Can This Get Any More Depressing?

14 Sep

After my flurry of friendliness at last week’s kickboxing class (when I talked to two strangers) I settled back down into my more typical, more comfortable near-hermit-like existence.  I managed, again, not to talk to a soul at the Wednesday evening step class (my excuse being that I too sore and grumpy after kickboxing the previous day), and then it was Thursday and then Friday, and when I thought back over the conversations I’d had, most of them were with the dog and the cat.  Granted, there was the woman in Target, with whom I discussed the merits of gummy Omega-3 vitamins.  And my husband and children.  And, over the weekend, extended family.  But, except for the woman in Target, none of them could be considered “new friend prospects.”

I found myself Monday afternoon blissfully doing a 30-minute Yoga Glo class in the quiet of my bedroom – just me, my yoga mat and the video on the computer – and I had an epiphany: being alone in my house is NOT a good way to meet new people.

So I headed to the kickboxing class on Tuesday, determined to reach out to my potential friend from last week.  I would tell her my name, and ask hers, and maybe even suggest getting a cup of coffee.

As I got into the gym, I noticed two women walking together, also headed for the class.  They walked into the studio just ahead of me, caught up in conversation and enjoying each other’s company.

“Friends taking a class together,” I thought, with a stab jealousy.

I set myself up in the back of the room, next to the two friends, and looked around.  My potential friend wasn’t there.  I felt suddenly deflated.  I hadn’t thought of that possibility.

Class began, and still she didn’t show.

“Okay,” I said to myself, “you can overcome this.  You’re in a room full of women.  Pick some other potential friends.”  I looked around and made a mental list of five women.  I would aim to talk to all of them.

The class began.

Thirty minutes in, the first of my five prospects left.

“No problem,” I told myself, “there are four others.”

Then another of the five left.  And a third.  It was like my mental list of potential friends had morphed into some kind of leave-class-early curse.

I couldn’t believe it when potential-friend-number-four, one of the two women who had walked into the class together, also left early.  “I’ve got so many errands to run,” she apologetically told her friend.

“No problem,” the friend said.

“Can this get any more depressing?” I asked myself.  I caught a glimpse of my arms in the mirror, held straight out in a T, as the teacher had instructed, and noticed that my triceps were flapping in the breeze like a pair of pillowcases hung out to dry on a windy day.  Yes, Cathleen, it can.

At the end of class, my fifth potential friend practically ran out of the studio.  I was zero for five, so I turned to the woman whose friend had left.

“Hard class,” I said.

“Boy was it,” she agreed.  “I did a spin class this morning, but I knew my friend wanted to try kickboxing, so I said I’d come with her.”

“Wow – two classes in one day,” I said,  “I don’t think I’d have the energy.  I did this class for the first time last week, and I was sore for two days afterwards.”

She laughed.  “I’m sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow too.  But it was a much better way to spend an hour than shopping.”

I smiled and nodded, and thought to myself: and better than talking to the cat, too.

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