Fun, how to have

by CynthiaYockey on August 7, 2010

I suppose library card catalogs were replaced by computer databases 10 or 15 years ago, but once upon a time, dear younger gentle readers, you could look for books by subject on 3×5 cards in little drawers and the subject would be first — “Fun” — followed by the sub-category — “how to have.”

I guess you had to be there.

In July of 1984, right after I met Margaret, we went swimming together in a small lake. And the first joke I told her was that I was so serious a person that if I wanted to have fun, the first thing I would have to do is go to the library and look up, “Fun: how to have.”

Well, SHE thought it was funny.

But that might help you understand that my father has been getting physical therapy in the pool for a month and I only just realized on Wednesday that since he likes to sit by the pool for an hour or so after his session, I could do my time on the elliptical machine while he had therapy and then change into my bathing suit and swim while he sat by the pool. In other words, it took me all that time to figure out how to get in on the fun. And I can’t even say I figured it out on my own — Marge, an extremely fit and charming woman from my cardio class, who is 81 — invited me to swim with her after my father’s session today, since she was going to be in the pool then anyway.

I will admit to a bit of a rocky start. I wasn’t aware that the woman next to me in the dressing room accompanied by several young girls also had a boy in her group who was WAY over the age limit for that area. I didn’t know of his presence because when I was trying to get my top on — one of those bra with a blouse things — it rolled up and got stuck around shoulder level. As I struggled with it I heard one girl scold, “You’re not supposed to look,” which he certainly was doing. Anyway, I had to take the top off and try again, while another girl launched into a chorus of — I am not making this up — “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me.”

Marge and I swam several laps and had a wonderful chat. Then she left and I did several laps using the backstroke so I could look up at the sky and fluffy clouds. When I got out, Dad was still enjoying himself in the shade of an umbrella, so I lay in the sun for awhile because everything about the experience felt so pleasant and nourishing that I just wanted more time to let it soak in.

When we got home, we ate fresh peaches.

Fun: how to have.

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Peter August 8, 2010 at 12:31 am

You should do that more often. Not only does swimming improve muscle tone while being easy on your back and knees but it helps to lose weight. I believe, through your comments here, that you worry about your weight. I have casually wondered if you had to dash around in the shower to get wet enough to soap yourself back when your Margaret fell in love with you. Somehow I doubt it.

Your body self image is, of course, none of my business. Still, I might remind you that lots of folks manage to have fulfilling lives in spite of not being useful as letter openers.

Mark Koenig August 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Just beautiful, Cynthia. Supremely, sublimely beautiful.

Stinky August 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Cynthia, sometimes I think I may be your clone. Reading this post was like eating a fresh peach, in the sun, under a sky so blue that it hurts.

retriever August 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Haven’t visited in a while, but found you again via AttilaGirl. Loved this post. I’m like you, don’t know how to have fun unless I look it up, or am badgered to by a doctor or well meaning friend or relative. Your father is lucky to have such a caring daughter, and I am glad you had such a pleasant time after all.

I am so jealous of those glorious tomatoes. It’s been a terrible summer for tomatoes here. For some reason my tomatoes here all died (think they got the blight that killed my neighbors’ but not mine last summer), and our property up north they are still green and small and will likely not ripen before frost (we sometimes get one as early as before Labor Day.

Amy August 12, 2010 at 1:08 am

I thought it was funny too.

And I MISS the card catalog, even though I love the computer. I’m kind of like a paper junkie, which is why I know in my heart the printed word will never go out of style. Because I don’t want it too, so therefor it will never happen.

Though I am all about your e-book! Can’t wait!

Oh, and did I mention how lovely I thought this post was?

And bless that poor child’s heart…what on earth was his mother thinking?

Also…I recently caved and bought a freaking swimsuit because apparently my kids think it is more important for me to swim with them than it is for me to not go out in public in one of those swimsuits with the generously cut tops and skirt bottoms. My 8 year old daughter even said “Wow, cute pattern! Wish they made it in my size!”. What a little liar (although a very sweet one) I am raising.

CynthiaYockey August 12, 2010 at 1:54 am


Thank you!

I’m with the kids on the swimsuit. Around age 30 I developed a very defiant attitude about wearing a swimsuit without a perfect figure — and I look forward to getting back to my weight then! I bought the swimsuits last year at the end of the season — a one-piece and two pairs of black shorts and the tank tops with built-in bras. There ARE more flattering swimsuit designs, if you look around. Also, think of your charming child as a budding diplomat — I think her comment is lovely.


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