It was 1996. I was in third grade and hanging out with one of my friends at an indoor apartment or hotel (so scarred I can’t remember the exact details). Her grandparents were attending a party there and we came along.
Backstory: I basically grew up at the zoo and Big Splash. Like, all of my childhood memories circle around seeing the shrunken heads exhibit and still being able to fit through the caves at the zoo and seeing diapers float past me in the wave pool at Big Splash. That was my childhood. I was used to public pools and walking past used undergarments that had fallen on the ground and again, the occasional floating diaper.
Back to 1996. So, we were at this indoor pool party and with pools basically ingrained in my DNA, I could not wait to get in! All I can remember is that I stepped down the first step and ahh, nice lukewarm pool water, and then I took a step that would forever alter the course of my life and relationship with pools forever. I stepped down on the second step and SQUISH…..oh no, I stepped on something. Ok, maybe it’s a really squishy diving stick or some Nickelodeon gak, NBD, I love gak…. But to my horror, as I looked down into the pool scattered with elderly party guests, I saw the culprit of the squish….
Now that I’ve built up the story so much, you might think it was something horribly obscene…but it was basically a good-sized dollop of unidentifiable white squish. UNIDENTIFIABLE. WHITE. SQUISH.
My love for pools turned a corner that day. That white squish has lived with me for 20 years now and I know it was the start of my “thing” for being very particular where I touch my feet. So, if you’re out there, white squish, just know that you ruined indoor pools for me forever. But seriously, indoor pools are gag anyway, so you really paid me a huge favor.
I can still swim in outdoor pools, but I reallllly don’t like touching my feet on the ground unless I know it is really clean. So yes, lakes are also ruined for me. Like, do not touch me with that garbage water. (Sorry, lake lovers, it’s not you, it’s the lake…unless you pull me into the lake, then it is you and the lake. Sidenote: I’ve heard that there are some clear water lakes, and I’m vvv open to those). I only like going in the ocean if the water is perfectly clear and I can see where I’m walking and what nast marine life is floating by. Sting rays, BOY BYE, seaweed and jellyfish? TTYN. Not. Happening.
So, thanks again, indoor pool squish – you’re dead to me.
I also don’t like to walk barefoot on hotel floors unless I feel like they are realllllly clean, and cannnnot do strange showers without flip flops. Unless I just get a feeling that the ground is clean. Again, I blame the squish. Thankfully, my floor and shower flip flops don’t take up much room in my suitcase.
Before you think omg what a snob (ps, I AM a hotel snob) – I did do 25 days in some gaggggggg hotels across Europe. Like they say, when in Rome (or in this case, Nice, with bloodstained walls and cots). So, I can totalllllllly suck it up if I have to. Or if I’m a zillion miles from home and in foreign countries.
All this to say, I could never go on Naked and Afraid. Because, no shoes. You expect me to walk around in the wilderness without shoes? Ok bye. Oh, and I also couldn’t do the show for every other obvious reason. But no shoes are a deal breaker.
In other news, I also hate socks. And I can’t touch low-thread count sheets. I blame the squish. Always blame the squish.