This doesn’t involve my super macho gym. It involves my walking group. I use the term “walking group” loosely. I go to a mall before it opens and walk. I walk with a woman I know from my previous gym. In the course of the last year, I have become familiar with all the walkers. Many are older than I am. Much older but very nice. I admire that they stay active.
The walking group has its own ecosystem. They walk and sit afterward to talk before starting their day. They share fundraisers, bus trips and contribute to different things. Some may be social outside of the morning walk. Everyone seems to know everyone’s junk. Even the illicit relationships. (And yes, that happens in geriatric walking groups. People seem to pair off no matter what the age.)
I don’t join in on the social aspect. It’s pre-coffee. I find it hard to be nice pre-coffee. (I’m barely nice post-coffee!) I heard that the conversations can get testy. I don’t like to engage in discussions on anything remotely touchy. Too many end up in a shouting match with no one listening. (That happens a lot these days and there isn’t enough Starbucks to fix it.)
About a week ago, my walking partner, who was a part of the social group, started leaving at the same time I did. Then I heard her story.
When we come in, we put our coats on benches or chairs. There is a hierarchy. The “in crowd” puts their coats on the chairs around tables where they will sit afterward. The rest of us walkers put our coats on the various benches scattered around. Someone started moving her coat out of the “in crowd” area. She got annoyed and took it as a sign that she wasn’t welcome.
She thinks it’s because of her political beliefs. I don’t know if that’s the case. She’s a real talker. The kind that doesn’t let anyone else get a word in. The kind that can get annoying.
She talks all the time while we walk. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I zone out. She is especially garrulous when her husband goes on hunting trips. Or trips to the cabin when he’s not hunting.
I like her. She’s a kind person. Just chatty. Especially before coffee (that’s my coffee — she has had two cups before she goes walking).
I suspect her chattiness is the real reason for the coat relocation. I only walk with her twice a week. Everyone else sees every weekday. That may be overload.
Can you tell when people avoid you and would you know why? Would you care? I don’t think she does although she was annoyed someone was fiddling with her coat.
Some friendships have an expiration date on them. They are friendships that develop because of a shared interest or need which is not strong enough to sustain it. I’ve had a lot of those and I’ve treasured them. Not everything is forever.
I’m not sure about the walking group though. We’ll see what happens as time goes on.