Growing up, like most men, the majority of my words and deeds were constructed in efforts to gain the attention &/or affection of women. Whatever it took to get them to notice me, I tried it. Hey, I needed SOME kind of edge because it wasn’t like they were drooling when I entered the room. I know people don’t like me saying this, but I’ve always considered myself to be quite unattractive. You see I was this skinny kid (the end of the spectrum I’d prefer to be closer to today) with big eyes, “Donald Duck” lips (as my older sister used to tease), goofy walk and poor fashion sense…
…and I had zero “game”. My best friends were good-looking fellas of all races who always got the interested gaze from the girls whenever we went out.
…but not the kid. Nope, not Kenny.
I eventually decided that if I didn’t have the natural “magnet” within and on me, I’d create one. So I worked on improving my knowledge base, trivia and sense of humor so I wouldn’t come off as ignorant or crass in casual conversation. I improved my poem/songwriting skills and musical ability, learning every instrument I could put my hands on. I took a job and became manager of Jeans West, the sharpest men’s clothing store in Tallahassee’s Governor’s Square Mall. This helped me increase my wardrobe (gotta love that manager discount). I participated in every event that I had time for in school, church and community in general. I was going to MAKE people want to meet me.
I even started working out to build muscle mass so I could graduate from shopping for Size “S” shirts in college.
But this isn’t about that kid. It’s about the grown-ass, overweight, married, father of 4, walking around the gym like the new kid in school, looking for a seat in the classroom. It’s about the guy who went from Size Small to “Extra Medium”.
Now I had no intentions of even ATTEMPTING to pick up a woman, but that little kid in me still wanted the ladies to look past the lunkheads and notice me – in allllll of my density. Honestly, I think most all men are like that. They just have more sense than me and know to quell such ridiculous notions and get in an actual workout.
So it’s Friday and I’m in the gym. Not having any sense of strategy, I decided to ignore the nautilus section and get some work done on the free weights.
Reason 1: With free weights, you use more of your stabilizing muscles and get a more productive workout and output. Nautilus is good, but nowhere near as effective.
Reason 2: Free weights are sexier! Here we go.
Mind you, I was still sore from my so-called workout two days prior. I overdid it because that was Wednesday and because it was Wednesday I HAD to “max out” and look good while doing it. You see, unbeknownst to many, Wednesday night is the most popular workout night for most all local exotic dancers (yes, there is actually a stripper night in the gym. Their bodies won’t maintain themselves. Never thought about that before, DID you?). Most married men were prohibited from going on “Wednesday nights” and I’m sure you know who imposed this ban (here’s a hint: it wasn’t the gym employees or management).
But my wife didn’t know, so Wednesday night is “max out” night for Kenny Davis.
Fortunately (and unfortunately), there was only one person in that area. A beautiful, mildly toned and very curvaceous young lady who sat on a bench, slowly curling a “Kenny”, I mean, “dumbbell”.
She looked up in time to see me smile and nod before returning the gesture.
Ok, Step One is done. She’s seen me, now she has to NOTICE me.
I ended up at the squat machine, a barbell that glides up and down two vertical tracks.
Yeah, I can do this. I’ve got strong legs. LOAD IT UP!
I put 50-lb weights on each side. Then another 50, on each side. Then another 50.
You adding this up? (100 at a time).
She looked up with a slight smirk on her face, which I mistook for astonishment.
What the hell, one more pair of 50s.
That totals, yes, four hernia pounds.
Now I’ve got ALL of her attention. Mission accomplished! Step Two is a success!!!
Energetic, high-paced, aerobic music played overhead as I noticed that at least a third of the gym members (nautilus AND cycle section) was focused on me.
Me, me and only ME!
I am the man, baby.
Keep in mind that aerobic music sometimes ends abruptly. No fade out.
I positioned myself beneath the bars, squatting just a bit. I raised up and moved the bars off of the hooks…
…and dropped like a freshly-oiled guillotine.
Please note that the moment I hit the bottom of the squat position, the music stopped….
…and I had consumed a LOT of cornbread, pinto beans and cabbage with my “soul food” lunch.
Ever heard the horn of a steamship before? No?
How about the low-pitched blare of a tuba?
Without hesitation, she put her weights down and walked away, not looking at me once. So did several other unfortunate victims in close proximity.
The rest of the gym members clung tightly to their machines, trying not to fall off with laughter.
I quickly vacated the area, walking like a penguin until I got to the locker room to check my underwear.
Good – no spray painting.
Now I knew dayum well I should have left the gym, but idiot-me returned (since I hadn’t actually DONE anything of value) sheepishly to the back row of exercise bikes.
It was then that I noticed that the young lady returned to her previous location and-
OMG! She had to pass through the fog to get back to her workout!!
She quickly gathered her things and walked towards the ladies’ dressing room. I tried to duck down as I cycled, but she looked up and found me. And I got my first wish.
She REALLY noticed me this time.
Our eyes locked. Well, not the way I’d hoped. Rather, in a manner I definitely didn’t want, which still haunts my dreams.
…and as she walked away, shaking her head in disgust, all I could do was raise my hands and mouth the words, “I’m sorraaaaaayyyyyyy” with the most pitiful face in recorded history…
I spent the next three weeks focusing on curling the 5-lb kettle ball and ONLY the kettle ball.
Seated the entire time…
…on an empty stomach…
…and only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
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