Why do people go to the gym? To exercise perhaps, to make new friends or even to find a new significant other?
Until yesterday I’d never thought about it – I would simply have said exercise. The only chance I get to swim and use my gym membership is really during my children’s swimming lessons when I do as many lengths up and down the pool as I can manage.
And then I squeeze in a couple of extra length while my kids shower off at the side of the pool.
Each time I get to the end of the pool I check the kids are OK and whether or not they are ready to get out of the shower.
So yesterday I’m powering up and down (Ok taking it easy with some leisurely breast stroke) and there’s a guy standing at the end of the pool in the water doing some limbering up. And each time I talk to the kids, he says something to me which I can’t understand because I’m deaf and he’s not English.
But I take it to be something along the lines of:
“Aren’t your kids cute”
or maybe: “I’ve got a son that age” and so I smile politely and kind of nod and swim back up the pool.
So the final time I stop next to him and say, “Ok kids it’s time to go, let’s get out now” and this guy is still limbering up and he says, clear as a bell:
“You know, I really, really fancy you.”
I stutter slightly and am truly lost for words.
Remembering my manners after what seems like ages I reply:
“Er, I guess I should take that as a compliment. Ummm. Thank you.”
And he says: “Are you single?”
And I say , apologetically “No, I’m married and I have two children.” And I point at the children, whom he cannot have failed to notice as I have been talking to them on and off ever since he got in the pool.
(Please note, if you read yesterday’s post, that I point out that I am attached nice and early!)
“Oh,” he says looking really quite crestfallen which I cannot understand, given that he is quite attractive and unbelievably fit (and I know this as he is only wearing a pair of swimming trunks) and I am almost certainly older than him – and a lot less fit than almost every other woman who uses the gym (because I don’t actually use it!)
So I try to cheer him up.
No, I do not give him my phone number – lesson learned and I should point out that “boyfriend” and rival of shoe-shop boy became “husband” many years later!
But I tell swimming boy that I have lots of single friends – and smile in an optimistic, give-me-my-medication-now kind of way.
“No,” he says I think rather more sorrowfullly than is necessarily, “I’m only interested in you. Adding perhaps a little more realistically: “I don’t know why. I don’t know what it is.”
I can only agree. Because those of you who have met me will know that although I may look Ok in low light with makeup on, I am not the fresh faced mannequin that you see at the top of my blog. And on this occasion I am almost naked (not in a good way) with slightly red eyes from the chlorine and deep goggle marks round them as if I was being marked up for a eye-lift. In addition, I am wearing a saggy swimsuit where the lycra has given up and the foam cups have gone off message, so by the end of a swimming session I look as if I am the victim of a junior surgeon’s first attempt at breast implants.
And yet he repeats “I just fancy you so much.”
At this I recover my senses, say “It’s nice to have met you” and “come along children,”and climb out of the pool trying to pull my drooping swimsuit down over my thighs – until I realise I’m now exposing even more of my boobs and their foam companions.
Now I know you are thinking: he must say this to everyone he meets and sometimes it must work. And I agree. But if I’d taken him up on it he would have had to shag me! No? What was he thinking?
Or maybe someone, who knew I was feeling a little bit down, paid him.
Whatever. Once I was safely out of sight, I laughed and laughed. Not at him, poor misguided man (maybe he wears glasses when he’s not swimming and I was all a blur) but more at myself and the very rare event of me being absolutely speechless!