church pool party

Brace yourself.  Warmer weather is just around the corner, and you know what that means…the church pool party.  Egads. 

For women, preparation is a grueling study of the Lands’ End website.  Obviously you can’t wear a bikini to the church pool party. Well, you can, but you will become the target of many prayers and much evangelism.  No one wants that, hence the tankini:  the Christian woman’s best friend.  It is neither as prim as a one-piece nor as trollop-y as a two-piece.  It is the happy tweener.  Yet, as you picture yourself wearing it and talking to deacons, you realize the bottom part is basically under garments - unmentionables, if you will, so let's not mention them. 

You need more coverage. Enter, the skirted tankini.  Now the bottom half of your suit won’t even resemble a swimsuit.  In comparison however, the top half of the suit seems revealing.  Could you be accused of being a “stumbling block?”  Hey, this one looks like a tank top.  Bingo. Now you won't even look like you came to swim; you'll look like a tennis player who maybe tripped and fell into the pool. 

[An aside:  For men, preparation is nothing.  You do nothing.  You put on shorts and go.  Six-pack abs or robin-redbreast belly, you put on your swimtrunks without another thought.  It is unjust, but we forgive you].

Eventually the day of the party arrives.  God did not allow a flash flood or summer hail.  The show will go on...and on.  The women arrive in all manner of odd garb.  Everyone has faced the same dilemma.  There are women in long terry coverups.  There are women swimming with shorts over their swimsuits.  There is even one woman swimming in some sort of mysterious swim capri pants.  The experienced women are fully dressed on the sidelines.  They claim they must leave early, and “regrettably, do not have time to swim.”   You think, “Crap.  Was that an option?”

People huddle together in the pool in small clumps for security, maintaining eye contact at all times, lest they be considered lecherous, or see something they wished they hadn’t. 

The pastor roams waist-deep in the water trying to have casual conversations with his flock, and bless his heart, the visitors.  Because guess what?  Someone thought the church pool party would be a good outreach opportunity.  Seeing him in his suit is like running into your elementary school teacher at the supermarket in her mom jeans.  Gone are the tie and suit.  And he is a little hairier than everyone expected.   

Blessedly, the party lasts only two hours (but feels like eight); long enough for standing and shivering in the water making small talk.  No one is disappointed when it ends except the children.  They LOVE the annual pool party, which is the only reason you attend.  It is over, and everyone survived.  Prayer can erase some of the visuals burned into your memory, and grace covers a multitude of hairy backs.

Disclaimer:  our current pastor is not unusually hairy; he has an average about of body hair 
(But I'm not saying that I've never had a hairy pastor).