Caught In The Act

"What I need
is a good defense
'cause I'm feeling like
a criminal.

And I need to be redeemed..."

So sue me.

Once in awhile, when I feel lazy, I treat myself to chick lit. It makes the time on the (circle one: elliptical, exercise bike, recumbent bike) go faster. Today I did a bit of cardio, and noticing myself lagging, went to the weights. Lifted for a bit. Still lagging. So I went back to my gym locker and pulled it out. Yes, a Megan Cabot book. Like I said, sue me.

I folded the cover back and headed upstairs. Such a cute beginning! (Itemization of what the main characters bought at the airport, as told by their JFK airport store receipts, thus offering both insight into their personalities and a stage for their first encounter) Anyways, I sat on the bike. And Some Guy (capitalization intended) came and sat next to me.

Well, not six minutes into my grueling manual-level-one workout, I notice that Some Guy is reading over my shoulder! He doesn't think I can notice! He thinks because he's wearing headphones (and not the telltale white earbuds of an iPod! LOO-OO-ZE-ER!) I can't see. But I can. Because no one would strain their eyes that slanted and left to read the "quick start", "personal trainer" and "heart" buttons that hard. Over and over again. I'd read a paragraph and check back. Still there. Some Guy was truly shameless.

Do you even *realize* what a faux pas this is in Lillyland? Not that I expect social manners to be a premium at the gym, but I expected better, even from Some Guy. Yeah, file it under signing off "Cheers" (hi Ameer, hey there Neema) and incessant Seinfeld references...or...usage of the phrase "same difference" or "I couldn't give a care". Ugh. ANNOYING.

But what's more annoying is that I wanted to JUSTIFY myself. I wanted to lean over and say "heh heh, just some fun reading". I wanted to somehow tell him that Nobel winner Jose Saramago's recent novel is on my bedside (the same way I am right now slipping that into conversation). But why the need to justify myself? Particularly when it's better written than so much other stuff out there. Someone once pointedly observed to me that in The Da Vinci Code, all the "important" clues were IN ITALICS. Enough said.

I mean, what could reading chick lit really "say" about me? That I'm single? That I'm fun? That I might be of the sorting-my-life-out-mid-20s-female demographic? That I like a good laugh in well-written, by-definition-sarcastic prose? What happened to not judging a book by its cover? So what if the cover is pink? DON'T JUDGE!

Well, if all of this is a crime, then damnit, I'm a criminal.