Most of the people at my gym are pretty normal, but then there's another group. Fashionistas who carry Coach purses onto the cardio floor, who wear coordinated athletic outfits by name brand designers. These ladies look like they showered, applied makeup, arranged their perfectly coifed hair before their workout.
As a rule, I prefer to mind my own business. I use the elliptical machine. I wear headphones. I obey the rules of exercise equipment and elevators-- Don't look left or right. Stare straight ahead. Don't look at or speak to your neighbor.
Imagine my astonishment when a hand tapped my elbow. Startled, I glanced over at the occupant of the other elliptical machine, a young Asian lady who appeared to be one of the aforementioned Fashion Fitness Warriors. She spoke to me, so I removed my head phones.
"Your hair is very frizzy," she said. "I am a hair stylist. I just wanted to let you know that your hair stylist can provide you with a conditioning treatment that will make your hair very smooth."
"Um, thanks," I said. Then, for unknown reasons, I felt compelled to explain. "I don't shower before I work out, so I wake up and put my very frizzy hair into a ponytail."
"Your hair stylist can help you," she said with the serious air of an oncologist referring a cancer patient to chemo.
Right. I don't have a hair stylist. I refrained from telling her that the only time I've even had my hair trimmed in the last four years was the prior November, and only then for my sister's wedding.
"You have very pretty hair. Pretty color," she said. I think at this point she felt compelled to do some damage control for my poor ego. "Is your color natural?"
"I have children," I said, which is really the same as saying, Duh. My natural color is gray.
"Call your hair stylist right away," she said. "She can help with the frizz."
With a bright smile of encouragement, she concluded her workout and went on her merry way, content in the knowledge that she had done her best to save her fellow frumpy human being.
Originally posted on The Snarkology on March 4, 2013.
Melissa Snark is a paranormal and romance author with a particular interest in werewolf and Norse mythology. Her Loki's Wolves series combines elements of both in a contemporary fantasy setting. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children and glaring of cats.
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