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A Dash of Ginger
Sassy Southern Essays

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A collection of humorous essays tackling subjects as varied as weight lifting, hair dye, plastic surgery, chocolate,, shopping, and dogs.

Brighten your day with essays like these–

It's Hard to Primp While You're Pumping Iron
Who Notices Gorillas, Basketball and Choco-Plum Hair?
Science Threatens Women With Lifelong Reproduction

Read an excerpt…

It's Hard to Primp While You're Pumping Iron

For some insane reason, I decided we should start off the New Year by joining a gym. My doctor triggered this bout of insanity when he claimed my bones lack density. To prove his diagnosis, he waved a stack of colorful graphs at me, showing my projected bone density slide from normal to below normal. He told me not to worry if more calcium intake didn't work, because an array of medications is available for women who fall off the chart.

Being an overachiever personality, I didn't like the idea of falling off any chart. I'm also a reluctant pill popper so I did some research into bone density. I learned that the key to dense bones is exercise. In a hallelujah moment, I decided weight lifting would be better for me than pill popping.

While I labored under that delusion, I broached the idea of joining a gym to my husband. Imagine my surprise when he not only listened, but also thought it was a good idea. A few weeks after Christmas we split up the area gyms and started visiting them. After debating the pros and cons of different gyms, we made a choice.

This fateful decision led us to join one. It also put us into a new category. We became members of a gym. In order to prove we had invested our money wisely, we now had to go to the gym.

Going to a gym involves commitment, rearranging schedules, and dressing to exercise. Commitment and rearranging schedules aren't difficult barriers to overcome, but dressing to exercise throws me.

Dressing to exercise means ultra casual, i.e. sweat suits or gym shorts. This is not my idea of how one dresses to leave the house. If one must leave the house in exercise apparel, I believe he or she owes it to the public to maintain some level of personal grooming. My husband says we would get to the gym faster if I would quit primping before we go.

Primping? I do not feel that brushing, curling, or covering mashed, slept upon hair constitutes primping. It constitutes community awareness. By taking the time to fix my hair, I do not cause car accidents or scare little children on their way to school while I'm en route to the gym.

My husband doesn't understand the difference between primping and grooming. Primping goes beyond the grooming basics of showers, clean hair, make up, and ironed clothes. It is the fine-tuning that comes after good grooming has been achieved. It's the extra moment to ensure my bangs wisp off my forehead in just the right way. Or taking time to match my purse with my shoes. Primping has nothing to do with sweat suits, sneakers, and scraggly hair.

Going to the gym has a lot to do with sweat suits, sneakers, and scraggly hair. That is why "going to the gym" poses problems for me. I have limited experience in the art of appearing in a public place without performing certain grooming rituals.

The only time I ever went into public without performing these grooming rituals was an emergency 5 a.m. run to the maternity ward of a hospital. Labor pains obliterated my desire to shower, fix my hair, and put on makeup. Labor pains do not fuzz my brain during the morning trips to the gym.

Common sense fuzzes my brain. I mean, why shower before going to the gym for a workout? Or wash my hair? Or iron my sweat suit? Or try and match my purse to my athletic shoes? I think I'm undergoing well-dressed withdrawal. I know I have the symptoms. Irritability when my hair sticks out all over my head and anxiety when my black athletic shoes don't match my navy sweat pants.