tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

In which my gym becomes a whole new world of "ORLY?"

Yesterday DoomBoy added another 5kg to the bar. It feels kind of symbolic - I go down 5kg, the bar goes up 5kg. I don't know how much that adds up to now, but it nailed my arse. And my triceps. And my back. My arms, they are noodly.

In other health-related news, last night I got myself back on track by making vegetarian bean moussaka. With extra green beans on top. Because beans. It was yummy and surprisingly filling and I will definitely make that again. Then we noshed a bunch of strawberries dipped in yoghurt (which was way messier than anticipated) and totally didn't eat any more ice cream.

So my manager's partner goes to the same gym I do. Apparently my gym had a Christmas party the other day, and today I was regaled with the observation that at the party, the same people who clique at the gym stayed in their cliques at the party. This included the Frosty Faces (apparently a group of women who give everyone else the evils) and Jim Boone (who looks like Jim Morrison but dresses like Daniel Boone). And all the gym staff hung out together, so it was actually less friendly than being at the gym, without the social relief of having something to do.


However, the idea that there are cliques of people at a gym, and that other people notice them, is foreign to me. I was a bit gobsmacked actually. You mean, people at the gym are looking at other people? And judging them? Shit! What if they are doing that to me? I mean, when I go to the gym I'm not entirely oblivious, and there are people who I recognise and do the eyebrow thing with because I see them all the time - but mostly I'm focused on not throwing up, or remembering what I'm supposed to do next, or convincing myself that I actually can run up that hill, and I just don't notice other folks all that much.

Thus, I'm probably a Frosty Face. Because I know my concentratey-face isn't welcoming, and I'm not big on eye contact, and I tend to ignore people around me (mostly because I don't want to stare at folks doing something that I consider to be quite intimate).

And I just know that now, when I go to the gym I'm going to be looking around to see if I can identify these cliques, because I had no bloody idea that there's a whole social thing going on there that I had no clue about. Mostly I use the women's gym because it's usually less crowded and easier to get on the gear, so maybe that's why I've remained ignorant of this.

Speaking of Christmas parties, I'm not going to my work one either. Call me an antisocial fuckface. A friend of mine wrote yesterday about socialising with people you don't share values with and how to make decisions about friendships, including musing about where the line is between being discriminating and being discriminatory. And I wonder if my lack of interest in socialising with my colleagues is one of these. But on reflection, I spend a lot of time with these people already, and we get along well enough so that these interactions aren't just work - we talk about life stuff at work and know each other pretty well. And I'm completely happy with those relationships at that level - I've no desire to make them more intimate or try them in a different setting.

And to be completely honest, the 'social party' setting is one I really struggle with anyway. It feels very fake, like the gym party up there. What we at the gym have in common is that we work out - take away that commonality and you have a bunch of people standing around feeling awkward. And while some people are very good at lubricating that awkwardness into something else, that is a talent I lack. And unlike 90% of adults, I can't fake it with alcohol. I would much prefer to go and do something together than just mingle and make conversation. I can enjoy work social functions, but they aren't my first choice of ways to spend time with my colleagues. So in some ways, I am faking it at those things. Is it just me, or do some people actually look forward to the opportunity to get to know their colleagues in a different setting? And if so, how much does alcohol have to do with that?

I don't really enjoy house parties either - those ones where 30 people go to a house and hang out with music and food and booze.

And if you're now going "Yep, you're an antisocial fuckface", maybe you're right. But there are social gatherings I do enjoy. I like ones with a purpose, where people get together to do a thing. It could be anything from getting firewood out of a gully to playing laserforce or rock climbing or doing one of those silly treasure hunts through a city, but the purpose makes it much easier for me to be social. I also like small intimate gatherings where there's conversation you can hear and that everyone can participate in, rather than a number of groups of 4-6 standing in circles having conversations that you have to bust into if you don't want to be left standing by yourself. I really like dance parties where you can be with people without verbal interaction at all, and have fun conversations in the toilet queue.

But boozy house parties, networking parties, and work socials? Just not me. I have to make myself do them, and I choose not to hang out with people who see these as their main form of social interaction. Is there something wrong with me?

Huh. I guess that was on my mind.

Tags: social stuff is hard
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