Core class, weight lifting, lounging in the hot tub and shvitzing in the steam room, that’s why I go to the Tucson Jewish Community Center twice a week. Usually, after working out I feel good. Not today.
A man in blood red spandex shorts (he turned 61 today) blocks the entrance to the hot tub, jabbering loudly with a bald-headed man wearing a white bone necklace (he’s 68, a musician who retired when he was 49, now a millionaire).
“It all started with Adam and Eve, there were no Neanderthals or anything like that,” asserts birthday boy. “What church do you go to?” he asks the other loud talker.
Keep my mouth shut. But they’re so damn loud. I tried already. The blocker didn’t move when as I entered the hot tub. I walked around him.
In the hot tub for ten minutes, I attempt to luxuriate in the rushing hot water. The jets cease (the guys didn’t). “Excuse me,” I say. “I would like to get out.” He moves.
Into the steam room, where I hope it will be quieter, the whoosh, whoosh of steam concealing their voices. No such luck.
I last a few minutes before exiting near the hot tub. A quiet man leaves, too.
“Why don’t you guys get a cup of coffee? You’re so loud.”
“You don’t have to stay,” says the blocker. Now I’m really pissed.
“This is supposed to be the place where we relax. It’s a SPA,” I remind him.
To his credit, the older guy says, “I’m sorry, ma’am.”
Birthday boy pegs me for the bleeding-heart liberal I am. I love the First Amendment. Still, why does everyone need to hear their conversation?
“Next we’re going to talk about guns,” he blurts.
“Great,” I blurt back, “Kill all the kids!”
Quickly opening the door to the women’s locker room, I avoid hearing his reply.
Leaving a “Kvetch” card for the CEO of the JCC at the front desk, I request they put up a sign in the Spa area, saying something like: Please be considerate of other JCC members and keep your voices down.
I’m done. Off to Green Things I go to snap up a dignified pink Foxglove plant, tiny pots of palatable chocolate mint and English thyme, a fragrant dazzle-me lilac, potting soil, and a few inconspicuous but sturdy terra cotta pots.