Children have a way of ruining early morning jaunts to the gym, which is why I haven’t done many since Sadie was born four and a half years ago. But thanks to a new friend who’s willing to pick me up and ferry me to spin class, I’m back on the 6 AM circuit.
Query: have the people at the gym gotten weirder or have I gotten less tolerant?
What the hell is up with the lady who spread out all of her cosmetics on the community counter? Why do I need to see her toning lotion, her moisturizer, her firming gel, her eye cream, and her three (!) bottles of foundation? She had them lined up in a semi-circle. Damn stuff looked like an amphitheater she’d constructed around herself. Easy there, you’re not Adam Levine and this ain’t Madison Square Garden. I stood there and stared at her because I had to see what size make-up bag she put all that crap into. Guess what? After applying each of her products, she scooped the bottles into a Lululemon bag (size Large). I have to say I pretty much saw that coming, but it was still worth being a few minutes late to work to confirm.
Before motherhood, certain gym people grossed me out. Like the women who insist on sitting on the bench with their bare butts putting half a gallon of lotion all over their bodies. Also, I was always mystified by the ones who had to do everything naked– hug their friends, dry their hair, pluck their eyebrows, read the paper. Everything. I’m not much of a doing-chores-while-naked type of person, so their willingness to tackle dozens of morning rituals in the buff in front of a locker room full of women was something of a revelation to me.
Now that I have passed through motherhood, those women don’t gross me out. The bar is so much higher now. One of them would have to shit on me to phase me after the things I’ve seen in motherhood. Hell, I hardly flinched when I forgot my shower shoes– I just prayed that the flesh-eating bacteria would be too grossed out by my winter, pedicure-less toes to attack.
And that woman who was talking on the phone loud enough to drown out all three TV’s, well, she was annoying, but not gross. It seemed important to her to tell her boyfriend that she’d just run into an ex-boyfriend who “looked fierce as hell” and “asked for her number.” I get that. Some calls can’t wait until 7:00 AM.
But I do think it’s weird that in a room full of empty lockers, someone had to pick the one right next to mine– where I happened to be in a towel doing that awkward balancing thing you have to do when you are putting tights on while standing up. Why did she have to pick the locker next to mine? It reminded me of my kids who want to rub up against me when I most need some space.
I also thought the woman who asked me to move my bag so she could get to the trash can it was ostensibly blocking was kind of hostile, considering there were three other trash cans closer to her that were wholly unobstructed. I’ve heard of having a preference for a certain treadmill or spin bike, but trashcan in the locker room? That one’s new.
So many people, so many habits, so much territory to claim. I have to relearn the unspoken rule. I also have to get some counter space before Adam Levine shows up with her suitcase full of face mousse. It’s going to take a little getting used to.