I recall a teacher with whom I once taught who told me one day about his wife, who was Japanese. They were running errands around town when she was suddenly taken ill. Rather than disturb strangers by opening the door and heaving onto the sidewalk, she threw up in their car.
And then we have this morning’s water aerobic class. Okay, I’ve become used to the people who have no concept of personal space, and now I barely notice the chatters who float there, unaware of the rest of us trying to get from one end of the pool to another. Today, though, was a remarkable example of single-minded obliviousness.
We were all astride our water noodles, which are just what they sound like – long buoyant objects. Having reached the deep end, we had all turned and were steaming back with the determination of a flotilla headed for Dunkirk, side by side in a line that stretched from one side of the pool to the other.
Gripping our noodles, we paddled our legs as one when suddenly we looked up and here came a woman in swim cap and goggles, head down, arms windmilling through the water at full speed. She had apparently decided that, class or no class, this was when she would do laps.
Since we are all women of a certain age who have put up with enough crap already in life, we gave no ground. She pulled up short, we passed her, and closing ranks once again, we went back to our discussions of grandchildren, knee replacements, and ways to use up leftover turkey.