Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Texas Raisins

You know it’s cold when the Texas Raisins are not at the pool.

Our apartment complex has the Porsche of all swimming pools. The leasing consultant first showed us the apartment—which was pretty nice—but then took us to the pool…SOLD. The pool area includes a lap pool, a sunbathing pool, a water volleyball area, a giant spa, and several resort-style water fountains. Very luxurious.

While signing the lease we didn’t realize that the pool also included an official set of Texas Raisins. The Raisins are the people who are ALWAYS at the pool. They are a group of twenty-somethings who sunbathe around the clock—drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and tanning without their bikini tops. They are the cool kids of the Mustang Ridge apartment complex. They lay out next to the volleyball area. It’s their turf. Other applicants need not apply.

In high school, the cool kids hung out around the stairs leading down to the commons. I did not hang out there. I was not a cool kid. I wondered, however, what it would feel like to be cool enough to belong in that coveted location. I will not lie, I wanted to be there desperately.

Even BYU had a “cool kids” hang out spot—outside the library, along the benchline, next to the garden. The beautiful and well-dressed crowd congregated there. I spent some time there myself, but never felt like I truly belonged. Perhaps, four years of high school social-mediocrity had left its mark on my sense of “coolness.” I was a duckling trying to be a swan. I felt more at ease with the other ducklings inside the library.

But once again, my whereabouts have been dictated by my level of coolness. I lay out my towel on the south side of the pool next to the hot tub and other social lepers: anyone with children, anyone without a controlled-substance in their system, and anyone who wears sun block.

The Texas Raisins have all turned a buttery shade of leathery brown. I hope their full-time job of sunbathing also includes good healthcare benefits—skin cancer is expensive. I worry for the Raisins, but more importantly, I make fun of them. One guy, who is completely bald, looks like an unwrapped Werther’s Original Toffee piece. But I bet he looks in the mirror and thinks he looks like a tan Rico Suave—and not like an after-dinner caramel.

The Raisins always come to the pool armed with a cooler full of Bud Lights. They pop up periodically for their quarter-hour bathroom breaks… yeah, they consume that much alcohol. They stumble to the bathroom, do their thing, and return faithfully to the pool—with a fresh can of beer open before they even sit back down on their pool chair.

The Raisins, as part of their coolness, seem to understand that some things in life are important and other’s are not. Swimsuits for example. I had a bunch of my friends and their kids over for weekday swim. The die-hards were there too, of course, but the female Raisins felt it necessary to tan without their tops—it would look uneven to have skin cancer everywhere but your bra-strap area. There were about ten kids in the pool at the time. I was so embarrassed.

But now the Raisins must go into hibernation. I admit that I stopped visiting the pool myself weeks ago—not because of the weather but because I grew out of my maternity swimsuit. It still fits around the belly, but when purchasing it, I forgot that I also tend to get very pregnant in... ehem… other areas of my upper body. If I were a Raisin I could just forego the top portion of my Tankini altogether… but I have no desire to be a “cool kid” anymore.


Bart Bradshaw said...

What a funny group of people. I'm wondering how they have the time to just sit around drinking and smoking. No jobs?

And I agree - there was a "cool" bench in high school, and that spot at BYU. But the "cool"-ness was more of a bad thing in my book. It felt more wanna'-be cool than anything else. The really cool kids were those who were nice, sincere, and genuinely fun to be around. And let's be honest - it's not that fun to sit in one spot all day, judging people as they pass (and being judged by people like me, obviously :).

adrienne said...

By Bart's definition you and Jared were the coolest of the cool.

And you think those twenty- somethings look leathery. Just wait till they become fifty-something and look like the lady at King Sooper's.

The uncool will have their revenge.

Dana said...

I agree with all of the comments above! Don't you feel like now that you are a mother, being tan is the dumbest thing??? I actually think it is selfish! (Unless it's a tan in a can, of course!) I can't imagine getting diagnosed with cancer all because I wanted to look darker...Those Texas Raisins, will they ever learn? Probably Not!

Kristy said...

Ha ha, I love it! It's true, I really lost all desire to be cool in that "cool crowd" way after I left high school. It's refreshing.

Blake and Meg said...

The writer in you!! I can't wait to read your book. But Texas being Texas... it will be hot again soon.

Blake and Meg said...
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