Last night, Halliday and I went to our local health food store, L'eau Vive, to stock up on organic produce—a new year's resolution. I stooped down to fill a brown bag with crisp, sweet apples and turned my squinty, need-to-have-my-prescription-changed gaze towards a tall man a few yards away. Perhaps I hesitated, perhaps I frowned, perhaps my blank gaze lingered too long in his remote direction because... suddenly this stranger was in my face, pointing a finger and asking, "il y a un probleme madame, tu as un probleme avec moi?" Flustered, bewildered, I just said "Non, non, pas de probleme." Hallie and I had one of those what-was-that-all-about moments and escaped unscathed to our next destination.
Lady Fitness is one of those female-only circuit gyms, like Curves, and I belonged a few years ago and got into really great shape. Two knee problems later, I have resolved to renew my membership and you would think that would be a simple thing. A week ago, I stopped by to get a ballpark price and the manager (who might just as well be a mattress or used car salesman) offered to renew my membership for 29.95 euros per month, subject to confirmation by his boss. He subsequently told me his entire life story, details of his love life and stellar career, while avowing to his "correct" and honest business nature. He said he'd call me that afternoon. He never called me back.
The entry of Lady Fitness is filled with non-sportive-looking, heavily-made-up young girls, who seem to be employed there but who rapidly disappear if you attempt to engage them. I am left once again with the "manager" (ahem, mattress salesman) who seems to have no recollection of our previous conversation. He can't find the form he filled out for me, nor remember the price he proposed, and suddenly, his best price for me and only for me, only today, is 53 euros...and only if Halliday joins too, for the next 6 months. He puts his sweaty hand on mine, while reflecting on what special deal he can make for us, but when I suggest we think things over and come back the next morning, he raises and eyebrow and looks at me like I am some kind of sketchie character, refuses to give me a copy of the offer he has written down on paper and moves on.
People are edgy these days, it seems to me. I retreat to "ma cuisine" to prepare sauteed apples—just sliced apples, water and a bit of salt. My friend Ashleigh says to eat them at night instead of a heavy meal, as a diet starter. I vow to lift weights and follow vintage Jane Fonda videos on Youtube. Lady Fitness another fine day, when the stars align.