I Need To Swim!

By Dr. Robert Wallace

May 7, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and a competitive swimmer. I used to train several days a week, but the pool I had been using is now closed due to COVID-19. I'd like to stay in shape, and luckily, I live in Southern California, not far from some nice beaches. I also have two older brothers who also live at home and are excellent swimmers, too.

I want to go swim in the ocean early in the morning several days a week, but my mom is worried I'll catch the virus if I swim in the ocean because other people could be swimming there, too. What do you think? Huntington Beach is now open, and I could go real early (like 7 a.m.) and be back home by 8:30 or 9 a.m. — Dedicated Swimmer, Irvine, California

DEDICATED SWIMMER: If you have reliable transportation back and forth to the beach, and if you adhere to all of the local rules regarding social distancing, I do not see any problem with you swimming in the ocean. Check the hours that the beaches are open these days, as you will not want to be out of compliance with local guidelines.

There are two things I'd like to have you do regarding your safety. Have a family member go with you so that you are not swimming in the ocean alone, and research the tides and shorelines in advance. Beware of riptides and high surf.

So, follow all rules and laws, and keep your distance from any others you may encounter, and hopefully, you and your brothers can enjoy a few good workouts together thanks to the majesty of Mother Nature.


DR. WALLACE: I'm 20 and live with my divorced mother and her mother (my grandmother.) I work in a law office as a secretary, and I love my job. I wasn't a very good student in high school, but my grandmother has always had plans for me to attend college. It's kind of been a dream of hers! Neither she nor my mother attended college. Good ole granny was going to pay all of my tuition and other expenses for me to attend a college anywhere in the United States.

My granny has a lot of money, as her second husband died a few years ago, and he was very wealthy. Recently, I've told Granny that I'm not planning on going to college, but I believe she should reward me for having an honorable job that I enjoy and do well at. Eventually, I will get some of her money anyway, but I don't want to wait that long. Granny is in her 60s, so I could be waiting around for decades had I not spoken up for myself recently. Plus, I could really use some designer shoes and a new purse right now. Most of the older women in my office are married and have better shoes and purses than I have.

For the record, my mom told me not to ask for any advance money because I am not planning to use it for college. And when I asked Granny for some cash, she looked pretty surprised and even a little bewildered, and she just said to me, "I'll think about it."

Tell me that you agree with where I'm coming from so I can convince my mother, who is already against my idea. — Granddaughter With a Good Job, via email

GRANDDAUGHTER WITH A GOOD JOB: I've been writing this column for quite a few years, and I thought that I had heard just about every dilemma. Your situation is truly a first for this column, and your attitude a new one as well — fishing for a supportive answer to "convince your mom" and justify your outrageous request.

What makes you think that your grandmother should give you any amount of money at this time? She was very generous to offer to pay for your college education. You turned this offer down — end of story. You have no claim to any of her money for any other purpose at all. In fact, asking for money for any other purpose not only disrespects your grandmother but also disrespects the spirit of her original offer to invest in your education.

Shame on you for thinking that your grandmother owes you anything after you passed on an opportunity to attend college for free. She doesn't owe you a cent, and if she's as wise as I think she is, don't be surprised if she politely declines to give you any sort of "advance inheritance."

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Pexels at Pixabay

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