripped off my cover-up, I was suddenly very aware of every eye on me.
Now I have never been ‘built’, ‘stacked’ or even remotely ‘well endowed’. All of those words are meant to describe some luscious looking girl that is NOT me. I was lucky if I could pass muster for breasts when I was younger so anything that showed up in the cups I was happy about! Let me rephrase that – delighted! (My cup did NOT runneth over) At one point, I had taken to stuffing nylons in my bras to make me look bigger, however, when one of my nylons peaked out over the top of my blouse in full view of everyone and some nice guy said 'I think your nylons are showing', I decided to definitely 'go with what God had given me'. End of story.
At any rate, I guess it was because I was showing so 'much of me’ that got their attention but wow – I suddenly felt like I was the hive and there were bees buzzin’ all over me! I really don’t like to be the center of attention, unless I’m telling a joke or being funny – whether accidentally or on purpose. This is why I probably made such a lousy musician. I don’t like being a spectacle and yet – somehow miraculously I manage to become one some way or another without even trying!
As I tried to delicately brush off the guys and just get into the water, I walked down the steps into the pool and proceeded to swim. Wasn’t that what we were in fact there for? Well, as I swam, I noticed I had boys on either side swimming with me! I guess I needed an escort - or they were leading me into the harbor! I tried in vain to join a couple of the other girls’ groups and chat it up with them, but the boys were hovering all the time around the perimeter. I dove underwater, came up in the deep end and still they were there. Sometimes the same guys, sometimes different guys. It wasn’t like I was the only person in a bathing suit for crying out loud!
Finally, I was just feeling out of sorts with all this attention to my body. I was fairly pretty when I was in high school and I had my share of beaus. It was just different I guess being in a ‘religious’ group and having all these guys drooling over me. There was a guy or two who I eventually did date and found attractive. I can’t really explain it though – these guys were just ‘different’. I think the 8 hands that they sported kind of turned me off as it seemed (if possible) that they were even worse than some of the guys I had dated in high school. Part of the problem though was probably that I was trying to be 'pious' and the 'real Audrey' hadn't quite kicked in and broken free. Again I digress…..
So finally - in an effort to rid myself of my devoted followers, I decided to go to the other pool where some of the older people were swimming and hang out with them. How bad could it be? I know it was a cop-out but I felt decidedly ‘exposed’. Little did I know…..
So I walk up the stairs of one pool and saunter (I have never sauntered in my life) over to the other pool. By this time, dusk was beginning to fall but that really has no bearing on this whatsoever. I tried to believe for a while that it did and made that my excuse – but really – the only excuse I have is I’m me!
I was sashaying along (again highly improbable - Audrey does not sashay) and decided to just be myself and swim. I was tired of trying to outrun all these guys and decided I’d just ignore them and swim to my heart’s content. What the heck? I didn’t have to keep running from them nor did I have to be afraid because I was in my bikini. I’d just be tough and brush them off.
Thinking these very positive thoughts to myself, congratulating myself on a decision well made and boosting myself up all the while, I proceeded to step to the edge of the other pool and dive in. I vaguely remember a few faces as I glanced about on executing the dive – and I did not see ‘amazing’ written on their face or anything remotely resembling praise for my diving form. Instead, I saw abject terror. I soon found out why!
Little Ms. Self-Conscious in her quest to rid herself of
those annoying, pesky bees had forgotten one very important fact it seemed! The pools were side by side, and while I
thought that they were identical – they in fact were not! No, folks – they were flipped! So the shallow end on one side was right across
from the shallow end on the other side – not at the opposite end which I was
counting on!!! All I can say is.....
WOW!!! or make that OW!!!
For someone who didn’t want to make a spectacle of themselves, I surely did! I have to say I’m thankful for many reasons that I did not do a full blown straight-down dive or try to be Mark Spitz. I might be a paraplegic writing this – with the wand in my teeth! No, I did a somewhat shallow dive but when you dive into 3 feet of water, there is no such thing as a shallow dive.
Let’s just say this – I scraped the living daylights out of my hands – that was AFTER I bent back all my fingers and crashed them into the bottom of the pool and broke what was left of my fingernails. I then scraped my nose and my forehead all along the bottom of the pool – and for good measure, as if that wasn’t good enough folks, I scraped my thighs and my legs all along the bottom of the pool.
To make things even MORE
interesting, my bathing suit did a couple of shifts around – my bottom half was
half hanging off exposing parts I would rather not have exposed and my top had skittered sideways wherein my little, but obvious, boobies were bugging out. I think I scraped my HAIR to be honest. I don't think there was a part of me that DIDN'T touch the bottom of that blasted pool.
My first thought on hitting was 'holy s__!!!' and I was not supposed to be using those words....but COME ON! I remember my head hurting like a son-of-a-gun and my nose was bleeding - from the top if not the bottom. I remember people reaching into the water, some jumping into the water and grabbing me – that’s probably how my suit got screwed up! Then I was standing there in full view of everyone in the pool, my bathing suit askew – my hair probably standing straight up on my head – and my cute little face scratched and bleeding, my nose scraped within an inch of its life, raw and bleeding.
Everyone was yelling at me! To tell the truth, I didn’t feel so hot. I heard bits and pieces - ‘what - is she like crazy?’
‘what were you THINKING?’ ‘should we call someone?’ Yeah - please call the rubber suited guys and ask them to bring some band-aids while they're at it!
In 5 seconds, I went from trying to be invisible to the full monte pretty much! There I stood, a tattered mess with people fussing over me and trying to tend my self-inflicted wounds - thankfully someone thought to put my suit to rights as well! I could hear bells ringing in my head and they weren’t church bells.
I more or less staggered to the side of the pool and someone helped me out and wrapped me in towels and put me onto a lounge chair. Everyone was talking at once – why had I done it? Did I think anything was broken? Did I break off my teeth? (Oh that was a cheery thought!!! Let me check them out okay before I answer and further embarrass myself!)
Well, as it turns out I didn’t lose any teeth and nothing was apparently broken. I was just very badly scraped up not to mention my ego had been further fractured in two. I have to say though, I did lose the guys! Must have been the sight of all that scraped flesh and my swelling red nose – bikini or not they didn’t seem to care anymore!
Ah yes - how to ward off unwanted suitors - the amazing Audrey technique!
So the moral of my story? Always check to see if you are in shallow water (literally) – especially when you decide to do a dive. I guess this could apply to many lessons I have learned in life – look before you leap! Who knew that the pools were not an exact mirror of each other but a reverse mirror. Had I known, I guarantee you I would have sashayed a bit further even knowing I was drawing bees to the hive!
I kept trying to explain this to everyone but for some odd reason, I think they thought I was just a slow top and didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to dive into shallow water. Yeah – I do this all the time, folks. It’s really a thrill and I find that it bumps up my IQ at least 10 points with each clank on the bottom of the pool of the old noggin. Holy crap is all I can say!
I healed up okay – I have a very healthy respect for swimming pools though to this day and instead of entering them with a dive, I always use the stairs. Much easier that way and you don’t have to worry about your suit being rearranged – or your face!
I heard about my little ‘escapade’ for quite a while. We’d have other church groups visit us or be on an outing and they’d all of a sudden stop and say ‘hey – aren’t you the girl that dove into the shallow end of the pool?’ It’s great to be famous! Only wish I’d been famous for something else but in my case, it could have been worse. I could have lost my entire suit or part of it with my luck – at least I came away with just a few scrapes – literally!
I also had a few suggestions thrown my way – then and since – like I should have a spotter when I enter the pool. Or this one is my favorite – I should wear a helmet in the pool at all times. I should only dive in the end if there is a diving board – that way I’ll know I’m in the correct end. And last but not least, I should wear flotation devices before I enter the pool and a mask to protect my face from scraping the bottom.
I say go ahead and laugh – I could have been an Olympic swimmer you know! Just because I’m not graceful doesn’t mean I’m not athletic! I would also be great as a synchronized swimmer I have no doubt. All that grace and poultry in motion? How could I not be marvelous?
Epilogue on Funny Story About Diving into a Pool
I have never had anything remotely close to this happen to me again. Of course, just to be on the safe side, I made sure not to dive into anything since - except a bowl of ice cream.
I am currently enrolled in a swim aerobics class. Some things just can't be let go and unfortunately I had told this story to my husband (who De Greek will attest to is my biggest 'athletic supporter'). He is enrolled in the class as well and never ceases to make my day as he runs ahead each class and shows me where the shallow end is and where the steps are - which of course invites many questions from the other swimmers as to why this guy is pointing out to his (obviously) 'befuddled' wife where the stairs are!
Of course this leads to a reenactment of the story by my 'athletic supporter' much to my further embarrassment! I have done nothing (so far) in the class to lead anyone to believe I am not Esther Williams in the flesh!
Okay - so I stubbed my toe on the bottom of the pool one night and I got my arm caught in the weight belt - those things could have happened to anyone! I also tried to sit on the side of the pool and accidentally lost my balance and fell on the sidewalk and then bounced into the pool - so what's not normal about THAT?
I maintain that it is extraneous events that are making me look like a total clod! I am really quite graceful and could have been a ballerina if I'd applied myself - especially in the water.
Probably more like the hippos dancing in Fantasia but oh well! At least I do not dive - I do have a few brain cells left!
I Was Here
I Can Identify!
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