I am a bit out of sorts today.
Sinus headaches that turned into migraines. Starting Thursday and ending Sunday afternoon. After which I felt GREAT. More than great, like superhuman. It warranted me finally dyeing my hair and going to the gym after slacking for three days.
Until this morning, when my sinuses decided to rebel again.
But more on that later. Let’s talk about the gym.
I have begun dreading that I will see a handful of people when I enter. Here is the cast of characters:
This attractive young black man is one of many easy-on-the-eyes fellas at the gym. One night, I happened to be at a machine near the one he and his buddy (also attractive, but very loud and seemingly arrogant) were working on. I did the awkward thing where my eyes keep going to one spot, mainly because they are both good looking. I usually have my music blaring, but I thought I saw Beautiful’s friend mouth, “She’s hot.” Which, of course, I figured was NOT about me. Let’s face it, I can sometimes pull off cute, I can be considered striking, but “hot” is not really a descriptor people use for me. I also caught “Beautiful” looking at my boobs several times. I am NOT one of those girls who shows cleave at the gym, but there they were (my boobs and his eyes).
Cut to later on, I’m working on the hip abductor machine (what my friend Katie calls “the sex machine”) and Beautiful came over and put something on the ground next to it. “Oh,” I thought, “he must want to use it next, so he’s putting his stuff here.” The he smiled at me. When I finished my set, I looked down and noticed it was not a water bottle or headphones he’d place there. It was this:
At first, I was pretty flattered. Then the English major in me immediately took over. “Um, so your name is ‘Beautiful’?” I thought. “Where is your comma?!?!”
I, of course, never called him because a) I am horribly awkward when it comes to dudes and b) he looked like he was about 24 years old.
So, of course, I dread every time I walk in possibly seeing him. Not because I think he’ll say anything, but simply because I feel bad. Then I remind myself he probably has plenty of chicks who are way into him, and one chubby 30-something not calling will probably not hurt his feelings.
The trainer is one of those people that I was forced to meet. Basically. One night, I was
happily awkwardly doing tricep extensions when a tall, attractive, and wiry-but-muscular young man (with tattoos!) walked by giving me a weird look and saying something. As I had my music up, per the norm, I went “Huh, what?” as he continued speaking but walking away. He came back over to me after a few minutes and I took my headphones off. “Do what?” I said.
The trainer replied, “Where do I know you from?”
“Oh! I thought you were like ‘Get off that machine, I want to use it!'” and we both laughed.
And he stayed. He asked where he knew me from and I asked about places he worked. “I work here,” he said.
As we laughed and talked, I started thinking, “Where is he going with this?”
And then he asked, “Can I text you goodnight?”
Since I am horribly awkward and panic when caught off guard, I replied, “Yes” even though by this point I could tell this guy, although VERY nice, had a bit of the player mentality going on. Plus, he was a mumbler. It took me asking for the spelling to understand his name.
He told me he’d be by the cable machine and when I was ready to leave to come give him my number.
“Shit.” I thought. I could see myself being good friends with this fellow, but not dating him, citing the player mentality and the fact that there are far more attractive and fit chicks around him all day than myself.
But what could I do? If I tried to sneak out, he’d see me. I’d rather be awkward and uncomfortable than labeled a bitch.
So I walked up to him and gave him my number.
He texted me later that night with just his name and a smiley face. So I texted for him to have a good night.
Subsequent text messages from him simply said, “Hey” and I knew my feelings of “I don’t want to go out with him” were warranted. Conversation starters are a must.
But, again, I walked in not wanting to see him because I feel bad for ceasing response.
Until last night. He was there and I walked right by him. He did not even flinch. I’m pretty sure mine is not the only number he’s gotten since he obviously did not remember me.
The big lady
There is no delicate way to put this: she is LARGE. While I am no fitness model, I am also not literally pushing 400 pounds like this chick.
And I applaud ANYONE who works out instead of sitting in front of the tv all night.
THE LATTER OF WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS WOMAN DOES AT THE GYM.
I have entered the locker room countless times to see her taking up almost an entire bench, watching television. When the gym had massage chairs in front of a large tv in the back room, she would camp out there, but since the chairs and tvs have been replaced by hydrobeds, she makes the locker room her home.
This would not bother me in the least except for one detail: she scream-talks to anyone who walks in about what is on tv at that moment.
That is literally all she will discuss.
She is often on the phone, scream-talking to some unfortunate soul about what she is viewing, giving her commentary on each person… in detail.
A few weeks ago I walked in to put my things in a locker and she immediately busted out laughing at something on the screen, turned to me and said, “A white girl named Rashida. That’s a first.”
It took all I had not to reply to her, “Since you are glued to the television, I am surprised that you are unaware that Rashida Jones’ father is Quincy Jones, making her both white AND black.”
The big lady didn’t used to be this bad. I used to converse with her briefly when she spoke at a normal volume and didn’t obsess over tv.
Now, it is like some alien life force has overtaken her body and its only sustenance is anything television-related. All other forms of communication are verboten.
Last night, I walked toward the locker room and could hear the big lady’s voice before I could even see the doorway.
Her topic of conversation? “So-and-so is too big to be in an exercise video.”
I almost kicked her.
For someone whose extent of workout is running her mouth and possibly doing a snail’s pace on the stationary bike, she has absolutely no room to talk.
And that is why I dread seeing big lady.
I’m pretty sure these chicks AREN’T mormons, but since “Pentecostal” just doesn’t have that ring to it, we’ll go with that tribe of Joseph Smith followers. The only reason I call them that is they appear not to cut their hair and all wear skirt type things to work out in.
Now, these chicks themselves aren’t too entirely bad, but there are two main players who need to get their shit straight.
One is a girl who reminds me EXACTLY of Esther from “Amish Mafia”. Yes, I have watched this show. Yes, I know it is probably 99.9% fake. No, I don’t care. (Fun fact: Jolin looks EXACTLY like the love child of Tony Hawk and my awesome eye doctor. I would not kid you.)
She tends to speak LOUDLY while doing “cardio.” It’s in quotes because she is moving abnormally slow. She often recites verbatim conversations to the person next to her, constantly complains about being in pain, etc etc.
I would have ZERO problem with her conversations if she were speaking at volume that was not conducive to me hearing every word over bands like Bane and Witchery (ie, LOUD BANDS WITH GUITARS AND SCREAMING).
The other culprit is someone I can only describe as “the Mom figure.” She seems to be the leader of the pack, older than the others, with an air of authority.
AND AN AIR OF STARING.
While I may be guilty of eyeing people without knowing (I am an ardent people-watcher, which I think is sometimes translated into “creep”), I am sure it is nothing like this lady.
She looks at everyone near her with an expression of near-terror on her face. I’m not sure what this is about. It could be that instead of bitch-face like I have, she has “scared face.” In any case, I dread seeing HER because I’m afraid she’ll give me the scared-stare and I won’t know where to look.
There are other minor players in the cast of characters including: loud college students, girls who bathe in perfume before entering the gym (offenders who, I believe, were catalysts for this past week’s sinus fiasco), gym-socializers: people who are there to be seen and to talk instead of working out. Also known as: people I wish would get the fuck out of my way. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy meeting new people and talking to them (when I can avoid bouts of being awkwardly goofy) but that is not my primary reason for possessing a gym membership.
In other news, I did not sleep well last night. I felt like I could hear every car that passed my house, every jet that flew overhead. I woke up several times to loud vehicles and eventually thought, “OH MY GOD. MY SINUS PROBLEMS HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO MY EARS AND NOW I HAVE SUPERSONIC HEARING. I WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.”
I woke up this morning to realize that the back of my bedside fan was stuck to a curtain all night, hence lower output, hence quieter.