Pool Perfection: Modern Manners Takes a Dip

Modern Manners is feeling hot, hot, hot! It’s my most favorite of seasons, summer, and all this Vitamin D is making me dizzy with joy, so I’m sharing some thoughts about etiquette at that bastion of summer traditions, the pool.

No possession is more coveted in DC during the summer than the rooftop pool. If you are lucky enough to have access to one, it is essentially a public service to invite your less fortunate friends to enjoy this amenity from time to time. If you are fortunate enough to be invited to the pool by one of your luckier friends, it is essential that you act in a manner becoming of a stylish guest.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to stay highbrow during your urban beach going.

The Do’s:

  • DO: Share. Share sunscreen, water, towels, snacks and beverages. It’s summer—the season of love. Spread it.
  • DO: Bring extra. It makes it a lot easier to share when you have a super-sized bottle of SPF 30.
  • DO: Thank your host. Offer to pick up your host’s favorite beverage or snack.
  • DO: Bring your own chair. It will make you look smart and you will not have to sit on the hot deck. This also avoids the awkward “who can walk to the open chair fastest without looking like a competitive psycho” situation.
  • DO: Drink up… water, that is. Dehydration can lead to a multitude of social faux pas. See below.
  • DO: Respect the lifeguards. They are just doing their jobs. Please be kind.
  • DO: Be hygienic. The chlorine in the pool will not heal your open wound. Also, the pool does not substitute for a shower after you have gone to the gym. Also, eww.

And the equally important Don’ts…

  • DON’T: Use glass. It’s against the rules at most pools, and for good reason. If glass breaks in a pool, it usually must be drained. Do NOT be the jerk that ruins summer for everyone.
  • DON’T: Dunk/splash/yell/act like a 3 year-old who has never been to a pool. If you ARE a 3 year-old who has never been to a pool, you should be congratulated on your superb reading skills.
  • DON’T: Get tanked. This isn’t Jersey Shore. You’re an adult and should be able to hold your liquor. “Too much sun” is not an excuse.
  • DON’T: Skinny dip. This isn’t Jersey Shore. You’re an adult and should wear clothes appropriately in public. “Too much sun” is not an excuse.
  • DON’T: Stare. It’s awkward, and 95% of the people around you feel some degree of self-conscious in their swim suits. Instead, wear sunglasses to check out the hot bods discreetly.
  • DON’T: Play loud music. It’s annoying.
  • DON’T: Use the pool as a latrine. Also: this.

See you poolside. –MM

If you have a modern manners question for Mademoiselle Marie, post to the comments, si vous plait.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. jkc says:

    i’ve seen that pool before somewhere….

  2. c.c. says:

    Dear Marie,
    Two questions. 1) at what age is a two piece inappropriate? What if my body is 50 going on 30?!
    2) not pool related, but summer related…what is required of a host if they invite others over for a casual bbq?

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