This morning, three unpleasant incidents happened in a row, on my way to 24 Hour Fitness.
First I parked my car and went next door to buy a locker padlock at Wal-Mart. The woman in front of me was a well-dressed lady with coiffed brown hair. She asked the cashier about the return policy. When she couldn't understand the cashier's response, she started being rude and repeating the question in a condescending tone.
Then it was my turn at the register. As I stepped up, she suddenly thrust out her purchases at arm's length, almost hitting me. She said to me, "You're in my personal space."
I said, "What?"
She said, "You've been pushing me in line, and coughing on my back." (I've had a cough for two weeks.)
We exchanged some more useless words, and then she took all her shopping bags and left.
I paid for my lock, and went next door to 24-hour Fitness. I entered the locker room and started to change. The locker room was nearly empty except for me, an older woman in green stretch pants next to me, and another woman blow-drying her hair in the adjoining room. After a minute, I noticed the woman next to me gyrating her hips in a strange manner. I looked over, and she was bent at the waist with her back arched, rotating her hips in a circle. It resembled a lap dance.
I finished changing into gym clothes, and went into the cardio area to use the stationary bike. A few minutes later, a man in his 50s walked over and mumbled something to me. I asked him to repeat it, and he said, "I bet you look real good on a bike outdoors!"
It is disturbing when people start unwelcome conversations during exercise, because you cannot easily walk away. So I said, "Thanks" and opened my book. He said, "No, thank YOU!"
He went to the drinking fountain. When he walked back toward me, I kept my eyes on the book. Then he said loudly to the air around me, "Boy, some people! They just think they're too good for everyone else!"
He walked away. I thought to myself that if instead of Wal-Mart and 24-hour Fitness, I had gone to Whole Foods and Equinox gym, these things wouldn't have happened.
Then I felt that perhaps that is a snooty thought.
But it is unpleasant to have so many distasteful interactions within 15 minutes.