Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who I See at the "Y-M-C-A..."

Now that spring has arrived, I am looking forward to spending a lot less time walking on the track at the Y and instead be walking outside in the park, as long as weather permits.

When walking at the Y, there isn't much to see while going around and around the indoor track.

I don't think the folks at the Y would want me snapping their pictures while they are trying to exercise.  Instead, I thought I'd post some character sketches of them I have composed in my head while walking and observing them. 

"Mutt and Jeff" are at the Y nearly every morning.  No, those aren't their real names.   Well, I don't THINK those are their real names.  I don't actually know what their names are.  Mutt and Jeff are just the names I've given them in my head.  One of them is quite tall while the other one is short and stocky, so they remind me of those two comic strip characters.  

The taller one has a full shock of white hair and appears to be fit and strong.  The shorter one has rather nondescript, brown hair and looks like someone who probably spends a lot of time on a couch watching football with a beer in one hand and a bag of chips in the other.  

I don't know anything about these two men other than that they seem quite different from each other but also seem to be very good friends.  They generally walk twelve laps on the track (equivalent to a mile) each morning, talking and swapping stories the whole time.  The tall one is quite loud and sometimes rather obnoxious.   He generally does most of the talking, often complaining about something his wife has or has not done recently.  When they go past me on the track, I have learned to hold my breath because, well, to put it delicately, the aroma of the combination of sweat and whatever weird cologne they are wearing is a bit off-putting.

The "Pats," as I like to call them, are two pleasant women who come together to the Y to walk each morning.  These two women look to be in their mid to late sixties.  They wear simple pull-on pants (They probably call them "slacks") and tops usually in dark colors.  They manage to look both sensible and fashionable with their hair always neatly arranged, makeup applied, and little pearl earrings in their ears.  In fact, they both remind me of Pat Nixon, 

like cookie cutters of her, in fact (thus, the reason I have dubbed them the "Pats").  Their hair color is different from hers, one with grey hair and one with brown hair, but the presence and personality they portray is the same.  They chat casually with each other while they whiz by me as if I am standing still.  They give me a little queen wave as they pass and chirp out "Good morning" to me.

At five foot seven inches, I don't think I am extraordinarily tall, but I am a good head taller than the "Pats."  I walk at the Y in a pair of old sweat pants and a faded sweatshirt, no makeup, wild morning hair that looks like this,

and no jewelry other than my wedding and engagement rings. I go there before work, dragging myself out of bed and throwing on workout clothes, too early in the morning to care that much about what I look like.  I wait to shower after I get home from the Y so I can make myself presentable to go to work.  Anyway, I always feel sluggish and rather Sasquatchian compared to the neat and petite "Pats" as I trudge around the track.

Do you remember Gladys Cravitch, the nosy neighbor on the show Bewitched?

There is a blonde lady who walks each morning at the Y who reminds me of Gladys Cravitch.  She is petite and  smartly dressed like the "Pats."  One odd thing about Gladys, though, is that she always wears a pair of black gloves on her hands as she walks. I guess her hands must be cold a lot.  She is a cheery sort and likes to exchange a few pleasantries with me as she walks by, chatting about the weather or something from the news.  I get a feeling that she might be the type who, though well-meaning and acting with good intentions, takes delight in hearing and spreading the latest tidbit of juicy gossip.  I don't know this for fact, at all, much to the contrary, but if I were to put her into a work of fiction, that is the type of personality I would assign to her based on appearances alone.   

Given the fact that I feel kind of Sasquatchian in appearance at the Y, I think I'd be afraid to know what kind of a fictional character others might picture me as, if they were to write a story about me!

One other person I see at the Y each morning that I'd like to mention here is "Abner Cravitch."  No, he doesn't arrive at the Y with "Gladys" from above.  They come in separately, but I always imagine them to be a couple.  You remember Abner from Bewitched too, don't you?

Well, the "Abner" at the Y doesn't walk the track.  He mostly just sits on some of the exercise machines (notice I said "sits on" not "uses") and shoots the breeze with anyone he can get to listen to him.  I find him amusing in both appearance and personality because he is so far from the stereotypical image of a guy who comes to "work out" at the Y.  He doesn't look like this fellow here, at all.

No, the "Abner" at my Y is an overweight, balding man in his sixties with a pair of glasses that always sit half way down his nose.  He wears the same outfit to the Y every day, which consists of a pair of wild, brightly colored, flowered shorts (or maybe they are swim trunks?---I'm not sure), 

an old, very worn-looking, grey, tank-top-type shirt that reveals way more hairy, old-man moob cleavage than anyone ever wants to see, 

and black socks with sandals.  

I kid you not!!  This is what he wears every morning to the Y.  Trust me, "Abner" is a sight to behold!

So these are the folks I spend my early morning time with during the winter.  Is it any wonder I look forward to spring and the return of my walks to the park?  

Besides, as Sasquatch, I feel right at home out in the wild.  :-D