Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Public Pool or Private Party for Seniors??

The kiddos and I went to the public pool & fitness center yesterday (part of our regular routine). When we arrived, all the 'family changing rooms' were occupied and there were 3 families already waiting in line. As we were simply going to change out of our street clothes and into our swimwear [a quick 5 minutes or so - we're not up to triathlon transitions just yet], I opted to use the women's changing room rather than wait and have to hassle with potential issues of my son running off, getting into other people things, etc. He is just 2 so you can imagine how he likes to wait. Besides, we were planning to meet a friend and her boys for a playdate and we were running a little late as it was.

When I entered the locker room, there were two elderly ladies just near the door who were engaged in a conversation. One says to the other, "I just don't see why they can't use the family changing rooms?" We had just walked in, so I knew they couldn't have been talking about us but I chose to interject anyway - we were right next to them on the bench so it was impossible to pretend I didn't hear. "All of the family rooms are occupied and there is a long line."

Other than glance in my direction, neither woman responded to me. So the kiddos and I proceeded about our business. Their conversation continues... one says to the other, "Well I wouldn't think they'd want their boy to see other women nude." I choose to interject again - "My guy is only two. He is too young to really even know there is a difference." The woman who made the comment walks to the mirror (behind me). The other woman peeks around the divider on the bench and says, "I've had 3 children and I'm not concerned. I think it is healthier now how children are raised. When I was little, I never saw my parents naked and that created issues for me later. I think it's good that the younger generation is more open."

The other woman pipes up again and says, "Well I didn't have children and I am just not comfortable with children seeing me naked." I chose to keep my mouth shut again - perhaps I should never have spoken in the first place. I start to talk with the kiddos about 'nothing' just to distract myself. A few moments later, DD starts to sing softly (I don't recall her words - I think it was mostly humming) while DS is beginning to follow suit. Neither of them are being very loud... acceptable indoor voices... when this lady speaks up again, "Can you please just be quiet? This old lady would just like some peace."

Again, she is behind me. I don't see who she is talking to directly. However, I can only assume that she is referring to us... I hurry the kids along and try to get them to shush. DD doesn't understand... I ignore her questioning and I explain to her when we get outside the locker room and walk to the pool.

This interaction really bugged me. I don't know why I always back away from confrontration not knowing how to react, what to say. Later... the scenario plays back through my head and I can think of all kinds of responses. I'm kicking myself. Wishing I had said something else to stand up for myself and other parents.

This is a public facility!! If she wanted privacy, go to the Athletic Club or.... wait in line and use the family changing room yourself ! There is no regulation that requires families or small children to NOT use the women's (or men's) changing room. Besides, it is not like I brought in a teenage boy to oogle her? Both of the kids were well mannered. They did as I asked them and used indoor voices. This is a multi-generational facility supported by my tax dollars. If you don't like it... pay the premium to go elsewhere.

Am I wrong?


  1. At our Y we have the downstairs locker rooms which are open to children, and upstairs locker rooms which are not. We also have family changing rooms. Seems to work out okay.

    I don't think you are wrong - I have noticed that it is pretty common for older people who never had children to be very impatient with them - they just don't get it. I say ignore her and continue to do your thing!

  2. I was pretty much going to say the same thing. A couple of older people with nothing better to do than talk. I wouldn't worry about it :-)

  3. Honey, are you kidding me?

    There are a few outspoken people in this world that believe children should not be allowed to be children. I have completely faith that you would of told your daughter to sing a wee bit quieter if she had in fact been loud in the locker room. But I have a feeling that it really was just a grumpy old lady being that...grumpy.

    If the locker room does not specifically ban children from being in there (one fitness center of mine does, another says children in the women's locker room must be under the age of 4), then you had EVERY RIGHT to be there with both of them.

  4. Ughhh why is it that people who have no children always have the most to say about them? I absolutely agree with you and I don't think you were wrong at all. That would annoy me to no end. Blah.

  5. There is no way you are wrong. The ol' bitty was probably just looking for something to complain about, and like marcy said those with no children always have the most to say about them.

  6. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that felt this way. Thank you. :)

  7. I've been observing the elderly around me and have arrived at a conclusion. There are two types of old folks-- the wise (those who have lived long enough to realize that life's "imperfections" really aren't imperfections) and the annoyed (those who complain about everything all the time). I have met both the wise and the annoyed, but I have never met an older person who was both.


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