Friday, March 13, 2015

Out and About with Cheryl: There Are Robots Among Us.

It's been awhile since my last Out and About Edition, where I chronicle various bizarre/ funny/ quirky goings on as I encounter people in various stores and places I go as part of my very exciting stay-at- home-mom life.

1. So every couple of weeks I rotate where I go grocery shopping, mostly based on what kind of stuff I need to buy.  A few weeks ago I was in the checkout line at Shop Rite, a store I truly love, though only shop at maybe two of the four weeks of every month.  Some of the checkout girls are familiar to me, like my favorite older lady who clearly is a smoker and unintentionally talks way louder than she needs to and is always very wistfully disappointed with me when I tell her I do not, in fact, have any coupons this week. ("Any coupons today?" she asks, hopefully. "No, none today," I answer. "Oooohhh," she says, sighing and dropping her shoulders as though my groceries will now cost HER more money.)  Others I am not really familiar with.

I was checking out maybe a month ago when a girl I vaguely remember seeing there before greets and I smile and greet her back.  I try really hard to be pleasant and present with my checkers because I'm guessing a lot of people just kind of ignore them.  Well, she sort of looks at me funny and says, "Well, I haven't seen YOU in a while! How have you been?" aaaaall friendly-like, and I instantly get a stomachache because 1) I don't know her; 2) It is clear she thinks she knows me; and 3) I am afraid she has mistaken me for someone else and I am going to have to at some point gently correct her mistake.

Whereas I am all hesitant at this point, she is happy to have an audience and launches into an incredibly detailed story abut how she has found a MUCH BETTER JOB than this one, with MUCH BETTER PAY, and she starts in a few weeks and she wishes she could just quit here but they called her in and she doesn't want to leave on bad terms, you know what I mean, and I smile and nod and try not to engage.

When I am finally done and check out and bagged up, I smile and tell her "Well, good luck!" and scoot on out as fast as I can.  And before she asks me for my phone number so we can keep in touch.

Ironically, I was at the same store yesterday and saw her.  Maybe the new job didn't work out after all.

2.  I have been going to the Y regularly for a few weeks now, and have had fun challenging myself to try new machines and new classes as I start to lose the 30 pounds I have gained since my dad was diagnosed and Alec's brain went a little kooky.  I call it my Grief and Anxiety weight, and I will be more than thrilled to lose it.

I have tried yoga classes, Zumba classes, Nia classes, strength building classes, stair climbing machines, my old favorite friend the elliptical, treadmills, the indoor track and bikes.  I have enjoyed it and it has nicely filled my time and energy for the last few weeks.

The Y I go to is large and busy, and filled with people of all shapes, ages and sizes.  It does seem to skew a bit older during the day while I am there with the other mommies who either have all their kids in school or take advantage of the childcare offered.  So there are a few classes that are mostly filled with women generally between the ages of 60-80, and I like those classes because I feel like my out-of-shape-ness will be generally ignored.  Or let me say that I myself am less self-conscious around the nice old ladies.

So I took a Zumba class that is actually called Zumba Gold because it is for people in their golden years.  I had never tried Zumba before, but I am mildly coordinated and love music, and am about 25 years younger than who the class is targeted for, so I figured I should make out pretty well.

Holy crap.

I was ridiculous.

I could barely keep up with the teacher, so I instead stared at a 75 year old woman dancing in front of me and did what she did.  And after the 45 minutes, I looked with great awe at her as she was completely dry and energized by her dancing, clapping and smiling, and I was a hot sweaty puddle of exhaustion.  How is this possible? As I trudged upstairs after the class to do a little more on the elliptical (I'm telling you... its an affair I'm having), I looked downstairs and saw some of my Zumba Gold classmates calmly sitting down together drinking hot coffees and chatting.  I was stunned.

Then yesterday I took a class for the first time called Women on Weights.  This class is right after the yoga class I usually take, so I see the Women on Weights ladies lining up waiting for yoga to end and their class to start.  They look even older to me, and some of them are these wispy, thin, frail little things that I could probably throw over my ample German-peasant stout thighs and snap in half.

Once again, I grossly underestimated them.

As I am using my puny 6 pound weights in the class, struggling to do all the moves and keep up and am dripping- DRIPPING- all over my mat, sucking down my water and exhausted, once again I see my older classmates, these little wisps of things, who are pleasantly and kindly following every direction, dry as a bone, and the only thing they even begin to mention is that its a bit tough for them to keep having to get up and then get back on the floor to do a move on the mat.

On my way out, I have to actually sit down and rest in the lobby.  And as I am thinking about this experience, I come to only one conclusion:

They are robots.

Friendly, pleasant, gentle, silver-bobbed-haired, dry-as-a-bone robots.

There is no possible other explanation.

So watch out, people who live in my town.
They are all around us, watching us, learning our habits and routines, and embarrassing those of us who maybe are a bit out of shape and prone to sweating.

Be alert, and keep exercising.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry had NOTHING on you, my dear daughter! You are a riot! These older ladies probably have money and have been doing these classes for YEARS and are used to them! You will do better with practice! I adore you and so look forward to reading your blog entries-they are adorable! Love from Mom

Anonymous said...

Cheryl.....you crack me up....I think your explanation makes perfect sense....I'll be on the lookout for those robots in W'burg! Love, LW
(I'm now going to check the box that says "I'm not a robot"!

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