Saturday, June 20, 2009

when the native is replaced by the newbie

Sooo... I used to go to this pool when I was younger, over in Dr. Phillips. I loved that pool.

In fact, that pool pretty much holds the majority of my childhood memories. It's as if my childhood can be summed up in one short montage of memories of my time spent there... bright days "swimming" (back in the day I was terrified of the water, and kinda doggie paddled my way around) and lunches at the McDonald's on Kirkman.

Well, we stopped going to that pool (for no particular reason), but lately I've been feeling an urge to go back. Probably just because I hadn't been there in a while. So, today, my sister and I went back, years later. (We were supposed to go take a visit to the natural springs, but that's a whole other story...)

Well, when we got there, we discovered that it, like the springs, was super crowded. No biggie. It's a hot, beautiful day in Orlando--all aquatic areas will undoubtedly be filled. Especially since whenever rain does fall from the sky, it tends to fall in the later afternoon, after the sky has taken all it could of the heat. So people try to get out early. Understandable.

But, apparently now, the pool gets so busy that it rotates groups. In other words, after we had swam for a little over an hour or so, we were told we had to get out to let the new group in. Granted, I think the pool would have been fine if they would have let the new group in with us, because there was plenty of room, but this apparently is their protocol. (I wonder if this occurred after the city took over the park...?)

Despite the little prick of a rude ass lifeguard (he looked all of 19 or 20 to my 21 year old eyes, and yes if you didn't know, I'm very easily offended lol) telling everyone to get out of the pool in this nasty little tone as if we were disobeying him (when in reality we were all looking around trying to figure out what was going on), my sister and I had a good time. But it just reminded me of how much times have changed. Orlando is growing and growing, and the places that were at one time, like little secrets; little gems of my childhood, well, those places are now public knowledge, and at best, in some cases, tourist fodder. Maybe that's just the way it seemed when I was a kid... that these places were like my family's little secrets... just like the Beltz Outlet Mall before it became the Prime Outlets that it is now... I can still remember the carousel in the middle and the cinnamon buns that I used to get every weekend when we went... the carousel and buns are no more, for they had to make room for Victoria's Secret and the Vans Outlet.

It just seems that the more Orlando grows from the little humble place it seems to be in my memories, the more and more I find that humility will remain only in my memories... isn't it a little bittersweet when you, as an adult, visit someplace that held such regard, only to find that it isn't what you remember, either because you can no longer see it through the lenses of your childhood, or simply because it has quite frankly changed from that place it used to be? Oh well... all the better for the kids making memories now, I suppose.

Just Saturday thoughts... and one more for you. My sister and I were talking while in the deep end about the phenomenon we experienced while at the pool. The pool was 99% populated by Black people this afternoon (something else that's changed--those days when we used to go, it was never thick with people my same skin tone). There were churches having a BBQ and there were birthday parties and all that jazz.... well, getting into the issue of mass amounts of certain types of Black people (and yes, there are certain types of people, even within one race, you should know) at one time is a project for another day, but my sister and I were both uncomfortable. (Yes, we're both African-American, yes, we lived a relatively sheltered childhood, and no, we're not bougie.) And my question to her was this: if we, as two Black people, are uncomfortable, how do non-Black people feel in our same surroundings?

Something to think about...

2 comments:

miss renee said...

i really appreciated this blog because i feel the same way about Orlando. you know, the Pointe/movie theatre closed, and they demolished where we [well me lol] used to play DDR... and it's sad because that place is SO representative of everyting that was good about high school.

it's just hard to accept that everything changes, especially things that you never want to let go off. i think in those little subtleties of life, that's what teaches us the real definition of the word loss and in this case, it's your loss of innocence

Miss Malorie said...

Very well said. Those are memories that we relive everytime we pass these places, and it's okay accepting that life changes when you still have these places to visit... because even when you know things aren't and will not be the same, at least you have that little slice of memory that you can relive in the physical presence of the place...

But then when you visit the place and things are too new, it's just too harsh of a reminder that things are different. We have to take baby steps into change (at least mentally).

And man, the Pointe WAS high school, for the most part! I didn't realize how much we went out there... :(

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