Self is up to her business of trying to go to the gym again like she does on Tuesdays. She usually gets her way and I have to grumble along beside her while she sweats it off on the treadmill and does her stupid floor stretches, but today I managed to work my magic. The trick is to get her just before she’s leaving work, when it’s clear that she’s exhausted from both the heat and the 7th grade. It seems she’s at her weakest then, right as she’s packing up her things to leave for the day. I think I played my cards right on this one and even surprised myself with my manipulation skillz:
Me: [Poking head into classroom] Hey. Wanna go home now?
Self: Uh, well, I was thinking of going to the gym. [Cramming loose-leaf papers into shoulder bag, stacking books, and arranging desk.]
Me: [pause] Oh.
Self: [looking up at Me] Why? Is that a problem?
Me: No, not really. I was just hoping to go home and relax. Wanted to know if you wanted to catch a cab together.
Self: Bad day?
Me: Not really. Just still recuperating from Pouso da Cajaíba. It’d be nice to nap. I’m really tired. [looks down at nails, notices the French manicure has chipped.]
Self: That’s not true. You just said a couple hours ago that you were feeling fine.
Me: No, I didn’t. I said I was feeling surprisingly well despite the circumstances.
Self: What circumstances?
Me: Uh, you know, the whole trip from hell? The whole Murphy’s Law thing? [getting defensive] The whole not sleeping forEVER?
Self: Yeah, but you slept all afternoon yesterday. And you actually woke up early this morning, you said.
Me: Well all I’m saying is I was tired then.
Self: Yeah, but you didn’t say that. You said you were fine.
Me: Well, I meant that I was tired.
Self: Then say what you mean and quit lying.
Me: Whatever. [Pause] Listen, do you wanna get out of here?
Self: Well, like I said, I wanted to go to the gym.
Me: You’re really into that, aren’t you?
Self: Eh, I’m getting there. It’s nice once in a while.
Me: You’re a better person than I am, for sure. If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight home, sit on the couch and read blogs for like eleven hours. And then I’d eat soup out of a bag, call Dennis, and call it a day.
Self: Well, that’s why I’m in better shape than you are.
Me: [Nearly choking on her own breath] Ha! Have you seen the bikini pictures of you on Pouso?
Self: What? They weren’t terrible! The light was a bit harsh, maybe, you know, all that overhead sunlight. They weren’t the best pictures on the planet, but you know, they weren’t that bad.
Me: [snickering] Sure.
Self: Are you suggesting something about my shape?
Me: I’m not suggesting it at all.
Self: This is not the way to get me away from the gym, you understand.
Me: All I’m saying is this: Wouldn’t it be much nicer to just go home and relax rather than go home, change because you forgot to bring your gym clothes with you to school like you normally do, and then have to go back outside and up the hill just to go running and lift a couple kilos for a few minutes? It’s just so hot outside. Imagine how it’ll be in the gym with all those other people.
Self: I see your point. It is super muggy today. And it does get really crowded about now anyway.
Me: Plus, I mean, you have some reading to do for tomorrow’s classes, don’t you? and your friend did just return your Sex and the City Season 1 DVDs, so there’s that, too. After the reading, of course.
Self: Ooh! That’s right! But yeah, after reading.
Me: So? What do you say? [beginning to walk out the door with Self in the direction of the school gates.] Hey, what’s that? [pointing at shiny bag that Self is holding.]
Self: It’s a gift from one of my students.
Me: What’s inside?
Me: More? That’s awesome! What, is that like six pounds of chocolate over two days? Your fridge is loaded!
Self: Yeah, but these are all melted today. It’s so hot.
Me: So what you’re saying is you need to rush them to your refrigerator?
Self: No, I’m just saying they’re–
Me: [interrupting] Melting, so you need to rush them to your refrigerator. At home. So they won’t fall apart and so that you can eat them later.
Self: Well, ideally, yes it would be nice to eat them later.
Me: Like after watching Sex and the City Season 1?
Self: [sly grin growing across face] No. Like while watching Sex and the City Season 1.
Me: Even better! Want to chase it with a couple glasses of red wine?
Self: And could we stop at the padaria to pick up some folhadas? I do have to return a movie nearby.
Me: No problem! So. Ready to get going?
Me: No gym?
Self: Fuck the gym.
Me: You’re my best friend.
Self: You’re not so bad yourself. A bit of an enabler, but not so bad on the whole.