There’s something I’ve noticed at my gym, and it’s that the women in the locker room exhibit behaviors I’ve not seen in other gyms I’ve frequented. Okay, maybe some behaviors I’ve seen before, but certainly not to the extent that I’ve seen in this locker room. Perhaps my gym has made its locker rooms a tad too comfortable. Perhaps it’s just the downtown gym vibe. Regardless, here’s just a smattering of the strangeness I see almost on the daily:
1. Extended phone conversations: The locker room has these squishy square seats near the lockers, which I assume are actually for putting down a purse or bag, or maybe sitting to do your makeup in front of the mirrors. However, some women seem to find them so comfortable that they engage in lengthy phone calls…from the comfort of a locker room, that is teaming with other women trying to change, get ready, blow-dry their hair, and all sorts of other activities that I would find terribly distracting if I were on the phone. And when I say lengthy phone calls, I mean it. I’ve even left for my workout while women are talking on the phone only to return after my workout to find them exactly where I left them. Maybe they’re talking to different people, but that’s still, like, 35-45 minutes of phone conversation in a locker room.
2. Have full blown conversations with each other while naked: Women seem to really enjoy talking to each other in locker rooms, and being naked seems to be no obstacle to conversation. I suppose it’s a good thing to be so confident that you don’t give a f&^k that all your lady bits are hanging out (i.e. maybe I am just too repressed), but many of these women at my current gym are also co-workers. I know this because they are very loudly gossiping with each other about their workplaces. I can say with certainty that I’ve spent most of my career avoiding seeing my coworkers naked, and that includes the coworkers I’ve considered very good friends.
3. Eating…full meals: Eating in a locker room is akin to eating in a bathroom, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, the locker room is clean as far as locker rooms go, but it’s not the most appetizing place to consume a full meal. Once, I even saw a girl eating her lunch on one of the stools that faces the mirrors with bright lighting meant for applying makeup, just staring into her own empty eyes as she shoveled food from a Tupperware into her mouth. To that I can only say: WTF.
4. Working on their laptops: Okay, I can’t definitively say they were working on their laptops, but they are doing something more than just looking up a quick piece of info. There is a big different between looking something up on your phone and hanging out on your laptop. In fact, that difference is an abyss. And, much like with the phone conversations, these laptop sessions aren’t always short. I’ve showered and gotten ready for work and watched women do whatever they’re doing on their laptops the whole time. Surely this can’t be just for the free wifi. Or the comfy stools.
5. Hang out in the lounge area: Yes, I said lounge area. My gym has this back room, one with no lockers, no mirrors, no mechanisms whatsoever for getting ready or showering or do anything remotely related to being at the gym. It is just a room with plush chairs and couches, and a tv. It’s like a posh dorm common room. Its presence alone is inexplicable. Even more inexplicable is the number of women who appear to legitimately hang out there. Back in the days when I’d spend an hour and a half at the gym, it wasn’t uncommon for me to see the same person in there from the time I arrived until after I was gone. Sometimes, these women gave no visual clues that they’d even worked out. They were often in street clothes, with fully styled hair and makeup and had no gym bag with them. Are they escaping bad roommates or spouses? Are they really into cable television, because, let’s face it, no one has cable at home anymore? The potential explanations are both limitless and puzzling.
All I know is that I seem to be an anomaly in my locker room. I’m the girl who gets ready as quickly as possible, who faces the locker when she changes, who never says a word to anyone, and who’s not once sat on the plush stools and chairs. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe if I had experienced their delicious comfort firsthand, I would end up spending hours on the phone in the locker room too…