Today's inaugural Whinesday was going to be about leggings, towards which I feel a very strong and entirely reasonable animosity, but recent events have compelled me to make it about something else that is very close to my heart: public gym locker room etiquette.
Honestly, I wouldn't think a post like this should be necessary. Who among us is not aware that, when sharing a small area where sweaty strangers must gather and undress, a certain degree of courtesy should be expected? As it turns out, many; therefore, this post, with a few key rules.
(I should note that the following rules are derived from the ladies' locker room at the gym in the office park where I work; naturally I am assuming that the apply equally to everyone else, everywhere.)
1. If, in an almost totally empty locker room, you enter the one bay of lockers that has a person in it, Do Not take the locker next to her but one up, forcing her to choose between finishing her changing facing you at close quarters or turn and face the mirror, because a) this is creepy and b) if I liked looking at myself in the mirror while changing, then I wouldn't have spent the last hour on the treadmill, now would I? I don't care if that is your best, most favoritest locker in the world; find a second favorite or deal with it. Minimal distance in an empty locker room is five lockers.
2. If you come back to your locker and find yourself lucky enough to have the whole bay to yourself, Do Not assume that it will remain that way for the foreseeable future and spread all of your stuff (bag with lotions, wet bathing suit, gym bag, shoes, clothes, underwear, lunch) over the entire bench area, and then go off and dry your hair. And if you do, and if someone else comes along, with the entirely reasonable expectation that she is going to be able to find somewhere to put her stuff down, and stops with surprise upon seeing your mess and says something to herself like, "Whoa, what exploded here?" Do Not give her dirty looks in the mirror as she goes by again on her way to the shower.
3. When selecting a locker in a room where no more than one tenth of the lockers are occupied, Do look around and try to make sure that the locker you are taking is not directly adjoining one that is already in use (you will be able to tell by the fact that the key is missing). Failing to do this can result in the occupant of that locker returning while you are starting to change and have already taken up all of the nearby bench space and have your locker door open to entirely block her locker, causing her to have to move your door back to a right angle and try to work out of her bag while it is still in her locker, causing some of her makeup to fall out onto the floor, causing her to lean down to pick them up, then whack her head on the corner of your locker door, then drop back to the floor, swearing loudly*.
Honestly, is that too much to ask?
*Sorry, Mom. But the Mythbusters proved that it helps**!
**Actually, I have some concerns about their experimental design there.