I’m Losing It
The New Adventures of an Old Gym Predator
My 20-something manicurist gets hit on by the same guy who hit on me – yuck!
-Mary Beth Sammons
In the suburban world in which I live as a single mom of three kids, finding nice, eligible, normal guys to date – or to even think about dating – is a lot like the proverbial needle in the haystack. In real life, there are supposed to be equal numbers of suddenly single princes as suddenly single princesses (i.e., divorced dads for divorced moms). Supposed to be is the key phrase here.
I’ll confess that every once in a while, I crave the fairy tale ending. I’ll be dashing into Whole Foods to pick up dinner for my kids, and a dashing, available, emotionally balanced and healed-from-his-divorce dad will fall head-over-heels in love with me, and all will be well.
But, trust me, these men are hiding somewhere. On the occasion that an available single man crosses my path, the PT (pathetic thing) borderline-creepy signal goes off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, Wow, some woman is really lucky to be over with this.
So it was with much delight last year when who should cross my path on my morning exercise routine but a handsome, recently divorced dad of two with the looks of a Gerard Butler. You know, those dreamy blue eyes and charming smile that melt you. And what was even more delightful was when he started waiting for me at the exit after class. Then, he asked me if I’d be interested in training with him for a triathlon. (It was no problem that I neither swam nor ran at the time.) “Yes, yes,” I responded. Training became dates, and it seemed too good to be true. It was.
Suddenly, in the middle of our run at the gym track, I noticed this 20-something woman staring at us. Actually, she was more like glaring at me and waving at him. I remember him saying, “Wow, someone is checking you out.” I asked who she was, and he shrugged and said, “Aw … just someone I run into sometimes here.” Then the day came when we were running along the track, and she stuck her foot out and tripped me. Seriously. A month later, after many a glare-training session, she approached me, crying, and saying that she was in love with this, well, let’s just call him the Gerard clone.
Turns out the Gerard-ster was indeed dating her, me and probably a half dozen other women at the Y. My running career was born – fast, very fast, away from him.
In the year that has followed, I’ve seen the Gerard clone on several occasions at the gym. Once, he was the recipient of a leg rub from stalker woman. (Yuck.)
But then last week, mid-manicure, the young, 20-something woman who does my nails was regaling her new adventures at her new gym. Some guy, very handsome, but older, she explained, has been hitting on her. “He’d actually be perfect for you,” she said. “He’s more your age.” (Oh, thanks, I thought, smiling.) Except, she went on to explain, “He seems real normal, but there is always this tall, stalkerish woman following him around.” Really, I’m thinking. “What gym do you go to?” Well, turns out, stalker woman – the same stalker woman who tripped me – approached my manicurist, crying that she was in love with this guy and asking her to stop flirting with him. The guy: Gerard clone. So, not only did I meet a creep, but I also met a female stalker of a creep. What a bizarre triangle. And now, my manicurist, just by nature of being a pretty woman working out at a gym, got sucked into the web of these two creeps. I gave her my unsolicited advice: RUN FAST!!!
Yuck, yuck, yuck. Now you know why, when friends ask if date or if I ever meet nice guys at the Y, this is why I fly into a frenzy explaining the multitude of reasons why I am losing it.