I'm sitting at Curves this morning, and the Best of Abba is blaring in my ears. We didn't have this CD at the Curves in TX, but most of the Curves discs have the same 130 beats per minute techno-style rhythm. Something about this particular beat makes me homesick, specifically, for MY Curves.
At MY Curves, I worked the afternoon shifts, and around 5pm, Rosemary would come in. Rosemary and I had a very...special friendship. She and I would pick on each other relentlessly, chat about her deep crush on Robert Horry, and she'd pester me about having babies more than my mom and mother-in-law combined. Rosemary is convinced that I will first have a girl, who by the age of 3, will have long, curly, auburn hair. The curls, maybe. The auburn is unlikely - my red hair for the last 10 years came from a bottle.
We'd laugh and joke through her whole workout. She'd come in and say "I saw your car, so I decided not to skip my workout today. But if you weren't here, I wasn't coming in". Sometimes if I had M's car, she'd show up anyway and act surprised to see me, as if I wasn't there every afternoon anyway. She's feisty and sarcastic and swears (on accident, she always covers her mouth like she had no control of letting that last one slip) and her cardio is this particular hip-shaking move that works perfect with the beat on this Abba CD, and if I didn't know better, I'd think I could just look up and see her out there on the circuit, singing along, laughing and doing her thang.
Carmen also came in around 5pm, and she and I were also pretty close. Carmen intimidated the HELL out of me when I first started there. She looks fierce and wanted to try on the new Curvaceous clothing line on my first day there alone, and just started grabbing things off the rack and running to the dressing room. I didn't know where anything was or what to do with that side of the business, and she had such a take-charge personality, that I just sat back, slack-jawed and stunned. Once I got to know her, I learned that she too is hilarious, sarcastic and feisty. The three of us together - well, lets just say that if you were out there with us, getting a word in edgewise was difficult, unless you were willing to join in on picking on ME.
Once, I was really sick, but couldn't find a cover for my shift, so I sat behind the desk with a box of Kleenex, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a fever over 100. I looked pathetic, and I felt like hell. Carmen came in, finished her workout and left, only to show up again about 10 minutes later, with two grocery bags in hand. One was filled with cold medicines of various types. Some were open box things she had at home, the others were brand new. The other bag contained a Tupperware container filled to the brim with homemade, piping hot chicken and rice soup. "I just happened to have made this yesterday and have a TON of it! There's a plastic takeout spoon inside too if you want to eat it now". Had I not been dehydrated, I might have cried, it was such a sweet gesture, and there's nothing like feeling mothered when you're sick and away from home.
Carmen and Rosemary liked to call me the "drill sargent" or "circuit Nazi". I was one tough cookie out there. If your heart rate is too low, I'm GOING to get it higher. If you're not kicking out hard enough or using something wrong, I will physically MOVE you to the right position. The ladies out here in Scottsdale are lovely and nice, but I can't find that same rhythm with them, and it makes me homesick for my old Curves.
At my Goodbye dinner after my final shift, I hugged Carmen and Rosemary last and tightest, and the three of us both failed miserably at holding back the tears. I miss them both SO much!
*side note - the folks walking around this center today are REALLY bizarre and random. 5 people in suits just rode by on Seguays, a group of guys who look like they stumbled off a Black Crowes tour bus went into Quiznos, and a group of EMO skaters crossed their path to Panda Express. Its a WEIRD day out there...