Every Wednesday morning there is a girl at the gym that I went to school with. I know it’s her. She looks exactly the same as she did then. But I always ignore her. Not rudely, just like I don’t know her. I don’t know why I do it. It’s just the rules. Admittedly they are my rules and other people probably aren’t aware of them. But still, rules are rules.
Today she came up and said hi. It was quite strange. We caught up about old times as if we hadn’t been standing a couple of metres from each other once a week for the last couple of years.
There are other people at the gym that I ignore as well. Old family friends that we haven’t seen for years, friends of friends, people that I can’t place. Come to think of it, they are probably TV stars.
There is one family of several kids that we used to be close friends with when we were kids. We used to hang out at their place all the time. I haven’t seen them in about 20 years, which frankly, is just way too much water under the bridge to try and catch up on in a brief 5:30am gym conversation. I told mum that I’d seen them and she told me to say hi. I refused and told her the rules.
Then we ran into them out at dinner one night and mum commented on the fact that we are gym buddies! What was she thinking? She may as well have followed that up with the fact that I like to go commando on Tuesdays or that I’m scared of sea animals. She clearly has no concept of the intricacies of gym etiquette.
After that dinner I went back to ignoring them. It was a completely mutually comfortable relationship. But my sister (who still lived in Auckland at the time) started saying hi. I can’t believe she had the audacity! She knows the rules! I was forced to start smiling at them as a result. That’s getting dangerously close to talking and contrary to popular belief, there are a few occasions on which I just don’t like to talk.