Loyal readers of Blankbaby will know that over the last couple of years I've had an on again, off again relationship with the gym. It is on again (and I'm shedding pounds left and right), which is a very good thing.
I'm lucky enough to have a gym that I can use both where I work (in the lovely Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia) and where I live (also in Center City, Philadelphia). As of late I've been using the gym at home which requires me to take the elevator down to the 5th floor dressed in my gym clothes, and then back up to the 20th floor after my work-out (and I'm drenched in sweat at this point).
Yesterday I got on the elevator wearing my gym shorts and an Iconfactory t-shirt. I was happy to find the elevator empty, sadly it stopped on the 11th floor and a young person who lives in my building (which is a rarity… Marisa and I are amongst the youngsters in the building!) got on with her parents who I assume were visiting. The mother turned to me, looked me up and down and said, "Are you going to the gym?"
I thought for a moment and responded, "Yes, yes I am."
"Oh, I only ask because my daughter is trying to get them to buy new treadmills."
That is a worth endeavor, and one which I support, so I replied, "Keep up the good fight!" and got off the elevator.
40 minutes later I was done with my work-out (I generally do 35 minutes on the elliptical and I'm slowly adding on some treadmill time… 5 minutes is my starting point and I'll work my way back to were I was several months ago) and I was dripping with sweat (as a fat man should be after he works out).
I pressed the up button so I could get home and hop in the shower. The elevator arrives and two little old ladies are standing there. I nod to them and get on.
After a moment one of the little old ladies turns to me and says, "Did you have a good workout?"
"Yes, I did!"
She smiled and looked away. That's when I noticed the other little old lady was giving me the once over. It looked like she wanted to say something to me, and sure enough she did.
Quote little old lady number two, "You need a good work out!"
This is, of course, the truth and yet I have been working under the assumption that we, as people, operate with a certain social contract. When you see an ugly person you don't go up to them and say, "Geez, what's up with your ugly face?" and then you're riding the elevator with a fat guy (like, oh, say me) who is covered in sweat you don't point out that he needs to work out. It is assumed that the sweaty fat guy, who JUST WORKED OUT, knows that he needs to continue working out.
Now little old lady number two was staring at me, waiting for a reply. I quickly glanced up and saw we were at the 14th floor. Too many floors to go without responding… but what could I do? The first thing I thought of saying was, "You need to shut up!" but I rejected that.
I ended up saying the only thing that I could. I chuckled and said, "That's true!" and spent the rest of the elevator ride avoiding eye contact with either of them.
Is it any wonder that I'm a hermit?