Do you ever get all the way to the gym and realize you forgot your Ipod, your book, your water bottle and then look down to find that you’re still wearing flip-flops? You’ve got the kids with you, so you’re not going back home. Besides, you only came for the free babysitting. It’s not like you’re working out; two miles per hour on the treadmill won’t even break a sweat.
You drop the kids off at “Kid’s Club” for an hour and fifteen minutes of Tom & Jerry and you grab People magazine (which you would never actually buy because it’s complete celebrity trash, but you secretly pour over it with a fine-toothed comb every time you visit the dentist’s office or find yourself without your book at the gym).
You decide to hit the bench press. Mr. Buff-guy-who-spends-way-too-much-time-in-the-gym-looking-at-himself-in-the-celing-to-floor-mirrors comes over and says he needs it.
You say, “Hey! I pay my dues here too, Beefy! I have as much right to this bench press as anyone else.”
Beefy replies, “Lady, you’re laying on it reading a magazine!”
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This doesn’t happen to you? Hmm.
I put the magazine back and head toward the ab machine thinking maybe I’ll do a crunch or two. After adjusting the weights, I look up and see a woman on the stair master wearing a shirt that says “STAND BACK AT LEAST 500 FEET.” I don’t even want to think about what she had for lunch that would cause her to wear a shirt with a warning like that. I quickly move out of her line of fire. I’ll do my crunch another day.
Then I see a middle-aged woman wearing a pair of sweatpants that reads “JUICY” across her butt. I could think of better words I’d rather have on my rear. She may as well just write “Diarrhea!” across her butt.
I realize that working out is futile, but there’s no way I’m picking up the kids one minute sooner than my one hour and fifteen minutes time allotment. I’ll try the treadmill anyway. The good thing about not having my book is that I can’t lose my book mark inside the treadmill like I did last time. The manager spent 30 minutes taking it apart to retrieve it. I was trying to exercise and he was tearing apart the treadmill at my feet. I don’t like sweating that close to people. Good thing I was only going two miles per hour.
Then the vacuum guy comes around. It’s the same bored teenager that always vacuums, and you know he’s never done that at home. I swear he vacuums only when I’m there. I’m his alarm. “Oh, Kate’s here, let me get the vacuum out.” Vroooooooooooom! Vroom! Vrooooooooooooom! How am I supposed to relax and enjoy my hour and fifteen minutes with that thing screaming down my neck?
I see they’re going to begin a class. I consider taking it or just sitting down and watching. I hope it’s mat work, like Pilates, then I can just lay on a mat and finish People magazine. I took a Pilates class at the Y once. Once. Every muscle in my body shook like a volcano building up to erupt. And then I got the giggles: uncontrollable-but-still-trying-to-control-them-giggles. You know what happens when you combine shaky, tensed muscles with restrained laughter. Let’s just say I needed to get me one of those “STAND BACK AT LEAST 500 FEET” shirts. Fast.
I hear they’re doing some aerobic kick-boxing stuff, so I go to the bathroom. I close my stall door and have a seat. I hang out. I still have 45 minutes. I look at the ceiling…the floor. Yuck. I look at the toilet paper dispenser. I remember how there used to be (maybe they still exist) a toilet paper company called Katrin. I always thought it was really close to my name (Katherine) and every time I would find myself in a bathroom with a Katrin toilet paper dispenser I felt special.
When the time is finally up, I go get the kids. The boys are entranced by the violent humor of Tom & Jerry and Autumn is licking a plastic chicken leg. I pry the kids from the TV and toss the chicken leg on the floor. The grossness of her doing that doesn’t even make me flinch. (If you’ve read the Top 10 Grossest Things I’ve Caught My Kids Doing then you know why). We leave “Kid’s Club” and Autumn bolts around the corner while I’m trying to gather the diaper bag. I follow behind to find, in the middle of the gym, that Josiah has tackled her to the floor and Autumn is screaming. Everyone is giving me that “Gosh, can’t you control your kids?” look and I’m thinking No. No, I cannot control them. It doesn’t matter because I just walk past the kids pretending like their not mine giving them the “Gosh, where is the lazy mother of these kids, who obviously can’t control them? look.
We exit the gym and head to the car and to my surprise there is a man unloading boxes at the adjacent store with the word “KATRIN” on the side. And I suddenly I feel special.