Thursday, August 13, 2009

BloomingtonGirl Gets Kissed by a Complete Stranger

This morning I was at the Y, doing a weight workout. I was on the free weight leg press machine doing my first set when I heard "You must be a very strong lady to be able to lift all that." I finished my reps and turned around. There, standing behind me was an elderly man, neatly dressed in shorts and a golf shirt and a baseball cap that said "World War II Veteran" and had several pins on it. I swung my legs around and faced him. I told him I wasn't all that strong...etc. and then asked him if he was indeed a WWII vet. He said he was and we talked briefly about where he had been stationed. Very briefly. Then he asked, "What's your name?" I told him and he introduced himself with his first, middle and last name, formal and proud as can be. He said, "It's nice to know you." Then, before I knew what was happening, Mr. First, Middle and Last Name WWII Veteran leaned in, put his arms around me and gave me a big fat kiss.

I did my next two sets, a bit flummoxed as you can imagine. He stood behind me the whole time, commenting. It became clear that he was not going to be leaving me any time soon. I didn't want to insult him, but neither did I want a suitor for my workout. Especially one who was clearly heading into some sort of dementia, albeit benign and rather sweet. I got off the machine and Mr. First, Middle Last Name WWII announced that if I could lift that much weight then, "by golly" so could he. I quickly began to remove the weights and suggested that he try it first without weights to get the hang of it. He tried to remove one of the plates but couldn't make it budge. Now, there were a few guys in the fairly empty gym who were starting to stare at us. I got the weights removed and Mr. FMLN WWII sat down and started to try out the machine. I didn't want him to get hurt and I didn't want to have to take care of him, so I suggested that he enlist a professional for help and set out in search of a Y employee to take this man off of my hands.

I found one, but Mr. FMLN WWII had wandered off and had begun to shoot some baskets. Phew.

I resumed my workout without further interruption.

In other news, I wrote and wrote and wrote today but moved my play forward only a little. It was discouraging but I am going to be at it again first thing tomorrow. I WILL finish this play and by the end of September. There. It is written in the book of BloomingtonGirl, never to be erased. A workable draft by the end of September. Come what may.

In other other news, I was thinking today about how when we love people in our lives - really love them - we love them not for their perfection but for their foibles and flaws. I didn't really get this when it was first suggested to me, but the more I think about it and the longer I live, I see it more and more clearly. It is our cracked up humanity that binds us together. We are lucky for this.

Off to exfoliate my tired skin and apply a firming, wrinkle reducing mask whose manufacturers promise will make me appear younger and refreshed. My vanity is one of my very own foibles, Loyal Readers. Don't you just love me for it?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Great, funny, story!

Thanks Joni!