At the gym today someone came in and chose – out of an empty row of a dozen or more identical machines – to work out on the bouncy up-and-down elliptical thing right next to mine. I was a bit perturbed. Shouldn’t there be some kind of urinal etiquette in play here?
Not that I was actually urinating, of course. (I say ‘of course’, but if you’ve ever given birth you’ll know just how many Kegel exercises are required before one can bounce up and down in public with impunity). Nor was I, to shake the last stubborn drops from the urinal metaphor, exposing myself. I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear I had enough layers of spandex on to keep everything important covered up.
What I mean is, as in a men’s bathroom, surely there’s some unwritten rule about occupying the spot directly next to one that’s already taken, unless you have absolutely no choice? It’s just a personal space thing, like seats on the Underground. Which I suppose I could have used as my analogy earlier; but then I would have missed the chance to mentally assault you with images of public urination and spandex-wrapped jigging up and down. Ah, sorry. Did I do it again? My bad.
So, back to the gym. And me, doing my very British best to ignore the woman sweating and breathing heavily less than arm’s length away in a mostly-empty room. Perhaps next time I should be a bit more sociable; make eye contact, strike up conversation. Offer her a sip from my water bottle, maybe? Yes, I should think that would resolve the situation one way or another.