Why is it that I always wind up saying what everyone else is merely thinking, but when I do, the other people refuse to back me up and instead look the other way? This has happened more times than I care to recall, but in the interest of brevity and sanity, I will only relate what happened today at the gym.
I was seated on the large mat area on one side of the top floor of the gym. Several other people were already there, all of them young men, all of them quietly stretching, and only one wore headphones. There was one scrawny older guy, standing in the middle of one side of the mat, against the brick wall. He was neither stretching nor wearing headphones. He did, however, have a cell phone affixed to his ear and was speaking loudly into it.
I looked over at him and gave him a blank, even stare, thinking he would get the hint. Several of the young men looked at him and then at me, and when they saw me looking at the guy, I swear I saw their faces agree with me that this guy really shouldn't be on his cell phone. Even if there weren't signs all over the gym saying not to use cell phones, common sense would dictate that the gym isn't the place for you to carry on a conversation if the other person isn't there in actual person form.
So, anyway, my blank stare was met with a blank reaction, and this dolt continued droning into his phone. The young guys were still looking over at him with mild looks of annoyance, and looking at me looking at him. Finally I had it, and decided to let him have it too.
"Excuse me," I said, looking up at him, establishing unwavering eye contact. "Would you please take your phone call out of the area?" He looked back at me but said nothing. He didn't miss a beat of his conversation. I didn't take my eyes from his. Was I talking to the wall beside him?
"Take your call out of the area," I repeated.
"Why should I?" he said.
"Because the signs say so. There are signs all over the gym prohibiting cell phones."
"So?" he said.
"It also happens to be incredibly rude."
"Then don't listen," he said with a toothy sneer.
"I can't help but hear you," I said. "And so can everyone else. No one cares what you have to say."
He stared at me and went back to his call.
"You know, you're a rude son of a bitch," I said, my voice firm. I collected my stuff and stood up. "You are so important," I said. "You are so very important!"
And you know what? The young guys just sat there the whole time. Even though they had been shooting the guy annoyed looks and one or two of them were looking at me as if they agreed with me, none of them said a word. They just sat there like babies hoping their mothers would come by so they could hide behind their skirts.
"Jackass," I muttered, and left the mat area. The infants watched me leave, some of them with slack jaws that looked like they were waiting for a bottle of formula.
One of the trainers was walking toward me, so I told him to tell the man to get off his cell phone. He looked at me blankly too. One of the young guys who had witnessed all the excitement walked by and gave me a sheepish sort of semi-smile. What support.
Amazing how I, the lone woman in the bunch, was the only one with balls.fresh-baked at 03:33 PM