My Sweaty Observations of Men

My natural inclination today at lunch was to stay at my desk – not because I love to work through lunch – not at all – but to a) write out birthday cards to avoid being even more late in getting them to their recipients; and b) to avoid exertion and sweat on this hot July day. But instead I went to the gym. I had a good workout and felt refreshed afterward, but, more importantly, I learned 3 important things about men:

1. Polite behavior is not a prerequisite to sweating beside other human beings. It felt like 100 degrees in the gym, so I asked the 2 guys on the machines behind me if I could turn on a fan. They both looked relieved at this suggestion and replied with a resounding “yes.” (Apparently, it is unmanly to admit you don’t like to sweat through your shirt, or else I assume these college-educated co-workers would have flipped the switch themselves.) The fan was on no more than 3 minutes when another guy (also recognized as a fellow employee, whom I do not personally know) walks in, goes straight to the fan and shuts it off without a word or acknowledgment of anyone around him. Apparently, he had to read the paper and didn’t want the wind blowing on it. I would have traded my less-windy location for his, but HE DIDN’T ASK ME. Apparently his head was too far up his ass to notice that I was shooting daggers at him with my eyes. I only had a few minutes left to go on the elliptical, so I let it go and let the sweat roll.

2. Polite behavior always trumps odd TV choices. On the flip side of #1, I was reassured that some men can be polite. One of the guys who liked the fan (but strangely did not offer to beat up the guy who turned it off) had earlier asked me if I was watching one of the 3 TVs in front of us. I said no, feel free to change the channel. He changed it and, after much channel surfing and deliberation, landed on TNT and the show Judging Amy – without sound. Maybe he digs Amy Brenneman, the lead actress. Or maybe he digs Lacey. Either way, I thought it was a weird TV choice for a man in his 30’s or 40’s, but at least he had manners. Manners matter.

3. Never stand near a man and his new sound system. After I was done shooting evil looks from the elliptical machine I decided to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes. At the same time, the spinning class and Cher-like techno-pop music started next to me. The instructor was testing out his new microphone and headset and the sound system installed just minutes before. I’m not sure if it was his music or my music that hurt more: I tried to block out the pain of feeling my internal organs shatter to his beat by turning up my headphones to eardrum-shattering levels of OK Go, Joss Stone, Norah Jones, you name it. I wouldn’t normally listen to Norah while exercising, but I thought it might be calming. Let me assure you, not even my favorite, Come Away with Me, is calming at those decibels. Cher trumped it all.

I learned a fourth thing about working out and men…but that falls into one of the Embarrassing Dating Tales of Susan’s Past. You’ll just have to stay tuned this week to read up on that one 😉 .

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2 thoughts on “My Sweaty Observations of Men

  1. I’ve been meaning to ask for advice on my own blog about a certain effect of working out while being a man — specifically, the proper etiquette to follow when the human body performs a naturally-occuring phenomenon while doing crunches or other abdomen-compressing exercises.

    I’m assuming that said phenomenon never happens to women. Only men. Actually, as far as I know, only to me. But I need some advice to follow for when it happens.

  2. Bob, you are correct that women do not pass gas, burp, sweat excessively or emit any other offensive odors or noises, ever. The X chromosome has biologically programmed us to be ever so ladylike at all times. Therefore, based solely on my heightened sense of empathy for your plight, I can only advise you to always work out next to another male, so you can blame any “phenomenons” on him (like a car hiding from the cop’s radar gun by traveling next to a 18 wheeler). Or just run away. If you buy a pass card rather than a full membership, you can travel from gym to gym at different times to avoid showing your face to the same group of people. However, I’d be interested to see what other advice you get on your own blog…

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