Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

My Special Talent January 25, 2011

Filed under: Dating — Meredith @ 2:08 pm
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It’s nice to have something you know you’re good at.

Most people have at least one thing in their life, (outside of their job) that they excel at; like playing a sport, or a musical instrument, or being able to remember the name of every Miss America and the year she was crowned since the pageant started. Whatever. The point is, everyone has a special talent.

I used to think my special talent was storytelling.

But I was wrong.

I have discovered my true talent…

And it is speed dating.

.

You heard me.

SPEED. DATING.

Speed dating is my jam people.

I’m an introvert by nature. But under the right circumstances, I can flip a switch and channel an extrovert like I was born one.

The “right circumstances” generally referring to getting positive and/or fawning attention. Which is why I’m able to get on stage and tell stories – I blossom under the attention of a captive audience.

Here’s how speed dating works. Women sit in seats in one long row with tables in front of them. Men sit down in one long row across from the women. Everyone has a number on their name tag, and everyone has a sheet of paper on which to write down the number of the person they are across from, and then a Yes or a No after the “date”. You get five minutes to talk and then a bell sounds and the women stay put and the men move one seat down. Repeat. At the end of the night, everyone turns their papers into the organizers, and the next day you get an email telling you who you matched with and providing contact information. Contact information is only exchanged between mutual Yes’s. Which I like because it avoids the awkward “no, I’m sorry Shrek,  you can’t have my phone number,” conversation that happens so often in bars.

So you end up with 10 or 12 or 20  five minutes dates over the course of the evening (depending on the size of the event).

FIVE MINUTES.

Who can’t be charming and interesting for five minutes? Well, turns out, lots of men can’t actually.

But you know who CAN be charming and interesting for five minutes? ME. That’s who.

You know who can bust out the charm, the sparkle, the giggle, being both coy and open at the same time, projecting both sex appeal and an endearing innocence simultaneously? I CAN.

I don’t  even really know how I do it exactly. When its time, and that switch flips, its like my spidey senses kick in, and within seconds of a new guy sitting down, I know if I should make a joke, ask a question, give him a hard time, give him an opening to give me a hard time, plant the suggestion that we’ll see each other again, or make it clear we won’t… but in a way that he still feels better for the experience.

As each new guy comes through, I get better and better. My laugh gets more tinkling, my hair flip more natural, my ability to project fascination and excitement when he tells me he’s a plumber gets sharper.

.

It might have helped a little that I was grouped into the over 30 category, which aside from me was more like the over 40 category.  And I look closer to 20 than 30. So when these 40+ men sat down across from me, they often got a look in their eye like a homeless man who’d just won the lottery. 

Which in many ways they had. Because I’m just that unbelievably awesome.

.

In 5 minute bursts.

.

During the break I was at the bar getting another drink (only because there was a minimum to use a credit card, and I drink cheap shit, so I had to buy two drinks. But I didn’t actually drink the second one – alcohol doesn’t tend to enhance my skills), and #72 came up to me and picked up our conversation where we’d left off when our five minutes had run out. I managed to keep up the persona for almost a full minute, before my normal persona started popping through, like static during a radio broadcast. I kept fighting to maintain my speed date aura and mercifully the break ended a minute later. I’d originally marked #72 as a No, but he’d won me over with that break conversation and I changed him to a Yes.

He was not on my match list the next day.

He liked me enough to come up and talk to me at the break, but not enough to make me a yes.

Obviously because I’d exceeded my 5 minute window of awesome. He probably got back to his seat and changed me from a Yes to a No, just as I was doing the reverse.

.

Yeah…

So to summarize, I’m like the perfect female specimen for 5 minute intervals. 

After which things tend to unravel pretty quickly…

.

.

I’m pretty sure this is the real reason I’m still single.

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I’m Baaa-aaak! November 11, 2010

I am definitely not the most uncoordinated person I know.

I mean, there are definitely people way more klutzy than me.

Unless I’m at the gym.

The worst episodes have so far taken place in my office gym. At my regular gym, when I’m with my trainer, it’s not generally too bad – maybe because he’s there to catch me and prop me and show me how to do stuff.

I mean, sure there was that day when for reasons unknown to me or god, I decided to step up onto a moving treadmill. But I caught myself with a surprisingly agile hop and skip and remained upright. And no one saw me except my trainer, and even though he laughed loud and long enough that everyone in the treadmill and bike area looked over, by then I looked like a normal person walking on the treadmill, so that doesn’t really count. 

I’ve been out of the gym for about three months due to an injury (not gym or klutz related), and today was my third session back, and my first one that attempted anything more complicated than the treadmill or weight machines.

First we did lunges up and down the space between the weight machines. Lunges take a certain kind of balance. I am out of practice. There were at least two times where I lost my balance and I was stuck in the lunge position wobbling side to side, arms out, looking like someone trying to balance in a canoe.

Next up was balance squats on an overturned bosu ball (so the squishy part is down) (that’s a technical term). Normally my trainer helps me get onto the ball, but this morning I had a substitute trainer and she was off doing something while I was supposed to be climbing up on this stupid thing. I initially forgot that, well, I’m me, and tried to just climb on.

I put my right foot on the right side and it tipped all the way to the right, and then I tried to lift my left foot to put on the left side assuming it would then stabilize in the middle. Except my right foot was at such a steep angle that as soon as I lifted my left foot my whole body tipped to the right and I was flailing around trying to avoid going face down on the carpet. 

For my second try, I did exactly the same thing again, with exactly the same result.

For my third try I did exactly the same thing, EXCEPT I started with my left foot….And got exactly the same result except the flailing occurred to the left.

Fourth try, I put my right foot in the center of the bosu ball, with the result of flailing forward. 

Into the guy on the big ab machine.

He was on his side, the upper half of his body hanging out into the aisle, minding his business, and suddenly, there I am. Sharing the pad.

I was just like “You had to have realized this was a possibility during tries 1-3.”

Fifth try I made it! Just as the trainer was walking over to help me. Although I have absolutely no idea how I did it and am sure that if I tried again right now, I would repeat tries 1-4 exactly.  

Later, I was sent to get a floor mat, and as I pulled it out from behind the big stretching structure thingy, I slid it backward and it hit a foam roller, which fell forward and narrowly missed whacking this really old guy sitting on a ball, and instead knocked down his water bottle. I said “Oh, I’m sorry!” and picked up the foam roller, expecting to hear him offer the socially obligatory “no problem”. And when I turned toward him to receive his forgiveness, he made  a snarly face and rolled his eyes.

I decided that he was probably just having a stroke.

Finally the work out was over, no one was bleeding, or suing (I assume), and I come out of the locker room with my big gym bag over my shoulder and decide to fill up my water bottle for the drive home.

The water fountain is in a corner between a wall and another ab machine. I walked around the ab machine toward the water fountain and promptly wacked the guy laying down on the machine with my bag.

I pretended I didn’t notice.

I couldn’t watch two people have a stroke on the same day.

 

How I Roll June 28, 2010

Filed under: Working Out — Meredith @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The other day boxing class was held inside the gym, instead of outside as usual, because it was only myself and one other woman, J.  We were with our trainer in the “boy part” the part with all the weights and punching bags. (And to be fair, we WERE the only women in that section the whole morning.)

I’ve been boxing for several months at this point, and J has been doing it even longer I believe. I know we look like we know what we’re doing, and I know we look like we can do some damage with a punch – when you land a solid hit into a pad the sound is loud and can be almost deafening when you’re in an enclosed space. J had just finished a sparring round with the trainer and I was setting myself for my turn and in the brief moment of quiet before I started my round, this old, flabby, grey haired guy who had been watching us from where he stood near a bench press -spotting a younger, buffer guy, but not using it – says to our trainer, “Hey! Are they gonna fight each other? And can we watch?” with a wiggle of his bushy grey eye brows. My trainer replied “They’re gonna fight YOU! How about that?” Then turns back to me. I had to take a second to reset myself because the exchange, though it had only been 10 seconds had thrown me off. My trainer turns back to the guy and says “Are they gonna fight each other…” with disdain and dismissal clear in his tone. When he turned back to me I was ready, and as I started throwing the combinations he was calling out, I could see the old guy over his shoulder, and he looked suitably shamed, and kept his eyes focused on the guy he was spotting.

Part of my brain said that he was old, from another generation, he probably didn’t see how the comment wasn’t so much funny, as sexist and belittling. And I want to say that recognizing that was enough to keep me from feeling sexualized and belittled. But it wasn’t. I mean, it only stung for a second, but I’d felt it nonetheless. But THEN, I got mad, and *POP* I landed a cross that sounded like a gun shot. “Stupid jackass…” I thought and *POP* *POP* “Yeahhh” my trainer says in response to the sudden increase in the power behind my cross.  *POP*, *POP POP*, *POP*  the sound of me hitting the pads was so loud and consistent that the guy couldn’t help but look in my direction and just as I landed an upper cut that felt like  it could pop a man’s head off his neck (although, to be fair, I sort of believe that about every upper cut I throw. It’s the kind of punch that makes me feel like I could actually take someone in a fight.) I pushed myself to keep hitting hard and fast, to keep getting that *POP* even though I was almost at my limit. I kept hearing my trainer say “they’re gonna fight you!” and I wondered if the old man even considered it an option. *POP* I wondered if  he thought he could take me just because he was a man, despite being old and soft. *POP POP* I wondered if he saw the 20 years we had on him, the muscles in our arms, the power in our cores, the precision of our punches, the focus in our eyes. *POP* I wondered if the 3 other men who’d witnessed the exchange, and who were watching us now as well, thought I could take him. *POP POP POP* 

Because I so totally could. I could wup the wrinkles right out of that liver spotted ass.

Do I feel weird about the fact that I feel empowered at the idea of committing elder abuse? Not really. Maybe I should, I don’t know. But I do know this, that old man is probably the only person I could beat in a fist fight, including a smaller untrained woman. Unless I snuck up on her and got a few blows in before she knew what was happening, so she ‘d be dazed and have trouble focusing her eyes… actually, that’s probably not a bad strategy for Wrinkles over there either…which isn’t because I don’t think I’m strong enough to win in a straight out fight, but… I really don’t like it when the other person hits back. It’s so annoying. And hurts.

"I'm gonna knock you out..."

 

 
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