Etiquette question

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Etiquette question

Post by ellamella » Thu Mar 09, 2023 11:08 pm

I swim at a gym pool and have been swimming there off and on for 12 years. I swim usually 6 days a week, so I'm there a lot. So here's what happened to me today, and I'd really love to get people's opinions on it even if I'm in the wrong.

I'm a middle aged woman. Six lane pool, one lane taken out for swim lessons. I'm swimming in the lane next to the wall, which is not my favorite because I swim breast stroke for about half my laps and it makes it harder to maneuver to swim in such a way to give your lane partner adequate room. I am pretty good and modifying my stroke however, and me and my lane partner work fine together. Halfway through my swim my lane partner gets out and I see who's getting in. Now traditionally in this situation usually the swimmer against the wall would move over and the new swimmer would take the wall lane, and when I get in if the person gives me a second to chat I will often ask which lane they prefer. And the guy getting in I swam with last week - he swims with huge hand paddles and has a really wild stroke. I REALLY didn't want to get caught in the wall lane beside him - the last time I swam with him I was against the rope the whole time because I didn't want to get clocked with a hand paddle.

So, as soon as my lane partner exited the pool I slipped over into the other lane and kept swimming. Hand paddle guy got in and got in the lane I was swimming in, putting his back to me, fussing with his hand paddles. I shrugged to myself and kept swimming, figuring that he would figure it out. He turned around at some point and realized I was in the non-wall lane and just glared at me for a few laps - obviously wanting me to change back to the other lane. If he would have asked me to change back I honestly probably would have childrens etiquette training, but something about this situation made me kind of angry, I felt like he was sort of being entitled. A few years ago me would have probably just gone to the other lane because I was really bad about sticking up for myself, but this time I was like, "No, this is silly. I'm not moving just because he's glaring at me." So I just kept swimming around him.

A woman I often swim with saw what was happening from another lane and offered to switch with him, and he agreed, and so he, with the grace of a wounded buffalo and many huffs, switched to another lane, but took the opportunity to glare at me whenever he could. He also left his water bottle and several other things on the pool deck right in my lane too for his whole swim. When he got out I said, "Have a good one," and he just glared at me.

So for my psyche I'm really glad I handled it like I did, because usually men in his age bracket are the hardest for me to stand up to (he's probably at least 10 years older than me). But I can't help but wonder if maybe he did think that because that lane was the one that was vacated he had a right to it? Did I handle that right?

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