Gossip Town

Won’t you take me to… gossip town?

Picture that this woman, rather than dancing with crazy eyes, is actually talking to her girlfriends nonstop in the locker room, by the weights, and in the hallways headed to the different places in the gym. They’re all talking at once. They’re not talking about anything in particular. But they are continuing almost without breaths.

That’s what it feels like at my gym.

There is a group of women who sit in the multi-purpose room and gossip. They start out in the locker room, discuss the basics and catch up, and then eventually go to the multi-purpose room and continue talking. They just talk. Did I mention they talk? There’s so much talking.

So. Much. Talking.

While I think it’s great that people have gym buddies, I’d like to make a little pitch that the gym part overshadow the buddy part just a little bit.

Maybe we stop talking for a little bit and just focus on the workout? Maybe for like five minutes? Three minutes? One effing minute? Maybe you just stop to breathe? Maybe you recognize that the other people around you aren’t interested in hearing your mundane, loud gossip? Maybe you realize that you’re not actually working out that hard because you’re not letting yourself get out of breath because you’re too busy concentrating on talking? Maybe you realize that that half-assed stretch you’re doing right now isn’t going to make those already-tight pants fit any better? Maybe you stop talking? Have I mentioned it’d be nice if you just stopped talking?

You’re putting even Chatty Cathy to shame. She wants to bang her head against the wall because of your incessant talking. We all do. You’re making everyone else in the gym want to hurt themselves. And that’s dangerous because it’s a gym so there are a thousand ways of really doing damage to your body. Just yesterday, when you three decided to all discuss the same terrible TV show at once, I looked at the punching bag next to myself and wondered if I let it loose and land on my head and my head exploded all over the ground if that would make you notice there was someone else in the gym and maybe make you stop talking. I had that thought. And it’s your fault. All of you.

So shut it. Shut up. Quiet. Keep the gossip to a reasonable level. And maybe contain the gossip to the locker room.

But mostly… please… just be quiet.


Couple stays together for fear of gossip about Facebook status change

Tracey Thomas and Ricky Lane have been officially broken up for two weeks. But that’s in the real world. Online, specifically on Facebook, they remain an item.

But, why? The two have no intentions of reconciling. They only dated for about three months before they decided they were incompatible and completely bored by each other. Unfortunately for both of them, they had already taken the plunge and were in a Facebook relationship with each other. In order to avoid the notorious broken heart symbol and the numerous friends and acquaintances who would comment on the personal change, the two have just decided to leave themselves together online.

This story is not an isolated one. Since it’s inception, Facebook has taken the already muddy world of relationships and officially made them “It’s Complicated.” On the one hand, many people rush into being in a Facebook relationship out of excitement to show off a new significant other and to know that significant other will have officially gone off the market for others checking their profile. On the other hand, they often look before they leap, leaving them regretting having to have the world know when they go through something as awkward as a public break up.

And officially breaking up is just the tip of the ice-Zucker-berg when it comes ways Facebook has changed our social interactions. Between who we allow to see what, how we can manipulate our privacy settings, how we throw and plan and promote parties and social gatherings, how we keep in touch with people we haven’t seen in years and may never see again, how we say goodbye to loved ones, and how we tag our pets as humans are just some of the hundreds of new anxiety-building methods that we have to communicate with one another.

It’s the little broken heart that sets the break up apart from all else on Facebook, however. Both Thomas and Lane (among numerous others) agree that their hearts were not broken when they broke up with each other. They just want to avoid the numerous people who will comment on the status change. Or, even worse, send messages condoling them or writing notes about starting over and tagging them in it.

So, they stay together. And, as a result, still hang out with each other once in a while, mostly so friends can get a picture of them together, tag it, and there are no worries about whether or not their still together from well-meaning friends. The Facebook relationship, for these two, is almost like choosing to make the commitment and have a child together. Though they no longer want to be together, they must put up appearances so people don’t judge them or stick their nose in their personal lives.

Ah, the perils of the new world.

Man on bus decides cellphone conversation important enough to share with everyone.

Donald Ensel is a frequent user of both his cell phone and the local bus system, often finding himself talking on the phone while riding the bus. On occasion, Ensel decides that the conversation he’s having is so important and so exciting, that he needs to speak very loudly and share it with the other passengers.

This is what happened last Sunday when Ensel was heading north to his home via the city bus. He began talking on the phone to his wife, Jamie, when the two of them apparently got in a small tiff. According to Ensel, there was a miscommunication as to what his expectations were when he got home from work. He wanted to stay in and eat warm food, and Jamie was apparently ready to go out on the town.

Because he was so strongly rooted in his convictions, Ensel began speaking louder and with more authority. Eventually, he decided that he needed to share his side of the conversation with the entire bus, with the hopes that those bystander’s hearing it would agree with his side of the argument and would help morally support him.

Heather Long was on that same bus that night, and heard Ensel’s conversation. “I thought he sounded absolutely right, at least at this end of the conversation. I know I love to stay in and eat a nice meal at home,” she says. She added, “I enjoyed listening to the details of the conversation. They were a welcome reprieve from the mundane conversation I was having with my friend next to me.”

Claire Hudson, Long’s friend and conversation partner on that fateful day, had a different perspective. “I just wanted him to shut up,” she said. “He was being way too loud and nobody gives a —- about your conversation. Quiet down and recognize there are other people in this world.”

Ensel claimed sharing the conversation with the rest of the bus must have given him an advantage against his wife, claiming to have won the argument after all was said and done. “I’ll be sure to share more personal conversations on a daily basis while I’m in public places,” he said, beaming.

Patient admits deep-dark secret to dentist during compelling one-sided conversation

During what seemed like a routine dental examination yesterday, Rodney Fairfield admitted to his dentist a number of facts from his past that he had kept hidden for years. In describing the experience, Fairfield admits, “I don’t know what came over me. We were having small chat like usual and I had to keep my mouth open and could barely make sense of what I was saying, but my dentist was listening so well and could understand every garbled word. I suddenly just felt really connected to her and had to share.”

Dr. Maria Grossman, Fairfield’s dentist, was not nearly as surprised as Fairfield about the event. “I talk to my patients while I’m working on them all the time. They speak in garbled moans and without much clarity, but after 30 years on the job, I understand every inarticulate word. This makes them feel comfortable and safe to say whatever they want,” she explains. “And there is a sense of privacy because everyone else in the office just hears grunts and moaning, or at best the sound of someone talking while someone else is holding their tongue. But, I speak patient-language, and can comfort the weary, drugged-up patients who are in pain from me attacking their teeth.”

Fairfield, who did not want to disclose the juicy information he told Dr. Grossman, said that he’s glad he told his dentist everything. “I didn’t actually have to say it, because technically I was just grunting and making sounds come out of my throat. But, we both know what I said, and it’s nice to have gotten it all off my chest.”

When asked if she ever shared the precious information that’s imparted onto her from her patients, Dr. Grossman adamantly denied it. Though she added, slyly, “Except, of course, when the information is way too juicy to keep to myself. I may share it at the local dentist hang outs just to get a conversation going. All of us who speak patient-language do!”

Dr. Grossman has been asked by a local dental university to create a course on dentist/patient relations. A huge chunk of her curriculum will focus on the deciphering of what patients are saying while being worked on. Though the course is a seminar that doesn’t begin until mid-September, there are already 200 dentist signed up and 52 more in the waiting list.