Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don't ask the fat girl too many questions

I renewed my gym membership just before the new year. It had expired at the gym I've been going to for a few years and the cheaper option was to buy the 2 year commitment from Costco, even though I really don't want to be tied to that gym for the next two years. (Though they do have outposts all over the place so hopefully WHEN I get the hell out of SF, I can use it elsewhere.)

Anyway, since my membership had lapsed before being renewed I had to deal with the super enthusiastic, mid-20s, athletically built membership counselor rather than just having it automatically renew with no hassle.

I was handed a short form by the girl at the desk to fill out first. Ya know, basic name, address information.

To put this in context: it was new year's eve. An evening I feel more pressure about being single than even Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day you can hide for the whole day, talk about how completely ridiculous the day is, make fun of couples giving each other stuffed bears, and not feel like a pariah.

New Year's Eve? When that clock strikes midnight and you're not kissing someone, whether at intimate party or full blown amateur hour bar scene, you feel awkward and uncomfortable and oh look there's some champagne I'll just drink more of that, thanks. Therefore, I was feeling a little touchy.

So I'm at the gym on New Year's eve day, because I hate myself apparently, and I'm filling out the form mindlessly when I get to the question that says, "What is your marital status?" with a check box for married and one for single. And I completely balk. Oh hell no. I'm not answering that. WTF does that have to do with me working out? Not a damn thing. In the crowded, noisy gym I even say out loud, "Oh! I'm not answering that!" The fit, sincere, 20-something dude who has approached to take me to the computer stations and officially get me re-registered says, "It's just so we can determine if you can add a family membership or..." I interject that "It's still none of your damn business! I'm not answering that." I dramatically draw a line through the question. He laughs nervously. (Pretty sure my reaction was a good indication I'm single as f*ck. Ya think?)

I do actually take umbrage with the way it was phrased. If you have a live in partner they don't count? Civil union? It simply had married and single as the options. So...only married people can add a membership to their account? In a culturally diverse city with a myriad of terms for who people are to each other, it seemed narrowly tailored. Still, probably not the most reasonable/best time to bring up my objections to the gym's policy.

We're now seated at the computer stations where he's typing all the information I put on the card into the computer. And he has to give me the mega-gym pre-approved questions about what my fitness goals are. I really just want to hop back on the elliptical and be left alone. I'm not a chatty gym goer to begin with. I'm also a bit (more than usual) out of sorts because I haven't been able to work out at the gym in over a month, waiting for funds to come in. Long walks on the beach only do so much for my mental health. As much as exercise is not fun, it amazingly does have an affect on your mood. Who knew, right? Because of that though, I'm in no mood to exchange chit chat with the well meaning, way too healthy gym employee. Just punch in the info, have me sign what I need to sign and let me be on my way. But no. That's not how it's gonna go.

He asks me what my fitness goals are. I pause. I really don't want to answer. It's none of this stranger's business what my fitness goals are. If I wanted to dump my shit on someone, I would trade my gym membership for a therapist (which I also can't afford. Hysterical!). "My goals? To not be insecure and hate my body. To fit into expensive brand name jeans and visit the skinny girl section at Nordstrom with the trendy clothes and maybe buy something age inappropriate, cheaply made, and slutty looking at Forever 21. Those are my goals, jackass. What do you think of dem apples?" are all the things I didn't say. I may have even tried to deflect the question but overly eager gym employee is looking at me all big eyes and I'm just like "guhhhh." In a moment of complete snark, without even really thinking about it, I say, "Well my goal is to be a supermodel but seeing as how I'm not 17 and 5'11" I'm not sure how realistic that is so we'll just go with 'to be healthier', mkay?" He again laughs nervously.

He continues, "So we have a special on personal training..." I am vigorously shaking my head no. "Look, I barely have money for the membership, I don't have money for a trainer. Thanks." He punches in more info. It feels like I've been at this computer terminal for twenty minutes now. "Can you just show me the screen and let ME type in the info? This will go faster," I want to implore. And I'm feeling a little bad. I mean, again, this kid is nice. He's doing his job. He means well. But I'm seriously, ridiculously, completely in no mood to be accommodating. I just wanted to get to the gym and get signed in before the new years rush of people that go to the gym twice for their resolutions and are never seen again.

After what feels like another interminably long time he says, "And what do you usually do when you come to the gym? What's your routine?" I realize that these aren't THE most personal questions in the history of the world. He's not asking me how many sexual partners I've had or when the last time I drank to excess was but it's just more than I can handle at the moment. I recognized that the point of his question is so that he can then tell me about all the wonderful classes they have blah blah so I respond this way, "I do cardio when I come here and some of the weight machines. I am a put on your headphones do not interact with anyone gym goer. I don't do classes, I don't talk to people. I just get in and get out." I actually probably should have let him hand me a class schedule because I am interested in taking classes, but again: no mood.

This last retort is when he likely gives up on me. Which I'm okay with. He finally fills in all the little boxes on the computer screen and gets the membership activated and I am free to, mercifully, go on my way. To get one last workout in before the new year.

Ugh. The gym, man. Just...ya know?

As we start the new year, and my month lay off from gym going means workouts are painful, I offer you a comedic aside on gym going. You're welcome!

May you all have happy and healthy 2012's, where you achieve that goal of supermodel looks. I know I will.

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