Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Reading through Hometown Magazine, I spotted an ad for two free classes at a local exercise studio. I was curious.

Swimming isn't going to work with the schedule and the finances again this semester, and I've been looking for some way to move my mass around a little more. Some way besides chasing chickens or hauling in firewood.

I called the number on the advertisement.

"How would you describe your fitness level?" the pleasant-sounding lady asked.

"Ummm, average?" I guessed.

"What do you do for exercise?" she pressed.

"Well, I do yoga a couple of times at week at home. Occasionally, I take long walks back on the farm. I used to swim, but I haven't done that for months."

"Tell me more about yourself," she probed. "How old are you? How much do you weigh? How would you describe your overall health?"

I took a deep breath and swallowed. "Um, I'm fifty years old" - no problem getting that out - "and I weigh ..." I coughed. "I weigh...well...let's just say I'm adequately padded."

Can you think of a job requiring more poise and grace than that of a fitness-center employee who must spend her days asking middle-aged women how much they weigh?!

This got me to thinking - there are things that we all know, things that are just part of life, nothing bizarre or shameful - but that are so awkward to verbalize, to just say right out loud. Things like....

"I forgot your name - who did you say you were?"

"Excuse me, you have a piece of spinach on your teeth."

"Your zipper is open."

"I can't remember where I parked the car. Could you help me find it?"

"Where do you stock the Kotex?"

When I was still working at Wal-Mart, one of the young cashiers asked me if I would help her pick out a pregnancy test when we finished our shift. (I guess she thought a woman with seven kids probably had a lot of experience with this sort of thing!) "Sure," I answered. "Is it for you?"

"No," my co-worker replied. "It's for a friend. She's single, and she thinks she may be pregnant, and she's scared to take a test and find out. I told her I was going to get one and bring it to her house and make her take it when I got off work."

Back in the health and personal care department, Mary and I selected a pregnancy test. Then we headed to the front of the store to check out. My friend placed the pregnancy test on the belt. The cashier behind the register hesitated and raised her eyebrows, looking at Mary quizzically.

"Oh, it's not for me!" Mary exclaimed. "No way! This is for Mrs. Camille!"

I smacked Mary, paid for the pregnancy test, and laughed with her all the way to the front door.

What about you, Dear Reader? What simple little things do you find ridiculously difficult to say out loud?


Anonymous said...

You have an in house Marine who just finished boot-camp. Bet he could whip you into shape in thirty days or less.Dad

Camille said...

Good point, Dad. Maybe if I agreed to let Thomas oversee my fitness program, he'd agree to let me direct his video game schedule. Ummm, then again, maybe not!

Jessica said...

One thing I would never say to anyone, "I really don't like this food you have so lovingly prepared for me. Can I just have some crackers?" As a somewhat picky eater I have had my fair share of hungry nights after visiting friends!