The biweekly water aerobics class was ending as Gabriel and I frolicked in the pool. The demographic for this class is largely a 60+ crowd, partly, I imagine, because the mothers of young children are not free for such pursuits, and partly, because, water aerobics is largely the domain of the winter-in-Florida crowd.
A woman in her seventies approached me, beaming and said, "What a lovely hat!"
I smiled, and thanked her for the complement.
And then, I realized something. OLD LADIES WEAR HATS.
I had been in the old lady section of the pool, wearing a hat. As this woman approached me, I was, in fact, moving from the four foot to three foot section of the pool not by swimming under the rope, which would have been the most expedient route, but by exiting, and reentering the pool.
I did this because I was wearing my hat, and sunglasses, and, it seemed like a bother to remove them, dive under the rope, and replace them.
And then, I realized something else. OLD LADIES DO NOT LIKE TO MESS UP THEIR HAIR.
If I am to be completely honest, I also exited the pool because I bleached my hair a few weeks ago, and am not unconcerned about the chlorine giving my hair a greenish tinge.
Which made me realize something else. OLD LADIES HAVE WHITE HAIR.
Never mind that I vaulted out of the pool with the grace of a gymnast. And that I thought my blonde hair made me look more punk than septuagenarian.
I WAS ACTING LIKE AN OLD LADY, and I had been recognized as a kindred spirit.
But then again, I am forty, and it is a nice hat, and so I decided to take it as the complement that it was meant to be.