Pool’s Open?

Some traditions and folk lore were originally grounded in common sense. ‘Red sky at morning…’ said bad weather was coming.  If a crop was ‘knee high by the fourth of July,’ it would be a good harvest. Others seem cause an outdated and pointless self-induced jet-lag, like daylight saving time, when we use electricity morning and night. Another tradition that might be good to retire is the opening of pools on Memorial day.  Some pools are year-round, so this Memorial day pool opening tradition isn’t relevant)

Modern Thermal Bath, from Explore Italian Culture

If we’re going to get upset about warming climate since the last ice age ten thousand years ago, we must admit that we need to adapt if we want to survive. More active storms aren’t the only way weather will change modern life: summer will be longer.  And hotter.  Even a predicted twenty degree change won’t remove winter and snow where I live, as we have stretches of winter where it stays near 0F for weeks.  Twenty degrees warmer is still below freezing, so winter isn’t going away anytime soon.

So it’s warmer all the time, and we won’t have to be as concerned about the water pipes freezing. (that would have helped me with those frozen pipe last year) Oh, we have air conditioning and major storm warnings here in the 21st century to help with the physical changes. What we also should start to consider is how we will adapt socially. How will we change the way we live?

We could hole up in our air conditioned cabins, and start to go the way of the Matrix of isolated pods where we live our dreams.  Is that story attractive to you? Another path is the passive floating chair far away from anything real in Wall-e. Either of those make me feel isolated just cy watching. We need some intermediate social places, not indoors and isolated, nor outdoors and miserable, places where people can meet, socialize, flirt, play, and most importantly, stay comfortable.

Pools exist now and could be the answer, but unless you’re wealthy enough to build your own private spa-adventure pool in your backyard, you usually have three options. One is natural places like lakes, streams and oceans, which have possibly contaminated water, muck, mud, and unfriendly critters.  Those may be too far away in distance and/or cost to be a regular thing, and anyone you meet three hours away from where you live wouldn’t make for a date or business link.  The oceans belong to all, but we don’t own beachfront to lay out our towels.  Second are free public pools, but those are few and have limited times open.  The one near me wasn’t very close, certainly not a distance I could safely walk or ride a bike to when I was a kid. They weren’t just crowded, but often smelled of more than chlorine.

The third type of pool are the apartment/club pools are usually plain and smaller, with limited hours and months that they are open.  These clubby pools charge, and often the fees are more than many people can afford. Non-members can’t enter, so meeting new people is thin on the ground.

Most pools and beaches will have a fee of some kind to cover life guards or other facilities like changing rooms and bathrooms.  Pools opening well after the weather is warm enough, is at least partly due to the availability of cheap high school and college students-as-lifeguards.  I’m not that sure why that’s a concern as the older students who want to earn a few bucks attend the same schools as the students who need the lifeguards. (I can’t like the trend for apartment pools to not have lifeguards)

Cooling off and meeting peers in a safe place are valuable, especially for bored hormone-impaired youth after the colder parts of the year.

But everyone could use a place to socialize, exercise, talk business, get massage therapy, network your hobby or cause, or get a haircut…  I think pools and associated facilities with only nominal fees could serve as social centers of this warmer world. Much like how the Roman baths served poor commoners to senators. Those facilities sometimes lasted longer than the empire, like in Bath, England. We have more enlightened times and better technology, so we can skip the slaves and keep the good parts.  A common Forum-Bath could answer the need to seed a more face to face society in the face of VR  and fast shallow connection. A place to start is making public pools serve more of the public’s needs today.  Open earlier in warm weather is one way. We don’t have that many places for people to hang out and socialize after school age, outside work and church, and those are kind of insular. Bars aren’t even the best places to find a date, too many false beer-goggle positives and not enough finding less strident players. We need less closed tribes and more mixing across those groups.


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