The only thing a lifeguard likes more than being paid to get a tan is being paid to not do anything because there’s been a lightning sighting.
So last night I felt sorry for the guards staring at the sky after the downpour, searching for a flash, straining for a rumble. I knew how annoyed they were that so many people had actually shown up to swim laps when the forecast made it very clear there were dangerous storms in the vicinity. I remembered how, back when I was a lifeguard, I vowed never to be one of these frustrating patrons who forced poor teenagers to sit outside and miserably peer through the rain at pathetic swimmers.
But growing up, while it has its drawbacks, affords one the ability to take back silly things vowed while under the influence of youth. For although I do understand just how mad these kids were at me and the rest of the adults yesterday, I also know one day they’ll look back and realize just exactly how good they had it when their only responsibility in life was to suffer a bit of stormy discomfort in between socializing with friends and trying to get rid of tan lines.
If there’s a better summer job than being a lifeguard, I don’t know what it is.