This is a post I wrote pre-pandemic. I am looking forward to the day I can return to the gym and these very minor gripes.
Observing human behavior is not only essential for a writer, it’s also absolutely fascinating. Humans are many things including territorial. The first thing I noticed about my aerobics class for seniors was that people have their “spots.” If you, as a newbie try to stand in their spot you have committed an egregious act, and you will be notified in one way or another. For example, the offended person may come and stand right next to you. There’s no way you can exercise that closely, or you’d be smacking each other, so you’d best move. I go into the gym early to get a “spot” in the third row where I have a clear view of the instructor because I like to move in the right direction and use the correct arms and legs. Not all folks can copy the instructor’s movements, or care if they are moving opposite the rest of the folks in the room, and if they are standing up front, it can be sorta distracting when they block my view of the instructor. One day, quite at the last minute, two women I didn’t recognize tried to fit into one space to my left. One turned to me and demanded I move over. No please. No smile. Now I understand their desire to stand next to each other, but seriously?
Humans are diverse in their views of appropriateness. The locker room is a place where some women meet and chat before or after classes. Friendly women, pleasant women. There is one old plump woman who has a different view of modesty than I do (being raised in a Catholic family where modesty was a virtue). This old gal bends and stretches in the nude. I can’t watch a millisecond of it. One day she was standing completely nude chatting with two or three others who were either dressed or in the processing of getting dressed. I couldn’t help but wonder what they thought. Maybe the nude old lady will have to end up in one of my novels.