Twice a week, after yoga class, I try to indulge myself--and temper my anxiety a bit more--by spending at least a few minutes relaxing in the hot tub at Fancy Gym. I do find myself constantly wanting to refer to it like Will Ferrell's creepy professor character from SNL: hotTUB, with the accent on the second syllable. Remember? He'd be in the hotTUB, propositioning everyone to be his lovah and then, like, eating an entire roast chicken like it was the thirteenth century. (I also often refer to my book club in this manner, in my head. BookCLUB.)
The palatial women's locker room at Fancy Gym has three gigantic tiled spas side by side in a restful lounge area, complete with a gently murmuring fountain that trickles over some vaguely classical-looking-type stone pillars. It's a little Vega$ in there. Because the locker room is ladies only, the hotTUBs are clothing-optional, and we're all pretty much politely discreet with our gazes. That said, the first time I got into the whirlpool sans culotte I was damn surprised: I'm a curvy girl, and it turns out that, unfettered by a spandex suit, I am...very buoyant. Some parts of me in particular are really REALLY buoyant, and bobbled away so furiously right beneath the surface that I sort of wished I had a buddy, to point this out to. It was seriously a little amazing, this demonstration of physics that I hadn't previously been witness to. Too much information? Probably. Well, what is this Internet for, I ask you.
Anyway. Tonight, I confess, I may have rudely--if surreptitiously--stared at the woman across from me, in spite of myself. I was distracted, first, by what she was wearing: a very nice watch, on one wrist. Luckily, she was very successfully keeping that hand up out of the roiling waters...probably because that was the same hand she was using to hold her Blackberry. She had it propped up on a little towel on the lip of the spa, and sat turned awkwardly sideways on the bench seat, scrolling through what seemed to be a lengthy text document.
My first thought was only that I would not court disaster, would not openly taunt fate in such a manner. I am convinced that, were I to attempt so unwise a maneuver, not only would I fumble the little bugger right in the drink with an ironic plunk! of tragedy, but then would probably sustain a head injury diving frantically after it, and drown right there in the Fancy Gym hot tub, naked and humiliated and still bereft of my ruined electronics. (Though, considering my earlier discovery, I would probably rise quite quickly back to the surface and maybe be rescued.)
But the more I thought about this woman, the sadder I felt. Was she...working, in there? Because it's a hot tub. This is the closest thing you can get, really, to a ten-minute, Thursday-night vacation; you are not supposed to do anything but sit there limply, getting the thoughts gently boiled right out of your head. I suppose I should be grateful that she did not have a Bluetooth headset on, was not sitting there trading stocks in so vulnerable a state. But really, it couldn't have waited? I hope for her sake it was a long goofy e-mail from a friend, or a fun blog post (ha), or some erotic West Wing fan fiction--anything mindless and fluffy and not, like, a market-saturation analysis of FY08 Q4, or what have you.
She was still in there, steaming and scrolling, when I climbed out and made my drippy footprint-trail away to the dressing area, feeling rather sorry for us both somehow.