Dear Condo Clubhouse Gymlet Gazelle Woman:
You know who you are. Or, actually, maybe you don’t. The purple racing stripes on your Nike Super-Duper Optimum Performance Women’s Extreme Running tank top perfectly match the purple racing stripes on your impossibly short purple running shorts. The shorts show off your lean, naturally tanned, freshly shaven legs. The pink ribbon in your perfectly smooth ponytail bounces along in a flawless bow, laughing a silent laugh. Up and down and down and up. There is no tan line on your slender, defined arms. Your pink running shoes and pink and purple socks pull the outfit together in a seamless display of health and beauty. Your makeup is flawless with no errant runniness and I can’t even hear you breathing as you glide along, a soundless gazelle on the best treadmill of the two in our little gym (hence, gymlet).
Your white earphones don’t budge from your ears and your head barely moves as you read your iTablet or Enotebook or iNook, whatever one of those fake books is called-- as slim as paper and something I would misplace in a heartbeat. Your cheeks are the perfect amount of rosy, enough to show you’re exercising, not so much to make you look like a wheezing tomato. Your fingernails are perfectly rounded and clean. You probably sweat peppermint and lavender. Your sleek perfection makes me consider my appearance—something I don’t do often enough.
My shoes are gray and off-pink. When I picked them up at Kohls four years ago they were real pink and a little big for me, but on sale. My socks don’t match each other, but I tell myself the color difference between the pale yellow stripe at the top of the right sock and the pale pink stripe at the top of the left sock is barely noticeable. The lighting in the gymlet is harsh and probably no one is looking at my feet anyway. If they are then that means they’ve seen my legs which I haven’t shaved for awhile and whose appearance would be much more of a spectacle than mismatched socks. But I have blonde hair on my legs so you totally can’t see it.
My shorts are old black mesh shorts from softball from nearly 12 years ago. The elastic at the top cracks when you pull it and doesn’t snap back. Thank goodness for a sturdy drawstring. I never remember to buy new shorts. My T-shirt is two sizes too big—a dull gray Old Navy St. Patrick’s Day shirt from 2001—with holes that are so tiny surely no one can see them, and some small bleach splatters. I have other shirts, but they’re in my drawer under the ones I always wear so I never think about wearing them. Should I care? Nah. My fingernails have glitter glue specks under them.
My hair is at that horrible length that doesn’t stay in a full ponytail when I run so I only put the top part up and leave the back-of-the-neck part down. It probably looks like an awkward 8th grader who’s trying too hard to be peppy. When I left the house I forgot to grab a hair tie but luckily there was a rubber band in the pocket of my coat, so I used that, its elastic ripping my hair as I apply it. I catch a whiff of non-descript crockpot meal on my coat as I hang it up. I turn on the TV, find TLC, and begin jogging. My earphone falls out, distracting me almost enough to do a face plant on the gymlet’s slightly inferior treadmill. I regain composure and start down the road toward wheezing tomato-ness.
Anyway, all I wanted to say to you was that you dropped your purple sweatband.
That Mom or Whatever