Certain things bother me. For example, when my contacts are blurry, even though I’ve properly rinsed and stored them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Maybe it has to do with my eyes, not my contacts, but the gentleman at ShopKo whom I presume is indeed an eye doctor of some variety tells me my eyes are fine. Fine or not, if I have anything blurry in my way, I’m bothered.
But blurry vision pales in comparison to other things that bother me. The larger of my dogs had to get a haircut the other day. As is the case with most dogs of this genetic concoction, he had to be shaved all the way. He looks horrible now, part anteater part giraffe, with bits of deer intermixed. When I come home and this dog with this buzz cut greets me, I’d rather he not. I’d rather he spend some time alone, focusing on growing out his hair as quickly as possible so that I, his owner, can find it in my heart to acknowledge him again.
But this isn’t really what bothers me, either. What really bothers me is when I’m cooking dinner for friends and I’m in the middle of things, in the weeds as it might be, and all I really need is a dish towel. A rag, as we call them at home. We have one drawer dedicated to these towel rags, and if I’m in the midst of a culinary emergency there is little question that this drawer will be empty. The other day this happened, and when a dish was on its way to burning in the oven, all I needed was a towel to protect my grip. The primary drawer was empty, so I checked the back up drawer, the one you can’t count on. That drawer was empty, excepting one glove made out of scratchy metal with the word POTATO written across the palm.
But I’m kidding at this point, because what really bothers me is when someone talks about putting a pool in their suburban backyard. Whether this is spoken as a threat by customers that cannot quite find what they want on these near shores, or if it’s spoken in jest, I cannot be sure. What I do know is that the mere mention of a backyard suburban pool makes my eyes blurry, my hands sweaty, and my heart weak. It bothers me.
Even slightly considering bailing on a lake home search and deciding on spending untold sums on a backyard pool is something I cannot abide. This would be similar to a car search. You’re looking for a car, but not just any car. You want a murdered out Porsche 911, the turbo sort, and you want it in a particular year, with a particular mileage count, because you’re particular. You search and you search. You look online, offline. State lines are blurred in this hunt. You search and you search, sometimes passionately other times with bored curiosity, but your incredibly precise requirements have made the search so far fruitless.
After some time of this search, you decide that you cannot wait any longer. You call the dealer, place the order, and when the deal closes you have bought a very nice, very white Toyota Carolla. This gets you from A to B, you figure, and it’s just as good as that blacked out 911 from that particular year that you were lusting after. You wanted that Porsche because you knew how you’d feel when driving it. You knew how it’d look when you park it outside your favorite restaurant. You knew how you’d look when you drove it on a summer Sunday. But you couldn’t find it, so you bought a Toyota, because it’s also transportation.
Swimming in a pool will make your skin wet, just in the same was as swimming in the lake will make it the same. This is where the comparison between a backyard pool and this brilliantly blue lake ends. Maybe, if our Porsche-craving-friend had simply decided to consider a different year 911, in a different color, with slightly different miles, he’d have that car sitting outside his favorite coffee shop right now, and we all know how that would make him feel.
The suburbs are killing us. I include myself in the slaughter because of the damage that hearing about backyard pools inflicts on my sensitive ears. Ben Rector wrote a song for everyone, and while you don’t have to listen to all of it, just know the line that matters the most: Don’t let the suburbs kill my heart and soul.
Perhaps in this context, the cause of death would be chlorine.
Above, the pool at 1606 West Main. If you must own a pool, it should be at Lake Geneva.