When Jon and I were living in Los Angeles so very long ago we tortured ourselves three times a week by running a public staircase in Santa Monica. I think I’ve talked about the staircase before, but in case I haven’t or in case you care, I’ll tell you that there are 175 stairs on the staircase, and that within 2 months of running them with me, my husband lost over 20 pounds. Not that my husband really needed to lose 20 pounds or drop 4 trouser sizes, because anyone who knows my husband knows that humans don’t normally come in his size, very very tall and as lanky as an adjustable Gumby doll.

The thing is, the thing is that I haven’t ever found an exercise as intense as running that public staircase. I’m confident that after two years of running those stairs I could take out any of the champion dogs on the Iditarod. I’m in the best shape of my life, even better than in high school when my metabolism was so ferocious that I could look at a chocolate cake from across the room and digest it telepathically.

And it’s been two weeks since we last ran those stairs, two very long and lazy weeks filled with cornbread stuffing, yams, pumpkin pie, and everything on the menu at Taco Bell, sans tostada, motherfuckers. And as far as I know, the only comparable staircase within 200 miles is next to a student parking lot at BYU in Provo. And people, there aren’t enough tostadas on earth to lure me back to that Nazi-infested idiot farm, don’t ask me how I really feel about it.

So Jon and I are testing out an athletic club down the road from my mother’s house, and it’s an athletic club in the suburbs because my mom lives in the suburbs, and because she lives in an affluent suburb, this affluent suburban athletic club is riddled with the rich, the white, and the suburban, and while Jon and I may be white, neither of us are rich or suburban, and we stick out like two engorged and bulbous toads.

And I’m sure that athletic clubs in suburbs all across America look just like this one, but this one is in Utah, and I’ve never been so painfully aware of my whiteness among white people before. Maybe it’s because everyone is blonde and painfully pale, or maybe it’s because today I overheard a man ask his trainer, “How can I sleekify my glutes?”

But really, and I’m trying to be forgiving here, I can only listen to The Goddamn Cranberries “Linger” so many times while I’m trying to work up a sweat.