Thursday, March 20, 2014

At the Gym

Speaking of New Year’s Resolutions, I joined a NO COMMITMENT gym.  That’s what they call it when you don’t have to pay a fee to leave.  NO COMMITMENT!!  I liked the sound of that.  Plus, they serve pizza on Monday nights AND there is a big bucket of tootsie rolls by the cash register.  I am very, very fond of tootsie rolls.

Tootsie Rolls after a workout -- a perfect idea!

It only costs $10 a month and I am happy to pay the $10 to NOT be committed to going to the gym regularly.  Occasionally, I will drop by and, when I go there, the first thing I do is seek out Vivienne, the on-staff personal trainer.  (I think the name Vivienne is SUPER COOL.  Vivienne. Vivienne. It sounds so exotic.  It reminds me of Chocolat, my favorite food group.)

If I can find Vivienne, she will give me a tour of the gym.  She will tell me WHICH MACHINES to AVOID so I don’t hurt myself.  That’s kind of a personal goal for me.  Once I picked up a free weight and I was sore for a WEEK! 

Avoiding injury is key for an old person who’s exercising.  We don’t mind making limited APPEARANCES at the gym, but we really don’t want to hurt ourselves. 
So one day as Vivienne was wrapping up another equipment tour with me she asked me out of the clear blue sky if I were a white member or a black member?  I’m thinking, has she had a mini-stroke or something?  Clearly I’m WHITE.  Anyone can SEE that!  And so I said, “Vivienne.I’m WHITE.” 

…but she continues.  "For only ten dollars MORE a month, you can get UNLIMITED TANNING and be BLACK..."

I tell her I’ve been white all my life and there’s no sense changing at this late date. 

…but she goes on.

“AND,” she says, “You get access to the hydro-bed and massage machines!” 

Now you’re talking my language, baby!!!  I signed up on the spot and, to sweeten the deal, she gave me a black TEE SHIRT!!!

So now, I’m officially a BLACK member and there’s a special area of the gym where only black members can go and I go there.  I like it so much, I decide to make a special trip sometime JUST TO GO THERE.

All over this gym there are signs painted on the wall.  They say “NO JUDGMENT ZONE.”  So I naively think that means there’s no judgment.  One day, just as I planned, I make a special trip to my no commitment gym not to work out, but to lie on the hydro-bed and sit in the massage chair.  Wooo Wooo Woooo!!!

Wouldn’t you know ON THIS DAY, I run SMACK into a neighbor who’s clearly just finishing up her workout!!  (I know this because I can see beads of perspiration on her forehead.)  She’s going into the special “black members only area” too. 

Well, I’m a talker – shocker, right?  And we get to chitty chatting about people we know and la la la la la.  Too soon our time on these miracle machines is up.  As we are leaving, she looks at me and says, “Chris.  I can’t for the life of me figure out how you can work out and not have ANY SWEAT on you anywhere!!”

What could I say?  

“Good genes.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I just read a survey in the USA Today on clutter:

Q. How long does it take you to clean up the clutter in your house?

A. a) 20 minutes
    b) 40 minutes

    c) 60 minutes

After I'd wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes, I wondered where the (single) author of that survey lives.  A studio apartment?  A monastery?  His parents' basement?  Clearly the originator was a male.  Most females would take over an hour just picking up the make-up in their bathrooms.   

Where could I, personally, live to achieve clutter-free nirvana in under an hour?  A pup tent?  My car?  One of those IKEA apartments that are 200 square feet? 

For me, changing the survey was easier than pondering viable possibilities. 
Decluttering is agonizingly slow and just
bringing in the mail destroys everything. 

More realistic choices would have been:

     a) a month

     b) a year

     c) a decade

     d) all of the above, squared

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Lucky Storm

It's Raining Ice!

We live in South Carolina and yesterday it rained ice for over an hour.  The forecast was for a low of twenty-three.  That's freakishly cold for here.  Freakishly.  And providential for my husband, as it turned out.

Ice on our deck
As it was storming, a box arrived.  For Jerry.  This is only one in a long line of packages that have been delivered lately.  They all contain mountaineering gear - Jerry is planning a summer trip to Mount Rainier so he's acquiring  equipment.  Ice axes, coats and boots have already arrived. This newest box had an ultra-lightweight sleeping bag in it that compresses to the size of a loaf of bread.  (Space and weight are important considerations for mountain climbing gear, or so I'm told.)     

Jerry was jubilant that this sleeping bag arrived on this day.  It's raining ice!  It's going to be cold tonight.  It stands to reason that my husband would want to sleep outside.  This seemed sane to him, I might add.

Warm and toasty outside
I was happy to do my part for the experiment in the form of providing the cushioning between Jerry and the porch decking.  In other words, I let him use my sleeping bag with my yoga mat stuffed inside.  

My sleeping bag keeps me warm(ish) in 50 degree weather if I'm wearing fleecy pajamas.  It weighs more than all the loaves of bread you could fit into a grocery cart. (When I think about it, it might weigh more than the cart itself does.)  The good news is, I did not sleep outside in it and I'm not taking it (or any other gear) to the mountains.  As an added plus, my sleeping bag is a pretty purple.  

As Jerry was getting ready for work this morning, he declared the night a success.  He was quite pleased with himself and the experience, too.  

…and our friends think I'M the crazy one!