Thursday, December 29

aqua aerobics and asexual cookies

Little Gen brought this gingerbread woman home because one of her arms is shorter than the other...

She's politically correct like that. Actually, there are no gingerbread men or women at the restaurant where L.G. works; there are only gingerbread people, or ginger folk. So I don't know if this is a ginger man or woman or trans-gendered ginger because they are intentionally sexually ambiguous. Pink dress or pink toga, you be the judge.

But enough about cookies. Or are they yeast-free breads with a preference for sweetness? I'd hate to pigeon-hole anyone. 

In other news, the one-armed girl has recently joined the local YMCA. And despite her severe aversion to the familiar song (and particularly the accompanying gestures) played at major sporting events, the indoor pool sealed the deal.

It's been a new adventure for me, this gym membership thing. Before this, the closest I'd ever gotten was a temporary complimentary gym membership that I got in the mail. I think I went twice.

My first day at the pool, I encountered a completely naked older woman in the showering room who informed me that I had just missed the aquatic aerobics class.

"Excuse me," I said, trying desperately not to look at the sudsy soap she was lathering in her lower regions.

[It should be here stated that I haven't had much experience with group showering. I was schooled at home where we were privileged with private bathing times, and when I did go to public school, I was excused from classes involving showers due to a back brace that I had to wear all day.]

There are times in life when I wish I weren't so approachable. Group showers are one such situation. However, understanding the concept, I attempt an Emperor's New Clothes mindset and soldier forth. Fortunately I've worn my fair share of hospital gowns and one might as well go naked, am I right?

Unfortunately, between the water in my ear and the echoing shower room, I had to advance toward Mrs. Lather to get the full story. I promised I would try to make the next class. 

And the following Friday, true to my word, I arrived in time for the Silver Sneakers aquatic aerobics class. Imagine for a moment a pool full of retirees and me, the one-armed girl.

Christmas cookie icing
I nod to Mrs. Lather who is warming up in the shallow end, but she doesn't appear to remember our shower room meeting.

As I make my way into deeper water, I encounter a group of ladies who rave about the upcoming class, but assure me that I can participate just as much as I want, or just bob around in the deep end if I feel like relaxing.

Angela, who appears much younger than me, leads our class with grace and the forgiveness of a kindergarten teacher, unwilling to let the talkers in the back keep us from our underwater leg figure eights.

Mrs. Lather offers helpful hints from time to time, like giving myself enough room and holding onto the side of the pool for balance. I tell her that I'm excited to work my abs because I've been taking an aerial fabrics class and she nods with raised eyebrows like she might if I'd just admitted to being a martian.

Getting out of the water, I could already feel my thighs aching. Turns out senior aquatic aerobics is just my speed. I've found my demographic.

It was much preferable to my next visit when I happened to get in the water just before a class of children who sat patiently around the pool awaiting their turn. When I reach the deep end of my lane, a small gathering of little girls grin from the side.

"What happened to your arm?"

"How can you swim with one arm?"

I smile back, suddenly envying the polar bears behind glass at the zoo because they never have to explain themselves. Some days, you just can't get out of the office.

"Well," I say...