Friday, August 28, 2009

Every Once in a While Life Gives You an Opportunity to be the Bigger Person

I might have mentioned that Friday is my day to take a Pilates class at the local recreation center. I might also have mentioned that there is a particular woman who also takes the class who has been somewhat of a thorn in my side, but if not, the story goes like this:

I started the class many months ago. The first class I took was fairly crowded and one of the only open spots was in the front row, farthest to the left of the studio. I settled into that spot and found that it was comfortable for me-I was close to the instructor so I could watch as she demonstrated each move and no one was in front of me to distract me from the experience. In short, I adopted the spot as “my own”. Several weeks later, a woman I had not seen before came to class. She approached me and, with a smile on her face said “I like to work out here”.

Thinking she meant the rec. center in general, I smiled back at her and said “So do I.”

The offended look on her face led me to swiftly understand that by “here” she meant here as in my spot and, for a brief second I actually considered moving for her but; the class was due to start within moments and I didn’t really want to have to find a new place to set up, especially considering that I had already been in “my spot” for the past twenty minutes, stretching out.

So, I continued to smile at her until she got the hint and moved to a spot to the right and slightly behind me.

Following class that day, I learned that the woman had been a regular up until a couple of weeks before I started attending the class and, she generally used the spot that I had claimed. I felt….not as bad as one might think and, in the intervening months, I have faithfully arrived at class twenty minutes early in order to stretch and to, you know, secure my location.

Apparently, today, the woman had finally had enough of my hubris and she point-blank asked me to move my mat to a different location because I was “in her spot”. I had moments to decide if I was going to be the bigger person and move to a new location-after all, she had technically used that spot prior to my starting the class and, she is well, old. On the other hand, I pay the same amount for my membership that she does, I arrive to class early enough to set up my mat and I am kind to animals

What? Kindness matters.

and, I really didn’t feel like moving so; I took a pass on the opportunity.

I wasn’t nasty about it; I simply smiled and said, “I don’t think so”.

For the record, she spent the remainder of the class slowly inching her mat closer and closer to mine until, during a particularly aggressive set of back kicks, I connected with her balance ball and sent it sailing across the studio. Upon retrieving the ball, she moved her mat to a more distant location and, aside from the Glare of Doom thrown my way, behaved herself for the rest of the class.

Next week, I have no doubt that she will try to beat me to class in order to secure the Sweet Spot (Trademark!) and I fully intend to beat her at that game; I will head for the gym the minute I drop the Man-Cub off at school, putting me there an hour and a half before class starts.

Or, you know, I’ll camp out in front of the rec center the night before; it’ll be fun, like waiting to buy tickets to a Grateful Dead concert!

In related news, I must report that we had our first meeting for tackle football tonight, the boys got their pads and helmets as well as their team assignments and, I am sad to say that; Darren and the Man-Cub were not placed on the same team this year despite the fact that both Jana and I requested that they be.

Now, I could have complained to the representative from the Activities Department. I could have made quite the scene (as did another mother who was less than thrilled with her son’s placement) but, I didn’t; I chose to be the bigger person.

You know, that time.

And, I'm still kind to animals.


  1. I tell you what... it just never ceases to amaze me at just how childish adults can continue to be throughout their lives. And I'm not talking about you. There's no assigned seating even in most airlines now, much less a freaking pilates class.

  2. That's pretty funny and I'm glad you stood your ground.