Depressing, guilt trip to the pool… encountering a pack of wild animals

It is the last day of my Austrian holiday and the weather has been pretty good. This morning brother and I dragged my dear daughter (DD) for a walk to a lovely big lake in the mountains above Söll. As she didn’t moan the whole time this afternoon I took her to the local pool, one with some great slides and an outdoor lake with diving boards.

I got depressed because the more I was in the pool the more women I saw, wearing lovely swimming costumes or bikinis… and whereas a fair few years ago I might have discretely ogled one or two of them now I felt only envy, and SO dreadfully wrong in my baggy swim sports. In Austria I have felt more than ever so distant from the male species and similar to the female in the way I am, and how I feel inside – over here the men generally seem more rugged and stocky, and generally quite, well, macho… and it is SO not me. The national costume says it all – for women it is the beautiful dirndl (with flowing skirts, elegant white blouses, and fitted bodices) and for men it is the dreadful leather liederhausen. So, back to the pool, comparing the men and women they were miles apart, not just in what they wore but in their whole manner at the pool; outside we were in an area near the slides and four late-teen guys blundered past DD and I as if we weren’t there, grunting and yelling like a pack of wild animals – it just made me feel ill, that I was born the same (physical) gender as they were.

Numerous times DD told me to smile, but a few half-hearted attempts were judged miserable failures. DD said she enjoyed it there though, and I let her go on the slides countless times.

Oh, earlier today I tripped in my walking boots because the laces of one got caught on the other boot and ripped one of the top lace-fasteners off. I didn’t particularly care, my view was that this time next year I will be on holiday as Andrea in my girly walking boots. Hopefully my optimism will be justified….

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