Throwing a grown-up pool party with the little Mermaids and the Aqua Men |

Throwing a grown-up pool party with the little Mermaids and the Aqua Men

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

“We’re having a pool party,” I informed Husband-Head a couple of weeks ago. “It’s a bunch of my girlfriends and their husbands and we’re going to barbecue and celebrate the winding down of summer.”

Husband-Head didn’t look so thrilled.

“In other words, what it translates into is that I have to clean the pool, mow the lawn, set up tables and chairs and make sure the yard looks nice.”

Yup, you’ve got it.

The party was a gathering of a local women’s group I belong to called the Mermaids, which meets about once a month. It’s a great group of positive, professional ladies, and it was my turn to host a party.

Usually, it’s a women’s thing, but I decided I wanted the men to come as well. While we are the Mermaids, the men are referred to as the “Aqua Men” because nobody could say “Sea Men” without laughing.

Giving parties these days is quite different from our younger days when people you didn’t even know were snoring on your couch the next morning. Or the days when we threw the impromptu party when our parents informed us at the last minute that they were going out of town.

No, throwing a party for middle-aged people is cool because you know that the house won’t get completely trashed, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to throw up – and best of all – no one is passed out on your couch the next morning.

The guests arrived in the early afternoon, and soon the shindig was under way. Everyone brought a dish to share and these, too, were different than the traditional fare we would have way back when.

Gone were the cheese doodles, Fritos, Pringles and Bugles. Fried potato skins and pigs-in-a-blanket were nowhere to be seen.

Instead, these people brought healthy fare that included fruit plates, vegetable platters, salads, couscous and grilled zucchini.

I, of course, made cheeseburger sliders and fries. Although, I must admit it was the healthier version with lean ground beef, whole grain buns, reduced fat cheese and fries that were baked, not fried.

The drinks, to be honest, would probably not fall under the category of “healthy.”

I served limoncello to the ladies. Limoncello is an Italian after-dinner drink which takes five weeks to make as the vodka and the lemons steep together before being mixed with a simple syrup. Husband-Head, on the other hand, was handing out shots of tequila to the guys in the man cave.

The weather was perfect, and a bunch of us frolicked in the pool, which, I was told later, was apparently used for other purposes.

“There were three people in there having a prayer session,” one guy told me the next day. “There they were praying, and I didn’t realize that when I did a big cannon ball into the pool in the middle of their prayer.”


A little later into the party, we decided to make S’mores on an open fire, although Husband-Head didn’t really want to partake in the marshmallow roasting.

“I just have bad memories of those things,” he confided to me. “When I was a kid, we were making S’mores and somebody started waving his stick around and the marshmallow flew off and hit me in the eye.”

The party eventually ended and then there was the fun part of picking up after the mess the next morning. Although I knew the house was pretty clean, I dreaded going into the man cave.

“I don’t even want to know what the man cave looks like,” I groaned to Husband-Head in bed the next morning. “I’m sure it’s a complete mess.”

“That’s why I’m staying in bed and pretending to be asleep,” he answered. “I figure if I stay here long enough, it’ll all be cleaned up by the time I get up.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t so bad after all, except for some dirty shot glasses and a few dishes that needed to be cleaned and put away.

And then there was the mysterious backpack sitting all by itself on the lawn.

“Oh shoot, someone’s kid left their stuff here,” I said as I scooped up the pack and proceeded to look in it to see who it belonged to.

Turns out that it definitely did not belong to someone’s kid.

Inside was a bag full of someone’s medical marijuana prescriptions and supplies.

Thankfully, there was identification in the pack and I was able to contact the person and let them know that I had their backpack with their … ummm … medication.

All in all, everyone had a good time and the party was a success.

We may not be a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen or even a Disney movie, but the Mermaids and the Aqua Men know how to have fun at a party.

And nobody throws up or overstays their welcome.

“Fried Rice” appears every Friday. Heidi Rice is a staff writer and columnist for the Post Independent. She lives in Rifle. Visit her website, for more columns and her book. Contact Heidi at

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