Its lunch break at the conference I’m attending. A group of us are sitting down to our boxes of prepackaged salads, bemoaning the wilted lettuce and limited fat-free dressing choices. Our talk turns, as usual to diet and exercise. They know what my husband does for a living so they ask me a few fitness related questions. One woman turns to me and says, “Doesn’t it make you jealous?”
“Jealous? Why?” I ask.
“Jealous that your husband spends so much time with other women, women who are in great shape because they have a personal trainer? That would drive me crazy.”
It is an odd moment, not only because of the backhanded insult she so smoothly delivered, but because I had actually never thought about it. Although about half of my husband’s clients are men, the others are female. And he does spend an awful lot of time with them. Could I be jealous of all of the fit women my husband spends his days with? Am I secretly bitter that I’m not one of them?
It’s strange because I have actually met very few of my husband’s clients. They exist in my mind as first names and appointment times. For most, I have an idea of how long he’s trained them, if they have children, but that is about it. On the rare occasions that I do meet one, I am usually struck by how fit and gorgeous she turns out to be.
Several years ago we were invited to Halloween Party thrown by one of Jeff’s clients. The theme was James Bond. I don’t know much about that series and couldn’t decide which Bond Girl to be. So, I settled on a generic 60’s minidress from a thrift shop. I found some amazing white patent leather platform boots at a store specializing in “dancer” outfits. I splurged on pair of thick nude tights to cover any cellulite that might be visible in a skirt that short. I felt ok.
When we arrived at the party, we were greeted by our hostess dressed up as Catwoman. She was stunning in a skin tight black cat suit complete with thick silver collar and leash. I had never met this woman before, only known that she was a long-time client. I was in awe. She would have looked incredible for a teenager but she was over 50. I told Jeff, “She has the body of Britany Spears in her prime. She is the best advertising you could hope for.”
I don’t recall being jealous or insecure or anything other than impressed. I do recall thinking, “Wow, Jeff is really good at this.”
All my life, I’ve been around fabulous women. I grew up with sisters and girlfriends. I have always been close to my mom. I work with far more women than men. I cherish the women in my life. I’ve never been jealous of my friends or sisters. I’ve always been excited for their success. I am a girls’ girl. Most women I know are too. We are champions for our friends. We want the best for them. We are thrilled when we see women we don’t even know succeed. We feel a shared pride when a woman overcomes an obstacle and achieves her dream. We don’t try not to be jealous, we just aren’t.
So am I envious that my husband has gorgeously fit clients? On the contrary, I’m happy for him and for them. I am fascinating by the clients who have trained with Jeff for years and years. I am inspired by their commitment.
So I turn to the woman at my table and say, “No, I’m not jealous at all. I have no reason to be.”
“Hmmph,” she mumbles and looks a little disappointed. Clearly, she is not a girl’s girl.