Monday, May 19, 2008


OK, so two Fridays ago (Nine-o de Mayo! Yo soy bilingual!) I saw my Gym Crush at, um, the Gym while I was snuggling with my current boyfriend, the bench press. We talked briefly while I imagined his head encircled by the word "dreamy" and considered paint-penning the words "Dr. & Mrs. Gym Crush" on my Trapper Keeper, before he popped his earbuds in and started his actual workout. I was wrapping up my own attempts at exercise, which mainly consists of asking strangers if they're satisfied with their current footwear and seeing how far I can reach into the vending machines.*

I scaled the stairs to the cardio room and scanned the pink 60 point titles on the available vagazines, trying to find one without a cover story about yeast infections. I settled on a recent issue of Ladies' Home Journal, the one with Sally Field and an article about losing 10 pounds in 10 minutes** and climbed onto the elliptical machine. I was debating between programs called "Gluteal 1" and "Gluteal 2" when I saw him walk in. I waved--a goofy exaggerated gesture that would've been perfect if I was a minor-league mascot--but for some reason, he walked over and talked to me while I excitedly showered him with sweat and spittle for the duration of Gluteal 1.

We made our way outside together and stood in the parking lot, trading trivia about our lives until the entire place was deserted save for a man sleeping in his car and a drifter on a bike, who spent the better part of an hour weaving the same wobbly path on the sidewalk, muttering to himself about Jesus.***

He finally dismissed himself after I'd recounted my entire childhood, including the part where I used to strike out at tee-ball. I, of course, raced home to immediately deconstruct the entire conversation, recounting it to Pigpen as he gnawed on my left arm.

Things I Learned About Him Include:

  • He is a proponent of CrossFit, a redonkulous athletic regimen whose daily workouts are named for dead people, quite possibly those who perished while doing the exercises. As far as I can tell, you don't stop lifting weights until you've achieved complete muscle failure and/or start to pee blood.
  • Has a Wayne Campbell-Without-the-Cable-Access-Show living arrangement in his parents' house, one that I would definitely copy if the 'rents and I lived in the same state. They could boxersit The Pig while I spent my Friday nights eating selections from the House of Boyardee, watching Moesha reruns, and trying to harvest my own eggs.
  • We talked about movies and There Will Be Blood came up. He said that he wanted to see it but couldn't take it seriously since Daniel Plainview looked exactly like the guy on the Red Baron pizza box.
Several weeks/days/minutes from now when he would rather eat a handful of roofing nails than speak to me again, I will still bookmark that pepperoni-coated confession as the moment I knew that I liked him.
  • Aaaand the money shot... he reads this site. Thank you, FaceBooksheba for the backstabbery. Import note, import Chuck Taylors into wide open gob.****
I didn't see him again until Thursday, when I stumbled directly into his shoulder as he walked across the lobby of the gym. He gave a quick wave and said hey, but didn't slow down, and I assumed that I'd managed to fuck it up already. Or maybe it was just my t-shirt. My 50 cotton/50 poly was screened with a picture of Jimmy Carter***** and although Mr. Peanut's presidency and my life only overlapped for a couple of months, to him it was probably a pre-shrunk reminder that I'm ancient. Next time, I'll just drag a cotton gin behind me or loudly ask for a refill on my angina medication.

So Crayola me Shocked Pink when he bounded across the weight room on Friday evening and asked [insert Max Weinberg skins work] if I'd like to go see Iron Man. WITH HIM.

He waited for me to say something, idly fiddling with a rope attachment.

"Sure," I said, trying to sound nonchalant even though my aorta was rupturing. "That would be neat!".


I used the word "neat". And then I went home to stitch a poodle appliqué on my skirt.

But he called. And we Iron Man-ned and I tried to listen to him instead of SHARING EVERY THOUGHT IN MY HEAD, especially the ones that involved sopping Robert Downey Jr up with a biscuit.

I only spilled the awkwardsauce once. When the cashier asked him if he was a college student, he said yes and got a discount. She asked me the same question and the words "I wish" tumbled out, a response that meant that she addressed me as ma'am for the rest of the transaction and probably wondered why I wasn't at home plucking stray chin hairs and weeping.

We stayed for Nick Fury and then we were back in the parking lot, making awkward small talk and pushing imaginary pebbles with our feet. At one point he asked why I was still single, which I think he meant in a complimentary way but also could have been interpreted as "What the fuck is wrong with you?". It's the same kind of discerning question I ask when I find a Lacoste shirt at the thrift store and immediately assume that someone died in it.

It's interesting to be on this side of the age divide. I feel like Demi Moore. Or Susan Sarandon. Or Michael Jackson. And I'm increasingly OK with that.

* After months of stretching, I snagged my first bag of Sun Chips and the Y responded by clearing all of the treats off the bottom row. I'm either going to have to start scraping together some change or remove my arm bones.
** I didn't make it to the article but hope the secret was to cut off your own head.
*** He could've been saying "Cheeses". Either way.
**** He Enola Gay-ed me with this BombPop by saying that he didn't know why I'd noted his smile because he could "chop wood with [his] teeth", an observation that is totally false. He has lovely teeth, as opposed to the enamel-coated thumbtacks that jut out of my gums at irregular angles.
***** J-Cart's head is encircled with iron-on letters that read "Politicians Do It With Their Mouths". Yeah.


Reluctant Runner said...

I was really enjoying the whole post until you reminded me that I missed the post-credit Nick Fury teaser. Might have ruined my day, were it not for the introduction of the very useful word "vagazines" into my vocabulary... thanks!

Amanda said...

Feliz diecinueve de Mayo, muchacha. What is worse than showering someone with spittle? How bout laughing so hard that a little snot comes out of your nose? Been there.

Craig said...

Does it make you feel any better that, last year, when pondering the same question that GymCrush asked you after the movie, my answer was that, in general, guys get defensive about women who are funnier than they are.

I hope this goes well for you, then again, it just builds fodder and "experience" for the blog plus.

TheStarterWife said...

Surprisingly, this makes me really crave the following -

2) Crappy pizza
3) Motivation to go to the gym.

(Although I might stab you for likening yourself to Demi Moore while still a member of the 20-Something bloggers.)

Vanilla said...

Wow, I'm so stealing vagazines for my own use. The word not the actual vagazines, that was clear right?

JustinS said...

Don't forget to specify in the prenup which one of you will get custody of the gym if things don't work out.

Not that they won't. Because true love blablabla forever blablaba.

Jamie said...

J-money- you are the only blog I read that I actually laugh out load about!
Love this!

Oh...I just signed up for my 1st marathon so I'll totally be reading for your humorous running stories:)

Ben said...

Geez. Most people who know me in real life really couldn't be bothered to read my blog. Yet, your gym crush manages to find yours?


Felicia said...

Sweet, I love dating stories!! My friends and I went to Hooters this weekend and were addressed as "ma'am" by our 12-yo waitress. Funny she didn't address the male in the group as "sir" since he's the oldest...I'm sure she was just super jealous of our strikingly good looks!

J-Money said...

reluctant runner: Please visit YouTube and you'll find what all the fuss was about. It only lasts about 8 seconds so I was all "Is that it" and then I thought "Sigh. This is just like prom night".

amanda: Oh no. You've given me something new to fear.

craig: You bring up a number of worthy points. I'll do anything to prod my sitemeter skyward.

TSW: Now I just really want crappy pizza. And some Demi Moore movies.

vanilla: Thank you for clarifying. I thought maybe you wanted me to go magjack a year's worth of Cosmo for you.

justins: I get the gym. BECAUSE I SAW IT FIRST.

jamie: Sweet! Please let me know how it goes. Which one are you running?

ben: I think it's because my real name is such a ridiculous jumble of consonants that you can't help but know this is mine. And I force it upon all of my F'book friends.

felicia: That's probably it. She was probably wishing that she could sit and enjoy the wings and not cram herself into the orange band-aid they pass off as a uniform.

Alice said...

You kill me. If I could hire you to write funny things I would. Do you think you could write up a funny math test?

OI said...

I've decided to move from Chicago and into your gym. Prepare to swoon.

Dexter Colt said...

The whole time I was watching "There Will Be Blood" I kept hearing the Magnum P.I. theme music in my head.

Xenia said...

Hilarious! Good luck with the youngin'. And don't be afraid to post his pic, so that we can all be even more jealous of you. ;)

RazZDoodle said...

Golly, that sure sounded like a neat time.

Way to knock one out of the park, J.

Perfectly Shelly said...

So THAT'S why you've been MIA for a REALLY long time...???!!!!

You are forgiven.

I think you are NEAT.

Rachel said...

You are so funny! I probably would've said Neat too when he asked me something. That's a word that comes out of my mouth pretty regularly, though I know that it probably shouldn't.

J-Money said...

alice: It would only be funny in its ineptitude.

oi: YES. I will be camping beside the membership desk until you make your first appearance.

dexter colt: Oh yeah. His mustache was Selleckian in its lushness. Want.

xenia: For serious, there is no reason anyone should be jealous of me, unless you really covet a stack of unpaid bills and a broken toilet.

razzdoodle: I think it was probably only out of the park on a technicality. Like fan interference.

perfectly shelly: No, I have another reason for being gone, which I'll be writing about. It's nowhere near as entertaining.

rachel: Maybe you and I can drive Neat back into popular usage. It's so much better than "whatevs".

surviving myself said...

He wants to rock with you (all niiiiight)
Dance you into day (sunliiiiight)
He wants to rock with you (all niiiight)
You're gonna rock the night away!!!

tmamone said...

Oh yeah, they do look alike! "I drink your milkshake and eat your pizza!"

emily said...

Oh, man. I found myself ogling a guy at the library, last week, until I noticed that he was reading an SAT study guide.

And then the ogling came to an abrupt end while I choked on my own spit.

In my defense, he was a big guy and, uh, the light was bad.

Yeah. Thirtywhat?

My Life My Life My Life said...

Why is it that I can imagine this and I have no clue how your are in real life?! When you are as strange (not saying your strange but I am strange and goofy...see what I mean...oh hell, you get my point...just plain strange) as I am people tend to either laugh hysterically at my antics or sue for sexual harressment. I dont feel so alone anymore...Thanks!

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

Holy shit. Daniel Plainview IS the Red Baron.

Mickey said...

Oh, thanks for the laugh. Go J-Money!

Akwardsauce is so damn tippy. Way to minimize the spillage.

P.O.M. said...

You're a great writer. I need to add you to my blog roll because I love to read your stuff. Dno't know why I didn't before. Probably because I am lame.

Don't you just hate the "why are you still single" question? I hate it so much I might have to dedicate a blog to it.