The best thing about my neighborhood is the beautiful pool. It has a section of covered seating with ceiling fans that makes it easy to watch the kids in relative comfort. Best of all, it is manned by alert lifeguards that keep an eye on the kid’s safety.
The other night, I sat under the covered seating and wrote while intermittently watching the kids. They seemed to be having a fun time and it was nice not to be out there with them crawling all over me. It gave me a moment to take a breath from my hectic summer.
Suddenly, I was tapped on the shoulder by a flustered lifeguard, “Maam, Maam?”
“Yes?” I responded.
“Did you realize your daughter is swimming without swimsuit bottoms? All the lifeguards are really upset!”
I blanched for a moment. Coming from extremely modest stock (so reserved that Queen Hadlifah isn’t allowed to wear a skirt without matching bike shorts or leggings), I couldn’t imagine how my little pumpkin was showing her cookie to the entire pool. I searched my memory for what she was wearing.
Being a child with fair skin, I always put a long sleeved white rash guard over Queen Hadlifah’s suit. Not being a believer in exposed kiddo tummy (the modesty thing again), she only owns one piece suits. In fact, as a sufferer of Junk in the Trunk Syndrome, I’d reminded her to pull her suit over her tuchus before swimming. Then I remember the color of her suit… white like her pale skin.
“She has a suit on. It’s just white. She’s very white so she probably looks like she has nothing on her nether regions,” I explained.
“Oh my gosh! I am so sorry!” the life guard replied, looking VERY relieved and backing away from me. He never took his eyes off of me like he was afraid I might strike like a cobra.
As he made his way back to his stand, I noticed him giving the other life guards the thumbs up. Coincidentally, I also noticed him walk by another little girl wearing the exact same swimsuit (minus the rash guard) as Queen Hadlifah. Slightly darker skinned than my girl, she did not elicit the same reaction from the lifeguards.
I’m claiming pasty-white-skinned discrimination.