The smell of suntan lotion brings back one memory every time I smell it--summer at the pool.
When I was a kid, summer was spent at the pool. Mom bought a family season pass every year for my sisters, brother and I and we walked or biked the half mile there every day. It opened at noon and we were almost always one of the first ones in line. We'd swim and play until five, when it closed for the dinner hour. It reopened at six, and many days, we went back until it closed at nine. What a life.
When I was in eighth grade, the pool became more than a place to cool off on a hot summer day. It was our social paradise! It was such an important place to be--how else would you learn to flirt, make important high school connections or find out the latest gossip?
Finding exactly the right spot to lay your towel was essential. You couldn't be too close to the kiddie end. You would look like a little kid and ran the risk of getting splashed on by the annoying little boys. You didn't want to end up too close to the diving boards because there was just too much activity there and it might block your view of the cute lifeguards ( is it a requirement to be cute when you are a lifeguard?). Nabbing the elite spot just behind and to the right of one particular life guard stand was the goal of the day.
Once there, you needed to lay out your things. Towel, transistor radio (tuned in to the cool station of the summer), Seventeen magazine and, of course, the baby oil and iodine mixture to help get that summer glow.
Laughing, flirting with the lifeguards, strutting our stuff around the pool, giggling at the silly antics of the boys on the diving board. These were the days of summer...