Thursday, September 30, 2004

Confronting Barbie

I take classes at a local gym, and really enjoy it. People seem down to earth, and I'm often the youngest one in my step classes (which is not saying much).

But a couple of weeks ago, she started coming to classes. Younger. Gorgeous. Slim. Perfect. I know this because I've seen her in the showers. Not a blemish on her, unless you count her tan lines, which are minimal, if you get my drift. (It's taken me weeks to check her out surreptitiously--don't want to go staring in the locker room.)

It's probably all on my side, but things are awkward between us. We don't make eye contact in class or in the locker room, even though she wants to put her step in the same place where I usually put mine, and store her stuff in a locker adjacent to where I park my crap, making it tricky to change (it's a small locker room). I always feel like she's trying to show me up in class--pushing harder, doing all the combinations perfectly. I try to do the same. I end up grossly sweaty. And I've noticed as I get older, I'm stinkier, too.

But today I couldn't stand it any longer. I gave up trying to compete--took out the extra riser from under my step. Didn't get overly sweaty. And back in the locker room, when she was squarely in my way (again!), I spoke to her.

I had to excuse myself to grab my bag. I made some lame comment about us seeming to be in the same place.

And she replied. She has a lovely voice. Something like "we're always together." I had another lame rejoinder, something about good feng shui.

Maybe we'll acknowledge each other in class from now on. Start exchanging pleasantries in the locker room. I need more friends, lord knows. But I don't know if I could bear having a friend as perfect-looking as her--if we ever started hanging out, I think I'd constantly see my imperfect self reflected back.


At 10:50 PM, October 04, 2004, Blogger Rebecca said...

I think there's one such creature in every gym. At least one. And there's no getting around the way it can wreak havok with your ego. But I bet if you get to know her, you'll find that she's really not as good as you think. She's better. (MWAH HAH HA!) Sorry. I meant to say in all seriousness that I wish you could see how much you shine. You. Who you are. Really. You got it going for you. Besides, Billy Collins would NEVER date HER. He'd just write ironic lines about her being flawless but doomed, a Titanic heading out to sea among the treadmills, all her china spotless and her linens crisp, moving full steam toward the iceberg.


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