Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Princess of the Deep

Years ago when Lyn was still swimming competitively, there was a swim meet which gave us a good laugh because Lyn was putting on her best display.  Lyn was still very able bodied at this time and was either in her late teens or early twenties.

We took her to the meet and found that most of the volunteers were service members from the local Air Force base.  They have frequently been volunteers at the various Special Olympics activities over the years and it was no surprise to see them there.  They've volunteered for bowling, track and field and even skiing.  What was different was that this was a swim event.  So, the volunteers were mostly in swim attire.  Additionally, because some of the athletes were less coordinated, the volunteers were both at the edge of the pool and in the pool providing assistance getting athletes in and keeping them afloat if necessary.

Lyn saw an opportunity.  These fine, upstanding service members who were physically fit and ... oh my... were there to help and she was there to take advantage of any and all assistance they offered.  They didn't know her or her skills and just saw a swimmer who obviously needed hands-on assistance getting in and out of the pool.

Our jaws dropped as she played the damsel in distress getting into the pool.  She graciously accepted the strength and stability the volunteers provided.  Of course, she positioned herself so that the volunteers who helped were all male.  She swam her heat, reached the end of the pool and just held up her arms while looking at the volunteers at that end.  They reached down and pulled her up.  She walked away with supreme confidence and a smug smile playing about her lips.

When her second heat was called, the same tactic was employed.  Only, this time, Mom was on the alert for the behavior.  As Lyn struggled to get into the pool, clearly playing up the need for help from a dashing young airman, Mom clapped her hands together and called out a sharp "Basta!"  Lyn knew exactly what was going on and she stopped the act and got into the pool unaided.  The poor volunteer was so confused.  When she got to the end, she started to hold up her arms again and glanced over to Mom.  Mom was already nearly at the pool edge by that point.  "Cut this out and get out of the pool right now.  You don't need help."  Lyn scowled and hauled herself out of the water, no assistance needed.  The airman was still trying to assist so Mom turned to him and said "Back up!  She can do this."  Shortly, thereafter, one of the coaches approached Mom to tell her she cannot approach the pool again.

Through out the rest of the day, Lyn continued to find little ways to get the male volunteers to help her and get their attention focused on her.  She'd glance over at Mom to see if Mom was watching and if she was, Lyn would tone it down a bit.  If she thought Mom was not watching, she'd sashay to her position, bold enough to cut across the catwalk that spanned the middle of the pool which was supposed to be closed to the athletes.  She always did admire a willing hand attached to a good looking  volunteer or man in uniform and still does.

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