Dear Urban Diplomat: What can I do about gross sounds in my gym’s locker room?
I hit the gym every morning, and, recently, another woman started working out at the same time as me. When she’s showering, drying her hair and brushing her teeth, she makes the most revolting sounds—hawking and spitting like you wouldn’t believe. I’d be sympathetic to a disease that causes this kind of behaviour (if such a thing exists), but, really, I just want it to stop. What should I say?
—Phlegm Fatale, Leslieville
Have you considered switching to early-morning yoga? Because it sounds like you need to learn to relax and tune out. While your gym mate’s incessant heaving is doubtless disgusting, it’s not your place to tell her so. Her chronic mucilaginousness could be the result of allergies, bronchitis, chain-smoking or straight-up bad manners. You can’t know for sure and it’s none of your business. So, start your workout 15 minutes earlier—a small sacrifice for a tranquil change room.
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