Maybe its that state of physical exhaustion or that moment of vulnerability that comes with half nakedness, scale weighing and cellulite inspection — but I’ve noticed total stranger ladies sharing such oddly personal details in the locker room at the gym. But me – I’m usually just quietly eavesdropping on their lives, learning about their trials and victories beyond the walls of the gym, including every diet they’ve ever been on — even though I don’t know much of anything else about them, including usually their names or their stations in life.
In fact: While I was getting dressed at the gym, a woman I don’t know volunteered to me the number of days until Valentine’s Day – 4, not counting today. Personally, this is a made up day that for years has meant only things for my children – chalky heart candies and stuffed bears, red boxes of chocolates and homemade cardboard boxes filled with tiny note cards of Valentine wishes.
But for this woman – and yes, she actually giggled – it was all about her husband’s gift to her: he was going to have her name engraved on her very old but much beloved standing mixer. They had been married for 19 years, she said and he was still romantic. I tried not to let my inside armchair cynic stand up – because though it wasn’t going to be a surprise and it hardly seemed romantic, she was still gleeful – and who was I to judge 19 years of married life? I smiled and told her that was really sweet and nice. Two words that rarely cross my lips, to be honest.
In any case, in that half dressed moment, I was actually deeply glad to be reminded that there are indeed people who find love – a simple and delightful love – in others and can still celebrate it in the most ordinary of ways.
They probably don’t even need a holiday – I guess I do, though. At a minimum, it’s a reason to keep going back to the gym.