I REQUIRE ONLY THREE THINGS FROM A MAN: THAT HE BE HANDSOME, RUTHLESS, AND STUPID. --- Dorothy Parker
ONE OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD --Jeepgirl
One of my first bad dates began at the gym.
I was going through the lost and found box, looking for my sweatshirt. It's a disgusting thing that I've had since high school. The cuffs are frayed, there are thumb holes in the sleeves, and it's covered with stains of unknown origin. But for a sweatshirt that's 20-some-odd years old, it's in surprisingly good shape! For wearing to the gym. Every so often, I vacillate between thinking I should throw it away and thinking: "What a quality garment! I can't believe it's still in one piece after all the abuse I've put it through!"
I wear this sweatshirt into the cardio room because they keep it around 55 degrees in there. It's damn cold! But once you get going on a machine and get all heated up, the sweatshirt becomes far too warm. So every day, I come in, get on a machine, peel the sweatshirt off, and throw it on the floor. More often than not, I walk out of the cardio room and forget all about my dear sweatshirt. The next day, I go to the lost and found box, take out my sweatshirt, put it on, and go into the cardio room. Then the entire process starts over again.
On this particular day, somebody else was going through the lost and found box. Let's call him Adam. He said "Hi" and I said "Hi" and he asked me what I was looking for. So I described the entire sweatshirt process to him before I finally extracted said garment from the box.
"That sweatshirt story is funny" he said, "Ha ha ha."
Then he said he'd never seen me in the gym before and I told him I had a weird work schedule and usually came in before work and blah, blah, blah.
(I should say now, that I'm completely clueless. Generally when somebody asks me to go out or something, it seems to come out of left field to me. No matter what was said beforehand. So even though it should seem very obvious where Adam was headed, it wasn't to me.)
When he was asking me about my workouts, and if I used a trainer, and what kind of exercises I performed, I thought Adam was interested in workout ideas. I actually gave him some advice about changing up his own workout. When Adam asked me what I did for work, I figured it was because he was so blown away by my exercise knowledge, he just had to know. Then he asked me how old I was.
"I'm 37." I said.
"Wow!" he said. "I never would have guessed that. I thought you were 28."
"Yeah, I look younger than I am. How old are you?"
"Oh," he said, "I'm 39."
"Wow!" I said, "I never would have guessed that."
"Do I look older or younger?" he asked.
"Well, actually, you look older."
"Is that good or bad?" he asked.
"Well, it's neither good nor bad. It is what it is. Some people look older, some people look younger, some people look exactly their age. Whatever."
(I mean seriously, Joaquin Phoenix looks way older than he is, but I wouldn't throw him out of the car. And? Adam looks nothing like Joaquin Phoenix.)
"Oh," he said, "I guess you're right. Ha Ha Ha."
"Do you want to go out sometime?"
I was completely blindsided by this question. I was wearing my holey cardio sweatshirt and talking about fartleks! Who thinks about dating in these circumstances? And I had absolutely no desire to go anywhere with this guy except in the direction of the legpress machine. But then again, what the hell did I know?
I had spent 6 years with a guy who broke up with me over the phone. Clearly, I had bad judgement. So maybe my best bet was to do the exact opposite of what my initial impulse told me to do. AND -- people were telling me I need to get out and start dating again.
So, I said yes. To a guy who looked, at age 39, vaguely like Keith Richards. To a guy who laughed way too much. At really dumb things. That weren't even funny. To a guy who, as I seem to remember, didn't pull ANYTHING out of a lost and found box that he had spent approximately 30 minutes orbiting. I said yes to a date with Adam.
And, yes, it all went downhill from there.
TO BE CONTINUED....