Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The fake blind lady strikes again

Remember the alleged blind lady who scolded me for not telling her I was getting out of the pool?

She reappeared today. I was in lane 2, the Good Lane. She was in lane 1, a not so good lane but the lane with the backstroke rope above it, the rope she claims is just for her because apparently, only fake blind people have problems swimming straight when they are swimming backstroke. The rest of us have an internal homing device that keeps us on the lane line. Actually, the rest of us have an eye on our butts that can see the lane line on the bottom of the pool. But not her. She is the only person who needs guidance to swim straight.

I saw her standing in the water at the shallow end, doing her stretches. I decided not to stop after my first 500 yards because I didn't want to give her a chance to ask me to switch lanes with her.

Undaunted, she swam halfway down the length of the pool, then stood and waited for me. As I passed, she reached over the lane ropes and tapped my shoulder. I ignored her and kept swimming.

I reached the end of the pool, turned, and started swimming back.

She swam under the lane ropes and got into my lane. Stood in the middle. Blocking me.

I stopped. I should have swum around her. I wish I had.

"Can I talk to you?" she asked.

Really? She wants to make a social call? Has this woman ever observed how things are done with lap swimming? I have been swimming off and on for years at pools all around this country and I can promise you that it is not standard swim etiquette to get in someone's face in the middle of their lane in the middle of the pool.

"What?" I asked. No, I was not very polite. I am trying to think of an equivalent exercise situation. She was hitting the stop button on my treadmill, blocking the aerobics instructor, throwing a roadblock on the jogging path. You get the picture. Actually, this was more like she stopped my treadmill and then got on it with me, she knocked the aerobics instructor to the floor, she tackled me as I was jogging.

"Do you have a problem with swimming in that lane?" She pointed to lane 1, where she had been swimming.

"Yes, I do. This is the best lane. I'm not going to switch lanes with you."

"But the woman who was in this lane before you said I could have it when she was done."

"Then where were you when she was done? She left, you weren't here, I took the lane. She had no authority to promise the lane to you."

"But I left my things there!"

I rolled my eyes. I had not looked for her things, wouldn't know what they were, wouldn't care.

"You can't dibs a lane," I said. And you can't. That's not how it works with swimming laps. You can't drop your whatever - I still don't know what personal items she left by the lane that she thought gave her ownership -and then go on about your other business and come back to the lane when you are ready. It's first come, first served. Some pools, when it's busy, will have a sign-up sheet, but I have yet to be at this pool when it's so busy I can't get a lane. Sometimes, I have to share, but even then, I'm swimming.

She had her own lane.

"They put that rope up for me," she said, indicating the backstroke rope.

"That's a backstroke rope. It's for everyone," I told her.

"They put it up for me."

"Fine. Be that as it may, I am not changing lanes."

"Fine," she huffed. "Now I understand your attitude." She ducked under the lane rope and returned to her lane.

My jaw dropped as I watched her. My attitude? She understood my attitude? She was the one who had yet to give me a compelling reason why she should have lane 2 instead of me. If she had said, "The waters in lane 2 have magical healing powers that restore my vision," I would have said, "Well OK then." But if she wants it just because it's better than lane 1? That's why I want it, too! And I was there first.


webb said...

You haven't said how old this "lady" is, so I may be stomping on some toes here - unnecessarily.

I noticed that as my mother got older - like 70+ - she started believing that she should have whatever she wanted. Me, me, me - all the way. That may be a part of what you are dealing with on this.

Or, she may just be entitled to that lane ... because she wants it and you - stupid wench - are too dumb to get it. Either way, stay in Lane 2 - it is a better lane.

Jen on the Edge said...

I can't remember from previous posts if you've mentioned if you've talked with any pool personnel about this lady. Has she struck up some sort of deal with them or does she simply feel entitled for no valid reason?

No matter what, she's a bully and I'm glad you're standing your ground.

Marsha said...

Is it really very wrong of me to hope that you continue to cross paths with the fake blind lady? I enjoy your recounting of these adventures.

HHH said...

I live halfway across the country from you, but have had similarly unbelievable experiences with people in pools around here (who were neither old nor blind). One simply decided that my lane was her lane, then swam in the middle of the lane, crashing into me at full speed when I was on about lap 62 of my planned 72 laps. She crashed into my face, making my nose start bleeding, then screamed "this is MY lane!" The rest of the pool was virtually empty.

Class factotum said...

Webb, she appears to be in her 70s, which would put her right at the entitlement age you have noticed. Not all older people are like this, of course, but I think people become more of who they are as they age. As in, they are less interested in making the effort to be nice if that's not who they really are.

Jen, I haven't asked the pool people. If she had struck a deal, I would suspect she would have no qualms about pulling rank with it.

Marsha, it is good for me to learn how to deal with bullies! But it takes a lot out of me. Still, there is something to be said about having a good source of blog material.

HHH, what is it with people who won't learn the proper etiquette? And at my Y, they actually have the rules posted! I can't believe she gave you a bloody nose. What a witch.

John0 Juanderlust said...

The Fake Blind Lady is worth her weight in gold for the material she provides. People like that will not quit butting heads and being nervy, however I'd consider bringing a couple of Baby Ruth bars in case she shows again. They could be discretely employed to render her lane #2 experience a bit more dramatic than even she might expect.

Class factotum said...

John0, if she could see the Baby Ruths, then she'd have to admit she's not blind! I like it.