These women deserve an entire book to be written in their honor, not just a blog post. They had their own corner of the pool deck that no one else dared claim in their absence, not that these sunbathing er…beauties…were ever much absent from the pool. They were housewives, usually with teenage children, usually at least fifty to seventy-five pounds overweight, who had accrued a natural tan that was darker than my own, and I worked in the sun for over thirty hours most weeks.

But neither their tans, nor their pot bellies, nor their “bumpy” thighs visible for all to see below their skirted one piece bathing suits, were there most predominant features. No, these women were first and foremost, gossips. One would cover her mouth with a trashy romance novel while relating a juicy story to her friends, while they would cackle and nod in agreement, possibly glancing over their shoulders at the topic of conversation.

On occasion, these leather-skinned ladies would taunt the male lifeguards. This was always very entertaining for the female guards to watch. The objectification of men is much, much funnier than the objectification of women, especially to women. Anyway, this taunting usually came in the form of floating on a blow up raft under the lifeguard stand and asking endless meaningless questions. Or suggesting the guys reapply their sunscreen. Or, if the leather lady was of the more physically fit variety, she would pretend to sprain an ankle and require the super sexy muscular lifeguard to carry to her car. I’m not kidding. This actually happened once.

But mostly, these women oiled up and laid out. They would be at the pool for literally hours without once actually getting into the pool. And when they did get in the pool, less than thirty seconds later, they’d maneuvered themselves onto a floating raft, the better to tan. Ah, the luxury of living for the sole purpose of getting a better tan, harassing younger men, and gossiping with your girlfriends. Sweet.