Wednesday was busy.
One of the great challenges to this whole endeavor is finding time to be active in between meetings and other social appointments. Last night I had a date for “Beer and Babies,” where a couple of us guys go over to a friend’s house and eat and have a beer…and watch the kids.
It sounds like a case for Child Protective Services, but I assure you it’s not. Mostly because the kids keep you so active you can only get through half a beer before it gets so warm you have to pitch it. Children and their wily ways…
This meant, though, that I had to get to the gym and run between 6-7pm. On the face that doesn’t sound difficult. But in reality, getting out of the office, heading up the stairs to the apartment, getting gym clothes together, resisting the urge to lay down on the couch and stuff my face with stale Christmas cookies, and then getting over to the gym has been known to take me an hour in and of itself.
It’s not because I don’t want to work out. It’s because I really don’t want to work out.
Life lesson for the day: it’s easy to put physical health on the back burner in an already full life. This is one of the reasons Critter and I lift at 6am. It’s the only time “free” on my schedule (technically “sleep” has marked off the time between 6am-7am, but I’ve had to have the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk with sleep lately).
When I get to the gym its absolutely packed. So packed, in fact, that all the treadmills were full of tiny butts and swinging ponytails. And to the guy with the ponytail: Really?
As the stair-climber is really no longer an option until it gets its act together (my thighs shake when I look at it), I was forced to get on the elliptical again. This time I thought I’d be ambitious and do level 15 (out of 20). It was a bad idea. But the guy next to me was on level 4 (no joke) so I made sure to have an audible commentary to myself as I punched it in.
“Let’s see…last time I did 12 and that was waaaaay too easy. This time I think I’ll do…15!” And then I attempted to look at the dude with an ominous face. He, on the other hand, was looking at People magazine.
I put the machine on the “rolling” level (which, as far as I can tell, just means that the bar graph in front of my face rolls…I couldn’t tell a difference in resistance) and began the long descent into endorphin ecstasy.
As I was chatting with a friend earlier in the day, I was alerted to the fact that people at the gym “cruise” each other a lot. This apparently means that they check each other out, doing pass after pass. In fact, I think I witnessed such a cruising earlier in the week, and recorded it in “The Gym is Not for Flirting” post.
But my buddy went on to tell me (I refuse to reveal their name because, really, this whole phenomenon should be embarrassing to even have knowledge of) that when they don’t make contact verbally…or otherwise?…that they post it on Craigslist under the personals column, sub-category: loser. I mean, sub-category: missed connection.
So, being of a researching mind when it comes to health (even relationship health), I checked out the “missed connections” section of Craigslist to see what this was all about. After all, with the frequency I’ve been going to the gym, and the rate that people love to hit on slightly overweight, balding, married men, I was sure to have at least five, maybe more, “missed connections.”
I think I did have one. But I wasn’t sure.
I couldn’t tell because, well, those posts are stupid. Here is a sample from a real entry:
w4m- (toilet store) *No joke. The place of the missed connection was identified as the “toilet store.” I had no idea those were real!*
“Do you want me? One kiss. Could we stop then? What I feel when I’m close to you is unlike anything I have ever felt before, and you haven’t even touched me. Everything is heightened, and I can’t think clearly, except for desire. I wish it would just stop. One kiss”
Is that a “missed connection” or the lyrics to a Wham! ballad?! C’mon…
w4m-(State and Lake Crossing the Street)
” I was with someone else and so were you, but we made eye contact and I knew that I wanted to run into you again. I was the blonde with the ponytail, you had a hat on. This website is super cheesy but thought I’d give it a chance! Hope you felt the same”
Well, a little more description in that one. But let’s break it down for a second. Do you know how many people I may eye contact with a day? True, it’s usually to intimidate them so that they won’t mug me, but I literally see a hundred people I don’t know every day and look them in the eye. Well, the nose. I hate eyes. Can’t tell that story yet…
Oh, and she identifies him as “wearing a hat.” It’s frickin’ winter in Chicago, lady! Everybody and their mother’s got a hat, hood, or helmet on! C’mon…
But the lady is right about one thing: the website is cheesy. Actually, I’d identify it as banal, useless, and about as informative as Ikea directions.
This got me to thinking, though, as I was ellipticizing away. What would a “missed connection” for me look like had someone been writing on Wednesday night?
“Hey, been seeing you there a lot lately. Morning, evening, random hours. It looks like you’re doing everything you can just to fit it in your day. You were looking really hot today with your miss-matched socks, mesh shorts, and t-shirt that said “Hi! I’m Mr. Right” on it. That shirt is funny…in an ironic way.
What color was that shirt? I couldn’t tell, unless “sweat” is a color. You seemed to be pumping away at the elliptical at a pretty quick clip. That’s awesome for level 15! And what was that sound blaring from your ipod? I think it was Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” If so, she’s right, now that I’ve found you.
I sometimes see you working out with a younger, taller, stronger guy. He has tattoos. And hair. I know this is a long shot, but could I have his number? I was the woman walking with the shoes on. I hope you see this!”
Yup, that’s about right.
I gotta tell ya, if your emotional well-being is wrapped up in how many people look at you and want to jump your bones, come sit on my couch and we’ll talk about it. Because, really, if that’s the case, the only missed connection is you with yourself.*
*Yes, cheesy line. But true. I am not responsible for your keyboard if you just puked on it.