Overheard: In the locker room tonight

11 May

Exhibit A: Locker room conspicuously lacking a inquisitive child.

At the pool tonight when I was changing from my swim, I was distracted because I had forgotten my flip-flops and was trying to minimize my contact with the floor. I’m paranoid that I’ll get plantar’s warts. (This is well-founded paranoia, based on my childhood as a swimmer, for the record.)

While I was putting myself through the paces, I noticed a little girl standing near me who was probably about six years old. Her mom had her hands full trying to get her younger sister stripped down, so this girl stood there, eating a banana in her bathing suit, talking to anyone within ear-shot, and staring at my boobs.

I was the only person she didn’t engage in conversation, so I’m thinking my breasts intimidated her. It’s to be expected.

Anyway, someone walked into the locker room and went to the far row of lockers to change. I didn’t see her, but the little girl took off like shot and I heard her ask, “Are you a grown-up?”

The girl responded, “Not really.”

I chuckled (yes, really, actually, chuckled!) at her response, thinking I might have answered the same way.

Then the little girl came back with a solid follow-up question. “Well then, how old are you exactly?”

“Fourteen,” the girl answered quickly, clearly feeling the start of an inquisition.

“You’re older than me, but you’re not a grown-up,” the little girl concluded. “And when you first walked in, I thought you were a man!”

With that, she skipped back to her mom (oblivious on the other side of the locker room), still clutching the banana in her hand.

I could only imagine how the ego of the poor fourteen year old girl was suffering. I was no stranger to “Hey Son!” comments long after the onset of puberty.

Anyway, as I’m processing this, the little girl starts twirling in circles, making her banana zoom up and down. Mid-twirl, it breaks and half of it falls on the nasty locker room floor. Without missing a beat, she bends down, grabs it, looks up at me to make sure I’m not going to tell on her, and shoves it in her mouth.

Suddenly I felt much better about not wearing flip-flops tonight. I mean, the worst thing that can happen to me is a plantar’s wart. I’m not sure what happens when you eat a banana off the floor of a locker room.

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