The other day, I was cleaning the pool. I think it’s important to point out that this is the first time in my life I have had a pool. I was lucky enough to have one as a kid, and my dad always handled it. I didn’t have to take care of the pool. And I think it was always crystal blue and beautiful. Now, I do and it isn’t.
It’s hard. There are chemicals to balance. Filters to clean. Sides to brush down. Vacuuming to be done. There are leaves and duck poop and bugs and you-name-it landing in the water. All the time. And you know what? If you don’t clean it often enough, it gets green. Even if you do clean it often enough – but the chemicals are off – it gets green.
So I’m outside cleaning the pool on Sunday morning. It’s really dirty. I’m working hard vacuuming it and taking my time to be meticulous. In my head, I’m Agador Spartacus cleaning the pool while fabulous. No, not in a g-string, but still.
[This is a Birdcage reference, for those of you too young to have seen it. Go watch it. Right away. Agador Spartacus is the house boy for Robin Williams and Nathan Lane and he is wonderful in all his glory – never more so than when he cleans the pool in his g-string while listening to Donna Summer – she works hard for the money…so hard for it honey…]
I’m listening to music and pretending to be fabulous. Until the bee.
Now, relax, I I know bees are endangered and we desperately need them. I know we don’t kill bees and they are our friends. I didn’t kill this bee. Bees are wonderful and important. But maybe not this bee.
I gently try to waive him off. Repeatedly. Then I start the bob-and-weave to get away from him. He’s persistent though, so now I’ve abandoned my vacuum and am hotstepping it around the lounge chairs. The bee stays with me. He is clearly and inexplicably drawn to my colorful all-black shirt and dark shorts. I run into the house and close the patio screen thinking he won’t be able to see me. Apparently he is going by smell though, because here he comes right to the screen door. I try to wait him out – at least a few moments. During this wait, however, the dog stands outside the door looking up at me. He is not hiding from the bee. I feel the dog’s disapproval and I decide enough. Back outside I go.
I realize how ridiculous I looked and must sound to you now. A grown woman, big and tall, hiding from a honey bee. And?
Perhaps the dog asked the bee to leave because he doesn’t come back to humiliate me any further. I return to my vacuuming, and Agador Spartacus-ing. I finish vacuuming and put the equipment away. Now it is time to net out the pool (again). I did it once before I started – to catch the leaves and keep them from falling to the bottom of the pool, where they cause algae. I walk along the edge of the pool in a steady circle skimming as much as I can from the top of the water. I routinely dump the net into the bushes and return to skimming along the water. After I get all the way around the pool, I look at my work. I have missed some leaves and so I keep going. There’s another bug over there, a leaf across the way.
I am not sure exactly how long it took me to realize that these leaves had not in fact been missed the first two times around. Rather, they were being dropped into the pool as I was skimming it. I felt so silly. Like I was being punked by Mother Nature. I defiantly scooped one last leaf from the water, put my net away, and headed into the house. Mother Nature 1, Agador Spartacus 0.
It’s Butch to pretend to be anyone with the name Spartacus. Even if you lose to Mother Nature. Be Butch.