Friday, January 05, 2007

A Chat with Chad

Arrived back in the UK today. I am hoping there will be no jetlag as we didn't sleep on the plane. The slightly mad, over-friendly, frizzy-haired woman on the airline counter took a weird liking to us (despite not realising we were a gay couple) and we were recalled back to the desk to be upgraded, which was nice.

The thing I will miss most about America is the casual extroversion and lack of self-consciousness which every single person there seems to have (relative to me). People care so little about what others think of them, that they talk to themselves in public, almost all the time. Walk down any street, and someone's having a little chat to themselves. (Frankly, it's a bit scary, and I suspect might be more to do with mental illlness or drugs than anything else). However, most of the time, the confidence is disarming, and after a few days of complaining about them, I eventually adapt and start talking to complete strangers, in a way I'd never do in the UK.

By far the weirdest encounter happened at the NYC gym on the 15th floor of the hotel I was staying in. The gym is a massive place, in the heart of Broadway, with its fair share of showqueens (lots of perky cute little guys doing squats). I was going through my own routine, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, when a very attractive male instructor suddenly came up to me, grabbed my hand, shook it vigorously and said "HI, I'm Chad! And I just want to say congratulations on your lunges! Most people don't do them right but you did them PURRRRFECT!" In 14 years of going to British gyms, I've never had an instructor come up and talk to me. And so I didn't know how to respond. I eventually said "Thankyou" and looked embarrasssed. The conversation ended there. Hopefully my British accent was shorthand enough for "socially deficient".

Later on, trying to figure out what just happened, I could only surmise that in American gyms, instructors must be made to talk to people and be encouraging, so patrons feel good about themselves and don't end their memberships, it's all that advanced capitalism that they do. I've had them validate my clothes choices in Banana Republic before. I know what they're up to. They're probably especially told to single out anyone who looks a bit weird or out of place.

Either that or he was hitting on me.


Lost Boy said...

Which would you prefer? The only time I've ever been approached by an instructor in the gym is to tell me I'm doing something wrong, turning me crimson within seconds.

KAZ said...

I wonder if this is connected to the mass emigration from Liverpool.
I've noticed that Scousers set up intimate conversations with strangers (though you need subtitles) whereas all you get from Mancs is a scowl - if you're lucky.

Minge said...

I think he was actually congratulation you on your impressive bulge but was too shy to actually come out with it.

Old Cheeser said...

Yes be thankful for small mercies. In London, the gym instructors would probably just grunt at you or make some smarmy comment. Compliments can be few and far between, Mr Odana!

Love the name "Chad" though. So All-American. Makes me think of the guy who Drew Barrymore dated in the first Charlie's Angels' movie (The Chad!) although he was hardly a specimen of virility).

matty said...

I do so love the name "Chad" ...but, everyone says things like that about us. I don't know. I think we are all a bit too repressed here -- unless you're in San Francisco. ...or this really cool club in NYC.

I'm forever chatting with strangers and they with me. In fact, I've always been a bit of a magnet for strangers. I mean that in the kindest of ways. Tho, it does get tiring.

Friday night I was propositioned by an old man in a cowboy hat who wanted to pay me to do things to him with nails. yes.

I was thinking I am just a magnet for the odd or that I must give off the vibe of being a whore. But, now, I'm wondering if it isn't just an American thing. I hate the gyms in SF because they are so painfully cruisy.

I forgot what I wanted to say in my post. Oh well.

I'm glad you had a great trip, that you made friends with Chad, got an upgrade and are now back safe and sound! I wish I was living in the UK, tho. Midlands will do.

Oh, and I think Chad was flirting with you. In fact, I'd put money on it. Trainers in the major cities in the US do not need to drum up business.

kisses from GayTown

Fin De Fichier said...

"it's all that advanced capitalism that they do"

BRILLIANT! And to think you visited the part of the US known as being the least friendly. I think the people you saw on the street were crazies. And, right, the gym people just want your money. For a real NYC experience, witness a trip I made on a packed NJ Transit train to Trenton. NO ONE would give up their seat for a woman struggling to carry A FULL FISHBOWL WITH FISH. Except me, at the other end of the carriage.