Why I’m glad the guy at the gym wore an offensive t-shirt

Let me preface this by saying that my local YMCA branches are all wonderful, and I love being a member there. The Y is family-friendly without being militant about it, they provide a nurturing environment for the kids all year ’round, and they genuinely care about the overall health and well-being of their members of all ages.

That’s why I was so surprised when, while working out yesterday afternoon, I saw a young guy sporting a t-shirt with the following message all in caps:

CHEAT ON WOMEN
NOT ON YOUR WORKOUT

Let’s pause for just a moment to savor the complete douchebaggery that this shirt represents. I’m all in favor of not coming up with yet another excuse to skip a workout; I have far too many of those and have played that card likely far more than I should have. HOWEVER, there is no reason to espouse cheating on anyone – men or women – as a way of justifying your workout above everything else.

The very concept of “cheating” implies that the person performing the action understands that they’re not supposed to be doing it. Very few people go around saying, “Nice bit of cheating there, old chap! Way to go!” If a relationship is “open” or without a commitment, cheating doesn’t happen because that’s not how polyamory is classified. If there’s a commitment (monogamous or otherwise), and there’s cheating (activity with someone outside of that commitment), then the cheater is breaking a promise.

Now, I understand that sometimes there can be extenuating circumstances, but there are so few cases outside of soap operas and other screen-based getaways where anyone actively roots on cheating that it’s pretty easy to say that it’s more the exception than the rule.

So, this brings us back to me being actively happy about the shirt. I didn’t know the guy wearing it; he was likely in his 20’s (at most) and with that utterly forgettable attractiveness that young men can so easily have at that age. I did, however, completely appreciate that he wore it so that he was advertising to one and all that he is, in fact, a tool. That kind of self-awareness, that self-identification that screams, “YES, I’M THE GUY WHO WILL SLEEP WITH YOU FOR MONTHS ON END AND NOT TELL YOU THAT I’M SLEEPING WITH OTHER WOMEN ON THE SIDE BECAUSE MY EGO DEMANDS IT” is so refreshing. It saves everyone time, really.

I do hope that the young ladies who were in attendance at the gym this afternoon, of which there were several (and they were rather attractive in their own right), saw Mr. Awesome’s shirt and made a mental note never to exchange phone numbers with him.

After all, if his shirt is any indication, he will be in the gym…and perhaps that’s as far as he should go with being around other human beings.

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