Hot Dogs At The Pool

Day 17 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Hot Dogs At The Public Pool Watercolor - #doodlewash

When I was young, going to the pool was not always a pleasant experience. I was a bit chubby back then and didn’t like the idea of appearing half-naked in public. And being a bit shy, I didn’t really like the idea of being in a crowd of half-naked people, much less being part of some sort of human soup. But like I’ve always done in life, I focused on the bits that were enjoyable. Splashing about with friends in a less inhabited corner of the pool, laying in the sun, and stopping by the concession stand to enjoy a snack. There were many snacks to choose from, all of them perfectly horrible for you and therefore quite delicious. Back then, I enjoyed the hot dogs, which came wrapped in a shiny foil that made them seem gift-wrapped. We’d all been told by our parents that we should wait 30 minutes after eating before getting back into the pool, of course, or we’d get severe stomach cramps and drown. This isn’t quite true, but we didn’t know it at the time, and it was well worth the delay to enjoy that fun midday snack.

Truly, I felt a bit like a freak being the only person I knew who didn’t enjoy public pools. I had the same dislike for roller skating rinks, but that was mainly the fear of falling, which was pretty much guaranteed since I sucked at it. Also, I simply never understood the thrill of rolling around in circles anymore than the I understood the joys of taking a bath with a lot of strangers. None of it made any sense to me. I’d try to join in and “have fun” but it just wasn’t the kind of thing I found to be very fun at all. I wanted to hop on my bike and go exploring until I discovered a place I hadn’t really noticed before. The thrill of the new was what I found fun, so splashing around in one spot or spinning in circles made me anxious. I was certainly content staying in one spot for hours, but only when making something or reading a book. My creative projects always felt exciting because they a new thing would manifest itself and those books took me to places in my mind.

To be fair, I did rather enjoy the pool when it was at a friends house and I knew everyone present. We weren’t the kind of family who could afford a pool. Some of my friends lived on a lake and even had boats. I didn’t like swimming in the lake very much, though. In a pool, you can at least see clear through to the bottom and no what’s swimming beside you. I tried so hard to enjoy what the majority told me I should when I was young. These days, I’ve learned that if you follow your own bliss, life will be so much happier. And there’s always someone, somewhere who will nod their head and think, “yeah, I feel that way too.” No matter what we love, there’s another person who will love it as well. We’re never really alone. And looking back on those days, I realize that even if I couldn’t agree with my friends on the love of public bathing, we were still in perfect agreement when it came to the joy of hot dogs at the pool.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Azo Orange, Azo Yellow, Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 Day 17 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Hot Dogs At The Public Pool Watercolor - #doodlewash
Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
19 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Lydia
    Lydia 7 days ago

    Um, yeah – I feel that way too! 🙂 #nohumansoup #butilovehotdogs

  2. Heide 7 days ago

    “Also, I simply never understood the thrill of rolling around in circles anymore than the I understood the joys of taking a bath with a lot of strangers.” Once again you have me in stitches, Charlie. And your painting brought a big smile, too! Rather more appetizing than the sad, shriveled things I see at the entrance to the Home Depot. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Hehe! Thanks, Heide! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this post. Oh, in reality, I think the pool dogs were just as shriveled, but my hand just wouldn’t let me paint it that way! lol

  3. dorkboycomics 7 days ago

    Fantastic post – and great painting also 🙂

  4. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan 7 days ago

    When I was young I loved swimming, but always on my own. I had a thing about my feet,in particular my toes. They felt like great big cartoon feet with tennis balls for toes…so I had to get in and out as quick as I could,strange as I have tiny feet.my love of swimming overcame my embarrassment each time though. I can understand your feelings though, as I was shy.love the doodle though!

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww bless your heart, Susan! 😃💕 That’s exactly how I felt! It’s tough when you don’t quite fit the mold and I have body issues as well. But when I think about it… being unique is far better than being like everyone else, so who cares!! We win!! 😉

  5. Wanda 6 days ago

    I swear that this story was about me! I could so relate!

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww I love hearing that! Thanks so much, Wanda! 😃💕 Glad you could relate to this one!

  6. Nancy Sapp 6 days ago

    Oh My. Isn’t it sad being young & so unsure of ourselves? I HATED public pools because I can’t swim! I do a GREAT job of trying to drown myself & then PUKE my guts out in front of everyone. Now doesn’t THAT sound like a fun afternoon? (I also can’t roller skate or bowl.) Give me a good book, a sketch pad or watercolors & paper & I’m in HEAVEN! A quiet Heaven!

    • Profile photo of Susan
      Susan 5 days ago

      That’s my kind of heaven now….

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

      Hehe!! Yay! I’m with you, Nancy!😃💕 Yeah… childhood had it’s insecure moments, but it’s so nice to be able to just happily choose what we love to do as an adult. Books and watercolors are definitely more my speed!

  7. Nancy Sapp 6 days ago

    Forgot to mention – your watercolor hot dog, ketchup & mustard are Awesome! They’d make my stomach rumble except we had a cook-out today & I’m stuffed! (It’s Father’s Day) LUCKILY – our grandsons can swim & are GREAT at sports – unlike Grandma!

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

      Aww thanks! hehe… glad you liked it! Yeah… if you don’t get stuffed at a cook-out, you’re doing it wrong! Lol 😉

  8. Nancy 5 days ago

    Yep, I agree, not crazy about swimming with strangers, although I do love to swim. We had an above ground pool growing up because my dad, a city boy, always promised himself he would have one. He swam every summer evening after work. As for hot dogs, never had one at the pool but I love the ones at the little league games. They just always tasted better than home made ones for some reason and they came in little foil bags too just like your amazing rendition!

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

      Thanks, Nancy! 😃💕 I know right? The ones at home never quite tasted as good as the ball parks. And I agree… I do enjoy pools, but I want to know everyone I’m bathing with first! Lol

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 days ago

    I’ve always been a terrible swimmer but I loved going to the community pool when i was a kid. Don’t remember snacks but I probably didn’t have money to buy anything. As for hot dogs, they’ve always promised more than they deliver. The flavor comes up short, not being spicy enough to be interesting or meaty enough to be fulfilling. The only hot dogs I ever really liked were vegetarian but the brand I loved aren’t made anymore. Your hot dog promises so much taste and fun in its pretty wrapper – hope it delivers.

    • Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Aww thanks! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m not really a hot dog eater these days. They only tasted good at the ballpark, and still lacked a bit of something. It’s like a food that didn’t quite evolve, but I love the memories!

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