As a second semester senior, I’ve had more time on my hands than I know what to do with; so much extra time that I actually couldn’t think of a single reason not to work out. There are no papers that need writing, no meetings that I refuse to blow off and no power naps to stand between the gym and me. And so I have become something of a gym rat.
My favorite thing about going to the gym is watching Days of Our Lives while I work out. This may seem silly to some of you, but I have been watching DOOL for as long as I can remember. I’ve been watching since before Joey Tribbiani got a role on it. Yeah, it’s been that long. My second favorite thing about working out is a certain piece of eye candy.
I see this man at the gym once or twice a week. I wouldn’t say he’s handsome or even particularly cute, but I am inexplicably attracted to him. I think it’s his arms — they are so big, so muscular, so ... large. Whenever I see him, I get the urge to touch him. Something pulls me toward him. I refer to him as Dave/Gravity (D.G.) because he looks like a Dave and though the force pulling me toward him is much stronger than 9.81 m/s2, it is comparable.
Two weeks ago I told my roommate about this and we decided that D.G. could totally be my soulmate. Conclusion: I had to ask him out. But what game plan could I construct to ask out a stranger? All I knew was, “Hey, I watch you on the stepper at least once a week and that’s pretty sexy. Dinner sometime?” was not an option.
The Monday before last I went to the gym and jumped on the elliptical but I couldn’t focus. All I could think was that in moments, D.G. would walk in and I would have to bide my time till his 30 minutes on the stepper were up ... Alas, he did not show up.
On Wednesday I forewent my usual gym time to have lunch with my buddy Mary-Sue. After lunch, the two of us sauntered over to the commencement fair. That’s when I received a text from my most faithful wingwoman telling me that D.G. was at the gym. I ran out of the Cornell Store, my heart pounding and my diploma frame in hand. Once I arrived, I saw D.G. on the stepper. I managed to loiter around the front desk for a solid five minutes while I waited for him to finish. Gametime.
D.G. had just passed the front desk when I ran after him. “Excuse me,” I said and he turned around. I hadn’t even started working out but I was winded. I didn’t know what to say so I started the only way I knew how. “Hi.”
He was waiting for more so I added “We haven’t met but...” Good going, Captain Obvious. And then, in a fit of insanity I cannot take back, I said “...but I think you’re cute — do you want to go out sometime?”
He said he had a girlfriend. Oddly enough, I didn’t mumble a lame excuse, just an “Oh, well I thought I’d ask.” But then I thought, oh no — I’ll have to stop going to the gym at this time so I can avoid him. I’ll miss DOOL and the opportunity to anonymously enjoy his arms from my coveted spot on the elliptical. Who knew so much had been at stake?
I was about to say, “so, do you want to stop coming to the gym at this time or should I?” But before I could deliver my possible avoidance tactic, D.G. said something else. He said “I think I’d have said yes” and grinned. It probably wasn’t even true, but the fact that he thought to say it made me happy. It was nice to know that my measured spontaneity was not a total waste.
Now that I think about it, I wonder why I was nervous at all. What’s the worst that could’ve happened? He could’ve say no. Oh wait, he did. But I didn’t know him to begin with, so who cares?
I hope this inspires you to do something that seems scary, unusual or just plain stupid. If you can’t act strange or careless in college, when can you? Being smart enough to know better shouldn’t condemn you to a boring, by-the-book life. So stop saying no when you mean yes and take some damn chances, because even if you fall flat on your face and look like a complete a-hole, I bet it’ll make for a great story. Y.O.L.O.
Hazel Gunapala is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at email@example.com . Appropriately Cynical appears alternate Thursdays this semester.