Yes, I go to the gym.
I know this shocks anyone who's ever seen me, since usually people with my physique and pallor spend their days in a dimly lit room, lying on a couch clad in an outfit with ample elastic in all the right places, consuming mass quantities of chocolate and yellow-hued snacks while watching General Hospital and endless reruns of whatever Law and Order franchise happens to be showing at that particular time. But I'm not kidding! I do, on occasion, work out.
I mean, take a second to think about what I'd look like if I didn't.
Kinda makes you a little sick to imagine it, doesn't it?
And in the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a fitness nut or anything. I go, do some cardio, try to work on the beer gut and 16-year-old baby weight, and get the heck out. But on the bright side, I've met and observed some pretty interesting people, which is what keeps me going back.
Take, for example, the dozen or so ladies who used to go to the 9 a.m. water aerobics class. (I say used to because apparently they've discontinued the class and my life is much less richer for it.) This class was filled with senior citizens who I believe hailed from a nearby retirement community. And let me tell you, there's some (use vibrato voice) drama going on over there.
Let's start with Silvie.
Now, Silvie must be the, um, Retirement Community Slut. See, those words just don't look right together, but that's the impression I got. One of the best lines I've ever overheard was about Silvie (and I'm always trying to overhear good lines).
Margie (the Retirement Home Gossip): So, I guess Silvie won't be coming for awhile. She just had some [loud whisper] face work done. [pause] Although at her age, who's she trying to look better for, the undertaker?
Then, a few weeks later, the locker room was all abuzz because apparently Silvie is having an affair with Mike, who's actually Daisy's husband. Daisy's also an aqua-sizer, but she wasn't there that day because she had a doctor's appointment and then she was going to lunch with her daughter, maybe at Coco's since they have a good senior citizen menu but the pie just isn't what it used to be. (You get a lot of information from the seniors.) Anyway, Daisy had no idea about Mike's infidelity, but Margie was convinced that she'd find out because Silvie and Mike weren't exactly, you know, discreet.
I'm not even kidding, these women are all at least 80 years old. I can't decide if I'm excited to get older and retire or if I dread it since it seems a lot like high school, except with softer food, removable teeth, and lots more polyester. And there's the ewwwwwwwwww factor with all of it.
But the fun doesn't stop with the senior citizens.
Quite possibly the most gorgeous man I've ever seen (and that's saying a lot, since I'm married to a trophy husband and all) is part of a same sex couple who comes to the gym pretty regularly, and they are, in a word, hilarious. A few weeks ago, Gorgeous Guy was chatting with another gym goer, talking about how his boyfriend didn't like veal, and the two Senior Citizens next to me had a field day with it.
SC1 [loudly]: Did he say BOYFRIEND? He's GAY?
SC2 [just as loudly]: He did. He said boyfriend. Will you look at that? He's so, so, so....attractive!
SC1: He's just the type I would've gone for back in the day. But he would've broken my heart.
[GG, by this time, is smiling and waving at them, since he--and everyone else in the cardio area--can hear them]
SC2: And he's so polite!
The Gorgeous Guy and his partner were working out right in front of me one day last week, and the partner was complaining about the people he worked with. "I mean, they think I'm gay because I keep my office clean and always have everything just so."
Gorgeous Guy reassured him: "But that's not why you're gay. You're gay because you like men. Duh."
The two of them, if they're working out together, have a running commentary going about our fellow gym-goers. Like me, they tend to dislike too much plastic surgery on a woman ("Like you can't tell those aren't real."), they're alarmed by the really short shorts on larger women ("If something drops out of those shorts, I hope someone's held responsible."), they think big bellies should be covered ("Congrats, sweetie, you have stretch marks. Now put 'em away."), and people who grunt while they're working out are "just beyond help." It always makes me happy when they're there, since usually they're saying exactly what I'm thinking.
If it wasn't excessively creepy, I'd start following them around and asking them what they think of other gym characters like The Jolly Numbers Boys, The Wannabe Muscleheads, and The Medicated Mommies. But I do my best to be invisible at the gym, because I'm afraid someone's going to take my gym membership away after they notice that I've been coming for what? almost 20 years and I still look like this. So for now I'll just be content to watch everyone, keep my ears open, and try to figure out what The Former Stripper tries to prove by wandering completely naked through the locker room every day. If she's trying to make us feel bad, it's not working. As one of the senior citizens put it so beautifully: "If I slip her a dollar, do you think she could cover that stuff up?"