3.3 Fall 2021

December 12, Blind date (or something)

Last weekend over dinner, Helen proposed setting me up on a blind date with her personal trainer. “Not to brag but the last two couples I set up got married,” she bragged.

I’m willing to try anything once, and at least these people have been vetted by someone I know.

“Sure,” I agreed.

And then, of course, who did we run into while leaving the restaurant?

“This is my PT,” Helen said, gripping tightly onto my arm as if we had been drinking alcohol rather than coffee. She gestured to a trio of men.

“Hi,” he said, in a cute way I didn’t expect to come from someone 6’4” and wearing an expensive looking black pea coat.

Helen dragged me away with her talons almost immediately after so I couldn’t commit any of their faces to memory.

I kept Helen’s proposal in the back of my mind until she suddenly asked on Tuesday, “so what do you think of him?” I’m still no better at answering this question now than when I was at twelve.

“Uh. Good? At least from what I could see?” I said, gesturing to the small sliver of space between the mask and hairline. I figured that wasn’t enough confirmation so I added, “you know, I also thought ‘if we dated I could definitely borrow his clothes.’”

She looked at me blankly.

“Because most people I’ve dated are the same size as me? So their clothes aren’t big or baggy if I put them on.” I continued, wondering if I should just parachute myself out of this conversation.

She giggled in delight. “Oh, now I understand.” She answered, then went back to furiously texting but said nothing more.

A few days after that, I was in the middle of editing camp materials when she suddenly turned to me to introduce a program at her gym that gives new customers three free sessions with a trainer.

“You could use any trainer but I know mine is available. He speaks English. If you’re interested I can work with him to set up a time. It would be a thirty minute slot and you can choose what exercise you want to improve.”

This was not what I had expected to hear. That weekend had she meant that she would set me up with her PT in the literal way? Or was this supposed to be a date? How much did he know?

I started to imagine a comical romcom level of misunderstandings.

I would attend the PT sessions thinking we were dating when in fact we were just working on my squat form. “See you next week,” he’d say, and I would wonder why I had to pay to date him.

Or he might think, wow I really like her but I must remain professional, she’s only here to work out. My client only recommended her for the training. Don’t make it weird.

“So are you interested?” Helen asked, with a certain gleam in her eye that could also have been the victory of a fitness person dragging another into their circle.

Well, at the very least I’d get a free PT session.

“Yes, that sounds good.”

“Great. I told him we are special friends because we both have knee problems. He said proper form is really important when you have knee problems.” She responded, confidently readjusting in her office chair.

I wondered once again how much he knew about all this.

Then came the insecurity. Am I too tall? Too thick? Not thick enough? Should I wear makeup for this not date? Helen’s gym sounds very… broey, if the amount of body builders she tells me about is any indication.

At my small little grandpa gym, people are generally kind or keep to themselves. One grandma even cornered me in the locker room saying I have a nice figure and also would I please tutor her granddaughter in English.

So then I thought, the people at Helen’s fancy gym should feel grateful to see this juicy American booty. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m not even charging.

If things start to veer south, I always have my go to move: find the nearest pull-up bar and bang out as many reps as I can to establish dominance.

So if in doubt at this PT session/date/comedy of errors, I’ll simply sprint to the closest bar and prove my bicep dominance.

Nothing can go wrong if my purpose is to end up with a good story.


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