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How I Flubbed A Gym Flirtation

How I Flubbed A Gym Flirtation

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Lovelies:

 

My weekend was, for the most part, pretty quiet. Perhaps the only thing worth reporting happened on Friday. Early in the evening, I swung by the Celebrate Brooklyn show to see my dear friend Olli (whom I've been tight with since college) and a band I dig called Deer Tick (from Providence, RI). Olli is one of the producers of the CB concert series, so we got to sit in the very comfortable VIP section while Deer Tick kicked the hell out of their set. Amazing vocal harmonies, heavy guitar licks, and just a wonderfully gritty yet soulful blues-rock sound. The chubby drummer with his huge beard looks like Jon Belushi did during The Blues Brothers. And the lead singer, with his thick blonde moustache, looks like a highway patrolman from the Starsky-and-Hutch-era ... in a good way. 

 

A side note:

Possibly the best part of the show happened when Lead-Singer-Dude invited his "friend" Nicki Darling (of Those Darlins) up on stage to sing a duet with him. After they finished, he said, "Nicky, can you please take your boot off?" She obliged. He got down on one knee and took her foot on his thigh to remove her sock. "Uh," he said, in this very deadpan way he has, "I got you a toe ring." Everyone laughed. He put it on her. And then he said, "I have this crazy question, Nicki: Will you marry me?" ... And they got engaged! Right there on stage, in the bandshell spotlight! Under the Brooklyn stars. It was pretty awesome. 

 

* * * 

What the hell is the point of today's post going to be?

 

Good question. I swear, I am getting to it. 

 

I left the concert around 930pm. There was a party in Gowanus, and a friend's band was playing at Lit Lounge on the Lower East Side ... but many of my cronies were out of town this weekend so I would've had to have gone to the party alone, which I didn't feel like doing. I also wasn't in the mood to bike all the way to the Lower East Side to hang out in a crowded club either. So I headed home ... and stopped by the gym on the way so that I could pack a little more value into my night, by squeezing in a work-out. 

 

Of course, I was feeling pretty un-engaged and extremely single and quite loser-ish, being at THE GYM, by myself, at 10pm on a FRIDAY night.

 

Regardless, I hit the locker room to change into my little pink-and-green short-shorts and a T-shirt. (I almost NEVER wear shorts in the gym because my legs are whiter than skim milk--and I don't want anyone to come down with eye cancer after looking at them. But it was late, and the gym was deserted, and it's the dead of summer, so I figured I could get it away with it.) Once I was suited up, I trooped over to the Summit Trainer, my favorite cardio machine. Since time was tight, I didn't bother to put my stuff into a locker; I just plunked my tote bag down on the floor in between myself and the handsome dude on the treadmill next to me.

 

A quick note about the handsome dude: I've been seeing him in the gym for the whole two years I've been going there, and we have never so much as exchanged a glance. Or, at least, I've stolen a few secret glances at him, but have always assumed he more or less literally had no idea that I exist.

 

Anyway, I started getting my work-out on ... and couldn't resist checking myself in the mirror--I mean, it's write there, a whole WALL of reflective glass, smack-dab in front of you. But when I saw myself, I was appalled: I looked like a clown! The make-up I'd put on for the concert was still firmly in place, but under the bright lights of the gym, it looked terrible. My foundation looked like it was the color of asbestos--truly, a ghostly shade of pale--and my dark pink lipstick looked clownish. My eyebrows seemed darker than usual, and more arched, too, and my mascara was starting to smudge a little under my eyes. I looked ready to try-out for the Community Players' production of Batman--auditioning for the role of The Joker, of course.

 

Oh dear. 

 

I tried to tell myself to relax, that almost no one was around, and anyone who was had better things to do than think about my striking resemblance to a circus clown. I'd just opened my book*, so I could distract myself with a little Chekhov, when I happened to look down and notice my TURQUOISE BRA, laying on top of all my other stuff in my bag. Where it was PERFECTLY VISIBLE TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.

 

Or, at least, to Handsome next to me.

 

I snuck a peek at Handsome to see if he was completely horrified by the fact that my undergarments were on full display ... and that's when he leaned over, curling his finger at me in a "come here" way.

 

I leaned over nervously. "Yes?"

 

"Don't take this in the wrong way," he started. "But ..."

 

Oh my God. He was going to tell me TO REMOVE FROM HIS SIGHT THAT LUDICROUS THING I'D GOTTEN FROM THE CLEARANCE BIN AT VICTORIA'S SECRET.

 

And he was going to add that he hoped he'd never, ever have to see anything like it again, as long as he lived.

 

But no!

 

In fact, he said: "It's really hard to focus with you working out next to me."

 

THAT MUST BE BECAUSE MY SHITTY BLUE-GREEN BRASSIERE--WITH PROTECTIVE UNDERWIRE!--IS STARING UP AT YOU! I thought. I WILL IMMEDIATELY THROW IT IN THE TRASH BIN AND WEAR ENORMOUS GRANNY UNDERWEAR FOR THE NEXT SIX DAYS AS MY PENANCE!

 

But what I said was, "Oh, shoot, really? I'm sorry. What's the problem?"

 

"I just can't keep my eyes off you," he said with a smile. "So if I fall when I'm trying to run, don't blame me."

 

"Okay," I said, still a little confused, my face still twisted with fear and apology.

 

And then I realized: he was flirting with me.

 

Finally, I smiled awkwardly.

 

By then, he'd already turned up the speed on the treadmill and had started to jog.

 

So what did I do? I held my book STRAIGHT up in front of my nose, like a total dork--and I do mean straight up, with my hand extended in front of my face.

 

I HAD NO IDEA IF I SHOULD LOOK AT HIM, OR NOT LOOK AT HIM, or what.

 

I tried to read. I read the same three lines** over about sixty bazillion times. I was still reading them about ten minutes later, when he got off the treadmill and left.

 

And that was that.

 

Did I screw that up?

 

But how ELSE could I have handled it?!

 

How would YOU have handled it, ladies? 

 

To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I think maybe he didn't say it in the hopes of asking me out; maybe he just wanted to pay me a compliment. And I will say that the idea dating someone from my gym still makes me nervous, as I spend way too much time there.

 

Regardless, he totally, totally made my day, my weekend, my month!

 

Here's a question for the dudes: What would you be after if you said something like that to a chick at the gym? 

 

One last thought: Not that I'm complaining, because I'm not. But I do think that pick-up lines like the one delivered by Mr. Handsome are a bit too forward and direct. They don't leave much room for follow-up. In my case, clearly, I was so bowled over with the thrill and delight of it that I had no idea how to respond. So--as much as I do love blatant compliments--I think a better way to pick someone up is by using a line that invites conversation, as sexpert Judy Dutton mentioned here.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

* The Lady With The Lap Dog and Other Stories 

** "There was a watermelon on the table. Gurov cut himself a slice and began to eat it slowly. At least half an hour passed in silence."

 

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dear commenters: hello! and dawn, thank you for reading and letting me know you relate! also, christina: do you have extensive experience dating pilots? fill us in!

 

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