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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Bend, Stretch and Scream

Bend, Stretch and Scream

When I made the decision to join a gym several years ago, I did so with the idea that I would get some great cardiovascular exercise, get to mingle with the Spandex crowd and become more interesting at cocktail parties.

Joining a gym wasn’t really all that difficult for me. I had been the recipient of exercise paraphernalia from my husband over the years. I never used any of it but neither did I ever ask for any of it. My husband is a firm believer in, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Once I joined, it didn’t take long for me to feel very comfortable with the staff and my fellow gym members.

“Hey Trudy, thanks for being so understanding yesterday when I accidentally ran over your foot during spin class.”

As manager of the northern MA satellite office (a.k.a. my kitchen) of Shut Up Industries, I liked the idea that I would have daily contact with the outside world. In addition, it gave me something to talk about at the dinner table.

“Hey Mikey, did you know I can bench press two pounds?”

Yes, my gym had become a health and social haven for me. That is, until my family started invading my turf.

When my eldest child Jules turned sixteen, she began seeking employment.

“Like, Mom, like how cool would it be if I like got a job at the gym?”

At first I felt like my secret life at the gym had been exposed. I will admit that it was a little unnerving seeing my daughter behind the desk at the gym, but other than the usual, “Like, Patty, what’s for dinner?’ question from Jules, she really didn’t bother me. There are, however, limits to my patience.

Yesterday during my daughter’s shift, I received a disturbing text message from Jules.

“Like Mom sme strnge gy is @ the dsk.”

“Some strange guy is at the desk?” I texted back careful to include the proper punctuation.

“Yah like he’s bugging me.”

“Is it your father” I asked.

“YES!” she wrote.

“Well that’s nice that he’s visiting you.” I texted.

“No, it’s worse. He wants to join the gym!!!”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” I texted wishing that my phone would enable me to text in boldface.

It’s one thing to have your teenage daughter work at your gym, but your husband? Oh no, that’s world’s colliding. It’s a close encounter of the worst kind. This means I must spring into action. I must take matters into my own hands. It calls for drastic measures. Before my husband joins my gym, I will encourage him to first use all of the exercise paraphernalia he’s bought for me over the years. It is after all, the thought that counts.

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