Tag Archives: gym crush

Ms. Fading Failure

Oh boy.  “The Fade.”

The infamous Fade has been a staple of human dating rituals since… gosh, it doesn’t really matter.  You know what I’m talking about.  Boy meets girl.  Boy goes on date(s) with girl.  Boy realizes that he is not into girl.  Boy doesn’t call girl.  Girl may attempt contact with boy.  Boy ignores and fades into nothing.  Girl eats caramels and moves on.  The end.

I’ve been faded many a time in my life.  I’ve even done some fading myself.  The Fade is an established social convention indicating at least one party’s lack of interest in the other.

However, I’m not sure that all Parisian men are as familiar with the Fade as we are in the anglophone dating world.

I have attempted, on multiple occasions, to fade my way out of undesirable entanglements here.  According to past experiences on American soil, this should have gone off without a hitch.

But, of course, upon arrival in Paris, hitches abounded, and the most illustrative example is someone to whom I refer as Mr. Gym Stalker.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Gym Stalker worked the front desk at my gym.  While I didn’t pay much attention to the front desk staff at the time, my gym buddy, the Irish Parisienne, pointed out to me that Mr. Gym Stalker had developed a little crush on me.

I laughed it off and just continued along my merry little way.

But one day, as I was on my way out, he summoned me over and told me that he needed to ask me about something.

Mr. G.S. : “I noticed that you don’t come here as often as you used to.”

Man-shopper : “Yeah, I moved.  I only work out here if I’m in the neighborhood.  I go to a different location now.”

Mr. G.S. : “Here’s the thing.  I’ve been working here for two years now, and I can’t work out here anymore because people recognize me while I’m working out, assume that I’m on duty, and bother me.”

Man-shopper : “Uhhh, okay….”

Mr. G.S. : “It’s really difficult for me to motivate myself to work out at other locations, so I was wondering if you’d like to work out sometime at the location that you go to now.  Planning to meet up with people motivates me more than if I were to just go by myself.”

Man-shopper : “Oh, ok, gym buddies are cool.  Well, I go to spin class, you’re welcome to join me.”

And I thought that’d be it.  I didn’t think that it would be a big deal, since I didn’t intend on returning to this gym location anymore.  My move was finally official, and it was no longer convenient for me to trek out there.  So, in my mind, this wasn’t a date, and I didn’t give him my number.  This was just a… a nothing.

But then the phone calls started.

I had that gym’s phone number programmed into my phone, and I noticed that the gym would be calling me everyday, but nobody ever left a message.  I didn’t bother call back, as I figured that if the gym had official business with me, they’d leave a message.

After a few weeks of this, I began to get lots of calls from a mobile number that I didn’t recognize, and sometimes from a masked phone number.  Again, I don’t answer or return calls unless I know the number or if I’m expecting a call.  These calls were really starting to concern me, as they would occur at least several times per day, sometimes as late as 11 at night.

I decided to approach this matter as if the caller were an undesirable and clueless suitor.  I figured, the Fade should work eventually, right?  I’ll just sit tight and be unresponsive until he gets the point and goes away.

A couple of months later of these persistent phone calls, I began to think that my phone was possessed.  Who the hell would keep calling me like this without leaving a message??

I lived in fear of my phone.

I turned off its ringer.

One fateful day — my birthday, actually — I get a text message from the mystery mobile number.

“Hi, I just wanted to wish you a happy 27th birthday.  All the best, Mr. G.C.”

So let’s recap the horribleness of this situation:

Mr. G.C. pulled my mobile number from the gym’s client files and proceeded to harass me for months without leaving a voicemail.

Mr. G.C. then pulled MY BIRTHDAY from my file and used the number acquired by inappropriate channels in order to harass me further.

My Fade failed miserably.

It had nothing to do with my technique.  It is physically impossible to botch a Fade.  Non-response is the easiest cop-out thing to do in the world.

But some creeptastic, stalkerish, dodgy Parisian men simply refuse to be Faded.

However, this is not to say that the Fade doesn’t have its uses on the Parisian scene.  Even if the Fade fails miserably as a suitor-ditching technique, it is, however, a great way to determine whether one needs to consider taking out a restraining order.

Don’t Say Hello by Simone Grant
Fade To Black by The Urban Dater
The Fade by Miss Melisa Mae
You Say Fade? I Say Cop-Out by Women Are From Mars
To Fade or Not to Fade by Jess Downey
Eyes Open By Totally Tyler
Fading Into the Shadows by Miss Taylor Cast
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by F*cking in Brooklyn
Da Fade, Ladies and Gentlemen, by Thank You For Your Sex™
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Mssrs. Gym Casanova

While I was tidying the other day, I found my old workout notebook, in which I also scrawled some of the more memorable lines that men have fed me at the gym.  My long-time readers may remember that I spend big chunks of my life at the gym.  And since I signed up over a year ago, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the kind of barbarism that is somehow accepted as civilized human behavior at a parisian gym.

I picked out some of my “favorites” and added a few recent gems in order to present to you, dear readers, the Gym Casanova Hall of Infamy:

In the lobby:

  • “Hey, girl, you don’t need to work out.  Don’t go upstairs to work out.  Stay here in the lobby with me and I’ll give you a workout.”
  • “Don’t see many of ‘your people’ in here.”

In the free weights room :

  • “Hey, little girl, are you lost?”
  • “Aren’t you afraid of turning into a man?”
  • “You must be in here to find a man, no?”

In the weight machines area :

  • “Will you marry me?  Oh, not YOU.  I don’t like asians.  I was talking to the girl behind you.”
  • “Are you lesbian?”

In the stretching area:

  • “Women shouldn’t do push-ups.”
  • “Do you give thai massages?  You’re thai, right?”

In the cardio area:

  • “You know, a lady is not supposed to sweat like that.”
  • “Finished already?  <as he looks me up and down>  Don’t you think that you need to burn a few more calories?”

From the mouth of a mean trainer:

  • “You’ve gotten fat over the holidays.  Looks like I have my work cut out for me.”

  • “You look terrible today.”  (For the record, I thought that I looked pretty good, dammit.)
  • <pinches the area of my back right above my butt>  “Got to trim this down!”  (Ever since then, I’ve been terrified about back fat.)

I love working out.

But goddamn it, I hate going to the gym in Paris.

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Ms. Lap Sitter

It’s that time of year again.  The Christmas season.  Time to go sit on some pervy Santa’s lap and ask him for random stuff.

Like the rest of the masses, I figured that I should take the time to put in my order with Papa Christmas.

Papa Christmas.  Is it just me, or does that sound dirty?

Ah, who the hell cares?  I’m already sitting on his lap at this point.  No turning back now.

So, Santa, let me get all nestled in here.  Why is it so comfy?  This is more than a little disturbing.

Anyway, listen up, Père Noël.  Here is what I want — nay, NEED — this Christmas:

  • MATCHING UNDERWEAR SETS.  As racy and frilly as they come.  Why?  A girl’s got to be able to compete on this lacy Parisian scene.  Besides, Santa, I know that you enjoy picking out lingerie, you pervy cad, you.  (Ms. Victoria’s Secret Angel)
  • MORE PANTS.  I tend to lose them when I drink.  And not in a good way.  (Ms. One Night Stand)
  • And last, but not least, please send me JUSTIN LONG for Christmas.  Please wrap him up in a snuggly sweater.  No need to tie him up with ribbon.  I’ve got plenty of ribbon and accoutrements at my place.

Please deliver all gifts to the family compound in California, and I will arrange for transport back to Paris.  My stocking is the one with the obese snowman on.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, give Justin Long to either of my sisters.  As God is my witness, I will hunt you down and beat you with a stocking full of fruitcake-shaped rocks.

That is all.

Joyeux Noël.

Wait, why am I still on your lap?

 

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Mssrs. Crushes

Even though I have made a conscious choice to take a break from dating, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have crushes.  I firmly believe that crushes are essential to a woman’s survival.  Without them, I would probably wander around in public in my pyjamas, relegate showering to the category of unnecessary luxuries, and permanently lose my eyebrow tweezers.  In my eyes, if it ever comes to that, I might as well be dead.

So in order to maintain a healthy emotional state, as well as a presentable public persona, I try to have at least several crushes at any given time.  Currently, I have three….

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Tall Dark Delicious

He is tall.  He is dark.  He is positively delicious.  He is like a cross between Lenny Kravitz, Vin Diesel and a Greek god.  And lord, did I mention that he is TALL??  I’m not necessarily into really tall guys, but he’s just so tall that I’m fascinated by the novelty of it.  Especially since I live in Paris and don’t often see such hearty, broad-shouldered specimens of manhood.  There is just SO much of him!  So.  Much.  Man.

He also rocks these great running shoes with bright yellow accents.  I’m a simple creature sometimes, drawn to bright colors and shiny objects.  His shoes, as well as his entire hotness, is just so shiny.

The man is so gorgeous that I can’t even fathom interacting with him on any normal human level.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that if he were to talk to me, his voice could not be heard by us mere mortals.  To us, the less godly-beautiful, it would just sound like thunder and fury.

Besides, we all know that such absurdly beautiful gods have almost no chance of having any measurable personality or sense of humor.

Right.  That’s what I’m going to tell myself.

Mr. Justin Long

The real Justin Long is the love of my life.  He and Drew Barrymore don’t know it yet, but I am going to marry him.

So since I laid eyes on this Justin Long lookalike, I haven’t stopped drooling.

And even though he is a wispy wisp of a Frenchman whose ass is approximately the size of my fist, I’ve been drooling for approximately four months now.  (That, people, is the kind of power that the real Justin Long has over me.)

The problem is, I’m drooling so consistently and so profusely that it has clearly blocked all high level brain functions in his presence.  Walking AND breathing at the same time?  Forget about it.  Stringing together complete sentences AND avoiding moving obstacles?  So far, no success.

He is just so adorable that I can’t contain myself.  It’s shameful.

To avoid humiliation, I just flee whenever I see him.

Mr. Chicken Legs

Okay, so his legs obviously aren’t very impressive, but who cares?  I think that it’s endearing that his legs are skinny.  I’m not saying that he’s a wispy willow-twig-boy.  Despite his skinny legs, the man is in great physical shape and his legs are stronger than they look.

One problem: he is the ringleader of my rockclimbing group.  And we all know that we shouldn’t shit where we eat.  I do not want to lose a climbing partner to stupid crush shenanigans.

So alas, I’m just going to pretend that I’m his platonic climbing buddy and attempt to belay him safely while staring at his ass (which is a decent size and very perky!).

Clearly, this is not going to end well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What is that old saying?  ‘Variety is the spice of life’?  Well, that’s bollocks.  Crushes are the spice of life.  ESPECIALLY if they never lead to anything.  Honestly, the moment that a crush from afar transitions into some tangible romantical entanglement, all the fun is lost.  All the suspense, the fantasy, the shininess….  Blown to bits by the unforgiving reality of his douche-toolery.

Winter is coming to Paris, the skies are getting greyer, and the outfits are getting greyer.  But I refuse to allow my mood to get any greyer.

So even as I say ‘Next!’, my crushes will keep me sane and smiling.

Next!

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Mr. Crew Team Captain

As some of you may recall from my previous posts about gym crushes (Ms. Gym Stalker and Ms. Boston Man-shopper), I’ve got a bit of a gym obsession.  And even though I am on holiday in the USA for a short period of time, that does not mean that I’ve dropped my fitness routine.

It does, however, mean that I still spend an (un?)healthy amount of time at the gym and that I inevitably encounter a plethora of attractive men there.

My current favorite: Mr. Crew Team Captain.

But one problem: we are both supremely awkward.

Even if I weren’t due to leave for Paris in a few days, this gym crush would still be doomed to go nowhere because we are both completely devoid of anything that could pass for flirting skills.

You’re probably thinking, “puh-lease, it can’t be that bad!” or “Man-shopper, you’re just using hyperbole to maintain reader interest in your self-deprecating blog drivel.”

But you’d be wrong.

Observe…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Hey.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Good job, flash that alluring smile.  Hello, gorgeous man-thing.”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Hi.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “My alluring smile got ONE syllable?  I should work on that…  Crap, this silence is painful.  Okay, raise your eyebrows.  Then it should be clear that you’re waiting for him to be a man and make this conversation happen, right?”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “So… have a good workout!”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Um.  Thanks.  Ummm.  Bye?”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Imbeciles.  Both of you.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Sooooo… Looks like you’re heading out.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “SWEET.  We are going to parlay!  Don’t fuck it up.  Don’t fuck it up.  Don’t fuck it up, dammit.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Yup.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “‘Yup?!’  God, I weep for humanity.”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Cool.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Great.  HE’S a dumbass too.  But so pretty…”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “I really like this music better than the music that is played in the evenings here.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Seriously??  THAT’S the best that you can do?”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Me too.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Everyone in this conversation needs to be put out of their misery.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “So… I’ll see you later!”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Oh.  Good.  God.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I swear, people who know me can attest to the fact that I’m perfectly capable of having (somewhat) normal conversation.  It could very well be that the weird combination of chemicals, hormones, pheromones, sweat and disinfectant at the gym muddles my brain.

Yes… let’s just chalk it up to that.

In the meantime, I’m no longer allowed to speak to men at the gym.

My already bruised and maimed pride simply can’t take any further humiliation.

Comics from http://www.nataliedee.com

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Ms. Boston Man-shopper

If you follow me on Twitter (if you’re not, why the hell aren’t you?  For shame!), you are probably aware that I’m temporarily moving my man-shopping operation to the USA for the next month.  I’m using this trip as an opportunity to add an international comparative angle to my current “anthropological research” in Paris.

My great American come-back tour begins in Boston and Cambridge, where I lived for five years before fleeing the country altogether.  So in a way, I was coming home.

When I touched down at Logan airport, my heart was racing with excitement.

I WAS IN AMERICA!

It felt strange.

Signs were in English.

The guy at the Amex exchange desk told me to “Have a nice day” and smiled at me.  He was so nice that I wanted to leap over the counter and give him a hug.

The men were…

… MANLY.

Everywhere I looked, I saw broad shoulders.

Nowhere did I see a man-purse.

I saw men drinking BEER.

Nobody harassed me in the street.  Nobody harangued me on the metro.  Nobody called me a geisha, and nobody said “Ni Hao” to me.

God, how refreshing.

America is AWESOME.

And when I went to a posh sports club to attempt to scam my way into a free trial membership, the man-situation got even better.

Or so I thought.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I arrived at the gym, the receptionist directed me to membership services and told me to ask for Blair, who would see to all my membership needs.  But when I rolled up, a handsome and earnest young man (NOT Blair), hereafter dubbed Mr. New England, insisted on “taking care of me.”

And I thought, “Hubba hubba.  I hope that you DO take good care of me, you yummy thing.”

Mr. New England truly was the poster-boy for that all-American, Abercrombie, Greenwich-Connecticut, crew-team hunksicle.

And while that isn’t normally the type of guy that I normally go for, my expat existence is such that it’s been a long time since I encountered such a specimen.

It was so very convenient that I was able to find such a representative American man-product within days of my arrival in New England!

But I digress.

So back to my story…  Mr. New England showed me into his office and proceeded to give me the standard sales pitch.  No surprise there.

But at some point — I’m not sure when — I realized that I was trying to flirt with this man.

Problem:  I am a crap flirter.

  • When I fancy a guy, I get very nervous.
  • When I get nervous, my conversational skills tend to resemble verbal spewage instead of verbal sparring.
  • While in nervous mode, my brain devotes 99% of its computing power to essential tasks like remaining upright, avoiding moving obstacles, and preventing saliva from dribbling down my shirt.  The 1% that remains is insufficient for complicated operations like, for instance, sounding or acting even remotely intelligent.

If I were to write a step-by-step guide to flirting based solely on my interactions with Mr. New England, it would go something like this:

  1. Spew at least five minutes worth of nonsense every time he asks you a basic question.
  2. When he escorts you out of his office to take you on a tour of the gym facilities, forget to take your wallet and keys with you.
  3. While on the tour, if he says anything remotely flirtatious or provocative to you, emit a shrill, nervous sound that serves as your lame attempt at charming giggling.
  4. Say, “That is SO COOL,” to everything that he says.  Because clearly, that shows off your high IQ and brilliant conversational skills.
  5. Upon returning to his office after the tour, when he points out that you’d forgotten your wallet and keys there, emit that same shrill nervous sound again.

    She looks like she knows what she's doing. I look nothing like this.

  6. Be sure to ask him heaps of stupid questions that he already answered before the tour.
  7. When leaving his office for the final time, inadvertently drop your metro card on the floor somewhere.
  8. When he runs after you to return it, stare blankly at it as if you’ve never seen it before.  Then say, “ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh.  Thank you, how did it escape my wallet?” and spout lame excuses about jet lag.
  9. Run away.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Right.

So obviously, I’m no casanova.

And it would come as no surprise that just before I executed Step #9, Mr. New England told me that he had a girlfriend.

But what I can’t fathom is why, after telling me about his girlfriend, he asked for my number anyway.

In any case, I still ran away.

And no, I didn’t give him my number.

Next!

And tomorrow I leave for upstate New York, so more stories to come…

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Ms. Gym Stalker

Since the online man-products in my life have been so disappointing lately, I’ve found myself obsessively crushing on men at the gym.  And when I say “obsessively,” I’m not exaggerating in the least.

Gay Lover-Boy

He’s gay.

Damn.

But he’s adorable enough to get any lady’s fallopian tubes in a knot.  Since he’s one of the trainers, he has a flawlessly sculpted body that would’ve sent Adonis running to his plastic surgeon for a touch-up.  And now that I’ve worked out which sessions that he runs, it pretty much determines my gym schedule, my social schedule AND my work schedule.

I am always there.

Stalkerish?  Yes, I know.  Creepy?  Undoubtedly.  Sad?  Well… a little bit.

I just can’t help myself.  He’s GORGEOUS.

Sigh.

Caramel Concoction

He is exactly what his nickname suggests.

While my passion for chocolates is lukewarm at best, caramel has always been a weakness of mine.  And if caramel au beurre salé were to take on human form, it would look exactly like this delectable young man.  His skin is just… divinely caramel-like.

Caramel au beurre salé.  Sublime.When I first saw him, I wanted to lick him.

All over.

But try as I might, I can’t seem to get his attention.  He is apparently immune to my standing stretches, most of which entail my bum being on display for all the world to see.  So far, my inept eye-flirting has only succeeded in freaking him out a bit.  And when I tried to strike up a conversation with him the other day, he just looked terrified and scurried away toward the treadmills.

It’s always nice to know that a man finds you abhorrent.

The Dance Instructor

I’m not talking about ballerinas, tutus and cotton candy pink.

This man is well-versed in the art of street dancing.  Hip hop HOT, I tell you.  He just oozes coolness.  Those baggy trousers… that bangin’ upper body…

photo by © Gino Santa Maria

And white boy can MOVE, yo.

Which I find very, very sexy.

It also doesn’t help that he’s a big winker.  Every time he winks, I drool a little.  And sometimes I swoon a bit.

The other day, he was teaching us how to pop and lock to T-Pain’s “Take Your Shirt Off,” and he joked (with a wink, of course), “Hey, maybe I should.”  He grabbed the hem of his shirt, as if he really was about to rip it off.

My heart stopped.

And even though he didn’t strip down (tarnation!), that didn’t stop me from picturing his naked torso and drooling all over the place as I bent over to catch my breath.

Then I slipped on the drool puddle when I went to grab my towel.

I’m irresistible, aren’t I?

Final remarks

There is a great benefit to being obsessed with my gym crushes.  Thanks to them, I am motivated to hit the gym every day.  And thanks to them, I look great naked.  Too bad none of them will ever know that…

But despite that, my gym obsessions have made me realize the following not-so-flattering things about myself:

  • I am a creepy stalker who trolls the gym for man candy.
  • I still can’t eye-flirt.
  • Like my grade school days, I still have a knack for making the lads run away in horror.
  • I produce an inordinate amount of drool.  I wonder if I should get that checked out.

My gym crushes have most likely come to the same realizations about me.  And all three of them (especially Gay Lover-Boy!) are probably thinking the same thing every time they see me lurking around:

Next!

Gosh, it’s not so nice when I’m on the receiving end of that…

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