Monday, July 28, 2008

a pool for summer

We joined a pool for the summer, a private community pool. I had to pony up an initiation fee and a membership fee, and I honestly agonized over the decision. Could I justify spending the money? That question went to the core of my "pecuniary indecency* of a few years ago. How would it feel for Banana if we joined a pool other than the one many of her friends belonged to? That question went to the heart of some of my social insecurities. In the end, I took the leap because it seemed to make sense on many fronts—including the opportunity for me to swim regularly and continue my rehabilitation.

As is often the case with my minor worries and insecurities, however, I needn't have worried so much.

Since Memorial Day weekend, we have been at the pool almost every weekend and at least a couple times during the week. Banana has learned to swim and begun to catch up with some of the other kids—real strokes will come next year, I think. We have made a number of good friends with other families. Physically, I have begun to feel like I am finally building up the strength that I lost in the past sixteen months, and in some cases never had. I have also built the courage to take a few chances—like trying flips off the diving board.

All in all, I'd have to say that the money I spent to join (and the money I expect to pay as members as long as we live in Richmond) was among the best investments I've ever made.


* Lewis Lapham introduced me to the phrase "pecuniary indecency" when we were corresponding about an article I was working on for Harper's several years ago. The phrase originated with Thorstien Veblein, who wrote about the middle and upper classes whose economic security was in jeopardy in the midst of the robber baron gilded age.