This week I am training to be a lifeguard.
I've done this several times.
My first foray into the world of guarding was when I was a mere teen--fresh, young and innocent, ready to rescue all in peril... or read my book in the guard chair. One or the other.
I took guarding again in 1993 after I stupidly allowed my certification to lapse. I planned to use it so I could guard in the summer--get a tan, teach a few kids to swim, make a few bucks when I wasn't teaching in the summer months.
But then I got offered a job as director of music at a la la day camp. Director + la la = more mula. So I never used that hard-earned re-cert and taught wee tots to appreciate music instead while I tooted my French Horn and played the piano etc and so on and forgot all about my tan and my quest to save all those in aquatic peril.
And now... at nearly 40-- I am here again. I, my friends, can save YOU. I am a professional. Me--and the dozen other teens I took the course with this week.
Let me just say that my perspective taking the course was different this time around than my perspective taking it as a kid.
I'm older. I'm wiser. I recognize the importance of listening and learning, because really, if I do guard and some nasty shit goes down, I definitely want to know what the hell to do. You know?
However, that is not the only way in which my perspective has changed.
We had to watch videos of life guarding scenarios for four days straight as part of the class, and with almost every video I just kept thinking, Holy shit! This one is definitely going to morph into porn! I just know it!
Yes, you read that right.
Really, I kid you not. The beefy lifeguard leaps into the water to save the blond in the bikini. She's a passive victim, perhaps one that his hit her poor head when diving in the water. He surface dives, and the video shows him underwater, grasping her across her chest (boobs) and pulling her in all his manly strength to the surface. She bobs helplessly as he places her limp body across the red life-saving flotation device, and then he puts his giant arms around her tiny shoulders, leans her atop his body, and begins kicking gently to the pool side...
Tell me. What do you imagine next?
I felt like the whole class was encouraging the teens in the class to just go for it -- or at it. or whatever. Some of the saves we had to perform were just --- so wrong.
I have to pretend I'm a child, terrified and grasping onto the neck of my --- daddy? I am instructed to grasp him tightly around the neck, my boobs in his FACE--and Mary! Please try to pretend you are really a victim here! You need to grasp him like you mean it! Meanwhile, the guard jumps into save us, and he pulls Daddy-O onto his flotation device. AND THEN the child (me) lies atop her dad (sixteen-year-old boy-man) , as she is carried to safety, boobs and face mashed against him all the while.
Does this seem RIGHT to you?
I'm just seeking a little confirmation here. What is UP with these Red Cross people???
Well, anyway. I'm off to start my Water Safety Instructor class now, which meets for the next four days.
I'll let you know if it's as interesting as life guarding was.