Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mine, Mine, Mine!

187.6 lbs. I’m still bowled over at being out of the 190 bracket.

Seen in the locker room: a woman (not a teenaged girl or young twenties. I’m estimating late thirties) wearing knee high cordovan leather, buckled riding boots combined with a seafoam gauzy spaghetti strap top (and not much under that). I’ve seen a lot of boot misuse in Los Angeles (Ugg boots - which are a crime against fashion in the first place – with shorts, on a 90 degree day in July, under a miniskirt, on unsuspecting toddlers) but I think this one wins. Yes, it makes a fashion statement: “I can’t dress myself.”

Twelve years ago, when the first in a series of three abominations calling themselves “Star Wars, I, II and III” was released, I got a ticket to the midnight show, expecting to be as delighted and awestruck as I was in 1977 (Was I? I called them “abominations.” Care to guess?). The theater was filling quickly, I had chosen my seat and there was a guy who set himself up two seats over from me. He excused himself to get popcorn, leaving his jacket behind. A couple came in and the only two empty seats in the area they chose were the two on either side of the one with the jacket. The girl started to move the jacket so they could sit together and I told her that someone else had taken that seat. She got huffy and told me, “I have a right to sit where I want.”

Before the next person says, “I have the right,” I want him or her to pull out a copy of the Constitution and show me where it says you have the right to disrupt other people’s lives with your self-absorbed behavior. Educate me. Here, you can borrow my copy.

Here’s the thing: a ticket or a membership is a license (as previously discussed) to enter and enjoy certain privileges in a facility. It is not ownership. You are a guest. In the case above, the ticket was a license to see the movie, not a guarantee to a particular seat (if you want that, go to an Arclight Cinema). A country club member does not own the golf course, but so long as he pays his dues (continues the license), he may come play golf, use the locker room and get drunk as a skunk after 18 holes while he tries to figure out how to tell his wife he just lost $500 on a golf game.

Saturday was National Douchebag Day at the gym. Somebody call George Romero because today was “Return of the Douchebags.”

The space used for classes is frequently used by people to stretch, warm up or pick up each other. There is a class that uses barbells, which are kept in the room, locked. Unfortunately, not all of the teachers lock the room and items are removed to the free weight area or just removed.

Today, when the usual suspects for yoga were choosing spots and laying out mats, there were two people at the back of the room using weights (from the free weight area, in a twist). We expected them to leave as the space was about to be used for its designated purposes, a class taught by gym personnel.

They didn’t.

When Lila approached them about leaving, the girl snottily told her, “It’s my gym.” The two of them left halfway through the class when we were supposed to be focused. Disruptions and yoga don’t mix: you’re in Pigeon and get startled, that groin is going to get pulled. Ugly, ugly stuff.

But wait, there’s more.

As we were in Downward Dog with right heels up over our heads (not the easiest pose to hold), a youngish man came in. Lila sweetly asked him if he was part of the class (I don’t this woman knows how to be a bitch. She should have asked me to step in and help out). He told her no, he wanted a barbell. She told him to wait until later, couldn’t he see the class in progress. He gave her lip and to restore peace, she let him take the barbell, which he left outside the classroom for someone else to put away when he was done.

When I went to the aqua area locker room to change for the steam room, there were used towels and empty water bottles scattered around the room. Despite a sign stating rules to the contrary, someone brought their soap into the Jacuzzi and most of the steam room occupants were in their workout clothes, no showers prior to entering, busily texting or listening to an excessively loud IPod. If the manufacturers of electronics are smart, they will put a “no condensation” clause in their warranties to deal with the losses from utter idiots coming within a hair’s breadth of actually dunking their electronics in water. Then wondering why the item quit.

America, I say this with love: GROW THE FUCK UP.

You are not toddlers, therefore “Mine, mine, mine” should not be part of your mindset. And unless your name is “_____ Fitness,” then the gym is most assuredly, NOT YOURS.

Not everything you do is special and wonderful and entitles you. If that was the case, there would be bidding wars on Ebay for your shitty diapers and you wouldn’t have needed student loans to get through school.

The world at large is not your indulgent, spoiling parents. The rest of have lives, allergies, dislikes and you are NOT the center of our little universes. Disrupting a class for no VALID reason other than, “But I just…” is the kind of behavior you see in high school. One presumes that by the time you’ve graduated high school, you are somewhat closer to being an adult and functioning member of society than you were when you went in. It’s a whole new pond and you are no longer the big fish. Act accordingly.

Speaking of indulgent, spoiling parents: unless you got a membership for your mom, she will not be cleaning up after you at the gym. Presumably, you were taught to put dirty clothes in a hamper and trash in the appropriate container. Guess what? YOU CAN STILL DO THAT!!!! Yeah! Gyms have tubs and big signs that say, “Put your used towel here” and trash cans and recycling containers that are marked as being for trash and recycling! The guesswork has been removed and you can clean up after yourself with confidence, knowing that one of the burdens of adulthood, making good choices, has been made easier for you! Wow!

By the way, the rules for the steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi (bathing suits, don’t add anything, shower before using, don’t bring toiletries into, etc.) are not there just to end your good time. There’s this thing called a “health code” and it dictates a lot of these rules. You violating them gets the gym into trouble, possibly fines and shut down. Plus, coming into the steam room or sauna directly from the free weights magnifies your sweaty pungency. Your manly funk. In other words, you stink up the joint and make it unpleasant for the other users. And the mold that grows on your clothes from wearing them into the steam room stinks.

Way back when, when we were hunter gatherers, the success of the group depended on the individuals working together (this is that evil known as “socialism.” Based on her statements, Sarah Palin is a hunter, not a gatherer, unless it’s a free wardrobe. Or a speaking engagement fee).

The next time you’re tempted to say, “I have a right” or “I’m entitled” or “But, I just…”, stop, check Ebay on your malfunctioning IPhone and see if there’s an active auction of your shitty diapers. If not, then just shut the fuck up.

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