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There are some things that I’m just not getting used to negotiating in French. The telephone, for instance, still gives me shivers when it rings, and not (or not just) due to my usual phonaphobia; without the visual cues of face-to-face conversation, it’s not only a lot harder for me to be sure I’m understanding what’s being said, but I’m also more certain that I sound like a dolt in the lulls when I try to remember the word I’m looking for.

But I just ran into a new, pretty unexpected one at the gym. R. and I joined a small gym a block and a half from here, determined to go home in better shape than we arrived (which, given the utter slugliness of my spring, wouldn’t be that hard). And we’ve been going quite regularly, which has been great both for sleep and for general morale.

Today, I climbed up onto the elliptical machine, and rather than just starting and letting the calorie calculator assume I’m whatever average weight is programmed into it, I thought I’d actually set up a program, so that the calorie count might be something a little closer to accurate. And though the machine is a brand that I haven’t used much, all was going well — up until the moment at which it asked me to input my weight in kilograms.

Suffice it to say that my dividing-by-2.2 skillz aren’t what they should be; I checked what I’d keyed into the machine once I got home, only to discover that I’d input a number that I haven’t seen on the scale since at least my mid-twenties, a number that falls entirely outside the realm of wishful thinking, bordering instead on downright unhealthy. I wish the machine had taken the opportunity to encourage me to go get a baguette or something.

I do like, however, that it asked me to enter the “puissance” with which I wanted to proceed.



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