Possession of the Bench

We actually belong to a gym and even use it several times a week.  And for anyone who know us, who would have ever thought that would happen?    That aside, we pack up our gear in a gym bag and haul off to the gym in Farnborough.  The point was to find somewhere close to where my husband works so that he could come over at lunch time and workout.  It has been working beautifully for us.  And even though he is gone this week on a business trip, my daughter and I have gone to the gym (her more than me) and performed our homage to the  various machines.

I always finish before her so I trudged down the stairs to the ladies locker room.  Some days it is quite hard to find a locker because this particular establishment rewards their employees with free locker space so only about 1/2 of the lockers are available for the general paying members – ever.   And on a day when there are classes, it is really a grind to find an open locker.  OK, off my soapbox about the lack of locker space and onto my soapbox about the ladies who locker!

As I round the corner, there is a women who has a locker about 5 over from me and she is in the process of taking everything out of her locker and putting it on the bench.  In the locker room sections (two sections), there are three benches in front of the rows of lockers.  obviously if a lot of people are there, the benches are not enough for everyone but she and I were the only two people in the room at the time.  She took out her coat, her backpack, her purse, her towel, her bathroom bag of goodies and another backpack and proceeded to strew them across the entire bench except for a small space at my end of about 5″ in width, not quite wide enough to put my gym bag on it without it hanging over the edge.  She had just come into the locker room after doing a spinning class because she was shouting to another lady in the other section of the locker room about it.  She still has to take a shower so why is her coat and backpack already out of her locker and taking up space on the bench?????

I took out my gym bag to change and get my towel and shower bag of goodies.  Obviously she can see me, obviously she can see that I have very little room at the end of the bench but she moves nothing.  All her stuff stays spread across the bench.  I quickly get ready for a shower and move to that area, putting my gym back and such back in my locker because I’m not going to leave it out when I can’t see it.  I figure when I come back from my shower, I’ll have a bit more room because I’ll get back before she is done with her shower.

Boy was I wrong.  I come back from the shower and her stuff is still all over the bench.  Coat, purse, two backpacks, and other loose items.  She just went to the shower and left it all on the bench, even her purse.  OMG.  Why?  I don’t get it.  One, I’d never leave my purse out in the open no matter where I am because what if some nice looking granny type lady is actually a thief?  OR what if I was a thief??   I could have easily gotten into her purse and taken anything by the time she came back from the shower.  And two, it’s just so rude to take up almost the whole bench when it’s obvious that other people are there and need space also.

As I walked back to the bench, there was another women pulling things out of her locker and very carefully putting them on the end of the bench so now I have no room.  OK, I pulled out my gym bag and just put it on the floor.  I am adaptable.  The second woman was kind enough to move her things to the middle bench which was close to her but inconvenient for me to have moved.  I thanked her and by now the first lady was back and getting into her stuff and ignoring both of us as if we are invisible. She must have been deaf too in spite of her talking over the lockers earlier.  She totally missed my thank you to the second woman for moving her stuff.

I quickly moved my makeup bag onto the shelf in front of the mirror.  If she is going to be a bench hog, then I am going to grab the closest makeup mirror and stand in front of it.  She had to go to a different mirror and I am honestly surprised that she didn’t say something to me about it because I got a very, very, ugly look from her.

I had finished getting dressed, makeup on face, damp towels and dirty clothes packed away in my gym bag and heading for the door.  My daughter came into the locker room.  She informed me that she was almost dressed and ready to come out as well before that lady finished up and packed up her stuff and relinquished the bench.  AND the entire time, she was also putting stuff in and out of her locker  Wow.

So how does someone bring so much stuff to a gym that they need a locker and a bench to handle it all?  Does no one think about how you can put your purse and coat into the locker first and they will be out of the way so you don’t need to move them until you are ready to leave?  Do the people at this gym feel that they pay more than anyone else so the locker and the benches are there for their own personal use?  Are these Brits so rude that they just never learned to share anything in a public place?  I am hoping it is not the last because I have met many Brits who will give up their seats to me or help me carry things up and down stairs or to the car, who give me directions when I am lost and so forth and so on.  Is it just this particular club that has women who won’t share benches?  I am not sure of the answer but she is not the only one there that does this.  Maybe they got something written into their contract that says they don’t have to share benches and can hog the locker space and the mirror space and the benches.  I’ll never know but should you run into me at a club, I will share the space with you.  You won’t have to ask me at all, I’ll make room for you.  That’s the kind of person I am, I share and I help others.


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