One of my New Years Resolutions was to join a gym, so in January, I did. I picked New York Sports Club in the meatpacking, where I was employed at the time. Things changed and now I work in SoHo, and in a few weeks, I’m going to be moving from Brooklyn to uptown Manhattan. I’ll be a few blocks away from Synergy Fitness Center, and while it would be much more convenient to go there instead, I’m not ready to part with NYSC, the only constant I’ve had since relocating from D.C. to New York.
You see, I moved up here in early October and still have yet to really find my place in this crazy jungle. I moved into a temporary apartment, changes jobs in February, and don’t have the kind of social circle I had in DC and college. I’ve faced more changes than expected, but the only thing that has been the same the past few months has been my fitness center. The guy who works at the front desk always high fives me on the treadmill, the cardio area is empty all the time, everyone (with the exception of nighttime maid lady) treats me with respect, and I come out of each workout happier, saner, and calmer. When I wrote a positive blog post about NYSC earlier this year, their business development team sent me a bunch of free merchandise. I’m well taken care of there and never feel bad about myself as I did at my college gym, where sorority princesses hogged up the treadmill line and refused to shut up about their BMIs, so I was never really at home there. New York is a much different crowd, and I feel a greater sense of belonging in this fitness center than in that of my university.
I should make the switch to Synergy and save myself many inconveniences, but I’m too comfortable and satisfied to go elsewhere and orient myself to another new place. Besides, I made a year-long commitment to NYSC, and pulling out now would cost me a fee, and you know I’m far to frugal to pay an unnecessary price. I need something concrete here, and while you may think it’s sad that I turn to a fitness center to fulfill that role, it’s all I have until I get settled into my new apartment and feel as close to my New York friends as I did with my D.C. group.
Yesterday, I saw The Hunger Games, which was wildly entertaining but not for me. Obviously, my opinion on the franchise is utterly meaningless, as it resonates with plenty of other people. I had the same experience with the book, though. The societal regression message fascinates me, but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. The story is as guarded as its main character, Katniss, who won’t show the world anything other than her tough warrior side. Maybe that’s all there is to her, and if that’s the case, I just don’t see why I should invest in this story line. I’ll explain further in an upcoming post for Tea to Friends.
That said, I still enjoy flipping through The Hunger Games, even though it put me in a weird situation on the subway today. While I was reading on the L train, a random guy approached and began waving at me until I closed the novel and made eye contact.
“What are you reading?” he asked.
“The Hunger Games.”
“Oh, for high school?”
“No, I’m not in school. I’m almost 24,” I said, secretly flattered that I can apparently pass for 16 (better than premature aging, no offense LiLo).
“Oh, cool. Isn’t that book about a CIA conspiracy?”
“No, The Hunger Games is about a dystopian future in which children are required to fight to the death every year. There is no CIA.”
It must have been my tone that made him scurry away. Believe it or not, I can be quite a buzzkill, especially around random metro folks who try to corner me by mentioning something pertaining to my life and follow up with monetary or sexual requests — the latter happened when I first moved to New York City. An androgynous girl, who initially believed I was dating a guy I’d been talking to on the subway platform, insinuated that I should bring her back to my place when she found out the dude and I weren’t an item. She said she’d been born and raised in Brooklyn, and when I asked where she currently resided, she said, “Nowhere right now. I usually just go home with ladies I meet on the subway.”
(Let’s pause for a second and focus on that line. First off, how appalling. Secondly, how would that make a person desirable? I’m not sure, but that’s sort of beside the point) Cricket. She took the silence as an opportunity to say she’d assumed I was into guys until I explained I was not with the fellow I’d been engaging with.
“I thought you were straight,” she said, as if not dating a random subway dude automatically means I’m gay. What a ridiculous conclusion to draw.
Nevertheless, I explained that I was, in fact, a heterosexual female and left the area. Even if I wasn’t straight, it’s pretty audacious and disgusting to go up to strangers and ask them to take you to bed. Not even the douchiest guy in the world would try that. It really sucks when crazies attempt to manipulate you simply because you look sweet and naive, but I won’t let anyone take advantage of me. It’s pretty easy to be walked all over in New York, and I will not be a casualty of this city. If I come across as short, abrasive, and uptight in the process of keeping a distance from potentially harmful individuals, so be it. I may disagree with Katniss’s aloof ways, but I employ the same traits in New York City. Metro people, keep away.