There. Now you know. Word's out. It's official. You know how I've whined on here about not being treated equally due to my disability? You know how I've lamented not having luck in the relationship department? Well, reader(s), I'll let you in on a little secret. Yes, that's right, it's hardly a secret as I put it in the post title, but I am a hypocritical bitch. I was at the gym today, with my headphones on to filter out all the freaks that are so magnetized to my presence. See, I have no interest in meeting someone at the gym. In fact, I have great interest in talking as little as I can to people at the gym. Not that I have anything against gym-goers, heck, I'm a gym-goer myself (wait, wait, the hypocritical part is coming). What I do object to is the general gym culture that exists. The guys with puffed out chests in their muscle-Ts, grunting as they bench press 250. The guys who lift weights in front of the mirror and you know it's not just to make sure they're doing it right. The guys who talk about their workout regime to anyone who'll listen. The women who strut around in body tight spandex, short shorts and midriffs, the women whose gym attire includes makeup and jewelry (ok, so I wore hoops today.. sorry!). I don't go to the guy to socialize or meet people. I go to get in shape. I want to get in, do my thing, and get the hell out of there. Chatting with the other inhabitants of my space just prolongs the process. I don't love the gym, I don't go 7 days a week, and I am not lost without it.
Today I was at the gym doing my thing, on my way to getting the hell out. In fact, I was almost done. Ten minutes left tops. I even had protection thanks to my handy iShuffle. Gym etiquette clearly states that those with earphones shall not be disturbed. I was disturbed. Yes, here is where the hypocritical part comes in. My disturber was disabled. A youngish lad most likely in his early 20s. Came right up to me and started talking. I had to remove my armor to hear him. It was the polite thing to do. He asked me how long I'd been coming to this gym. I answered. He asked if I leaved near. I replied "near enough". He persisted. I tried to nip this in the bud. "I'm sorry, I'm trying to do my workout, thanks." Back go the earphones. He persisted. I wasn't really listening at this point, I was annoyed. I don't like my personal space being invaded. I finally put the headphones back on again and proceeded to ignore him. He finally went away. This disabled man seemed to not only have some physical disability, but also seemed to have some sort of cognitive impairment as well. Had he been non-disabled, older, and, well, hot, I'm not sure I'd have been so, well, rude.
I recognize where he is coming from. I recognize the lack of social skills often seen among disabled. I'm also aware that his disability might have prevented him from having full insight into his actions and how they were perceived by others. I recognize that meeting people and making friends is not something I do easily. But does that mean that because I have a disability and have my own issues related to that that I should be more understanding of others? If I had been nicer to this guy would it have spiraled into a pattern where I would have had to talk to him every time I went to the gym? Or was I just treating him like I'd treat any other invader of my privacy?