I pictured myself. That would be completely in appropriate if I chose to leave this way in an hour. Yet with parents beside them they walked out the doors.
I walk in.
Adults dressing and undressing.
Children dressing and undressing.
No privacy in the open space.
No attention to who is around.
I go in to the stall and close the door on it. Ignoring what, in my world, usually results in a call to the local authorities.
Swim class was over and the adults had places to be and things to do. Children stopping to shower or dress probably seemed pointless. A quick run through the drive through or running straight home, the time it would take wasn’t necessary for most.
Twenty-five children plus adults who were coming and going from workout classes or personal training to five stalls and five showers makes an easy decision to just head out the door instead of waiting or to just change and run. I walk in and out of the community center weekly to this scene. The absurd nature of that scene never crossed my mind, except once when young boys were in the women’s dressing room with their mother.
In society we have boundaries for what is acceptable and what isn’t. At times what is okay in one area, like a swimming pool or gym dressing room, would be completely in appropriate in another area. Behaviors that are acceptable for a child are not necessarily acceptable as an adult and vise versa.
There are times where we become desensitized to the things that once were clearly not acceptable. As I thought about how this happens I looked around my environment. For six months I had walked in and out of this scene without much thought, barely of serving the absurdity of what was going on around me.
I’m not suggesting there was anything wrong with what was happening. I am pointing out the process of which things that would normally be unacceptable become acceptable.
Initially we see something and it may not sit well with us. When we get used to seeing something and it becomes normal. We stop seeing things as odd and instead see them as normal. Once we have normalized them they eventually become acceptable.
I think back to things in my community that once were not acceptable but today are common place. Good and bad things. They are now the new normal. We probably should pay closer attention to the process of creating a new normal.