Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Today I am grateful for talking. I like to talk. I like to hear other people talk. I also like to listen. And I’m very used to multi-tasking. In other words, I can talk and do something else at the same time. For instance, I can talk, cook, clean, drive, eat, drink and even exercise while talking, although if the exercise is intense I might not. And I don’t give two hoots if someone near me is talking. As long as they are paying attention enough to not get in my way, I don’t need them to stop. I am usually trying to breathe and stay alive during the exercises but might chat a bit in between sets. Except for today people chatted at me and I chatted back.
I will NOT talk in the theater during a play, or when watching a movie. Ever. Not during the ads or coming attractions, either. I won’t even open a crackly wrapper on candy. I’m serious. And I give Himself the evil eye when he does. I will not talk during a religious service, a concert, a school event, during a lecture, yoga or other meditation, or when watching TV at home. (I pause if there is something to discuss, like the answers on Jeopardy.)
Today, with the music blasting in the pool, during the last, cool down exercise I was discussing options for the diet of a friends mentally challenged daughter and our shared experiences with Weight Watchers. It was probably nothing that couldn’t have waited, but we were almost done with class and half of the people had already left anyway.
Imagine my shock when the lifeguard, someone I still like and respect, called my name after the class. When I turned to look at her, she put her finger to her lips in the universal “shut-up” symbol. “What?” I asked. She said, “You talked through that whole class and your voice carries across the water. It’s very disrespectful to the instructor.” Disrespectful? What am I, 8 years old again, sitting in the time-out seat in elementary school? Seriously?
I am taking umbrage. Big time umbrage! For all our sakes, dear instructors, lighten up! The other day another instructor shushed a few people, too. To that I ask, why? What possible difference could it make to the instructor if people are speaking a few words to each other? You see, while many of us, me included, come to get a serious workout, to some who attend, this hour is the only human contact they will have all day long. They live in relative silence beyond their time at the pool. So what if they like to socialize a little. Where’s the harm?
I could understand if the room was silent and someone was giving a lecture, but with blasting music, it is impossible to hear the instructor anyway. Add the echo factor of the pool and water splashing all over. Why shush, embarrass or otherwise shame grown-up and mostly retired-senior women? We have earned the right for a little latitude. Lighten up. If your goal is to cut the size of the classes, and piss people off, go ahead and ban chatting. That could do it.
I know some of you won’t agree with me and that is your right. I’ll be happy to read your blog about it. And yes, this is me talking! In my outside voice! Can you hear me, now?