I went to the gym today because I slipped on ice at the bottom of our driveway and was too sore to run. I got on an exercise machine and within minutes one of the guys who works at the gym was next to me, looking very sheepish.
“Hey,” I said, taking out an earbud. My politics podcast would have to wait.
“So… we are doing this photo shoot,” he mumbled. “And we’re looking for all kinds of people. I was wondering if you could help out because we are looking for (wait for it) … an in-shape mom.”
I smiled demurely (what, this old thing?) and acted as though this was the oddest thing I’d ever heard, which it kind of was.
Huffing and puffing on that damn stair thing, I thought about it for a minute. Surely, there were other moms around, more in-shape moms, moms who have to wear real bras and not the kind you slip over your head and can buy at Old Navy for 6.99, moms who did upper body work (I rarely do), moms with core muscles (nope). If I’m anything, I’m a runner, and as a character in my book says: Nobody really wants to see a runner naked.
And here’s another thing — an in-shape mom? What is that anyway and why does it sound so creepy? It may have been a case of not wanting to join a club that would have me as a member, but all I could think of were mom-jeans, soccer-moms, mom-hairdos, and the mother of all mom-items, the MINIVAN.
I spent a while protesting too much and then the gym guy interrupted. “We’re really stuck. The mom who was supposed to do it had to cancel.”
“The who?” I yelled over the podcast still playing in my left ear. “Really? There’s another, more in-shape mom than me??” I looked around the gym in an exaggerated manner, my hand over my eyes, as if looking off into the distance for another mother in better shape. Suddenly, I was Jane Fonda. (I have just dated myself in ways unimaginable. Who should I have said – Gal Gadot???)
“Um…” The poor guy. What was he to do?
“I can’t make it anyway,” I said. I was nobody’s sloppy seconds. (I wasn’t lying. It was smack in the middle of teaching.)
I finished huffing and puffing and went home to my eldest child, who is now old enough to have a man-cold. Feeling out of sorts about the whole encounter, I made myself something to eat. Please don’t judge, but this is what I ate:
My friend, R., thinks it’s revolting, but quinoa with ketchup is my favorite dish. Frankly, there are few meals that cannot be improved a squodge of ketchup, but this one is spectacular and cheers me up without fail.
Besides, It’s the official dinner of second place in-shape moms everywhere.