For Christmas my parents got me a gym membership, which, in an unexpected turn of events, I absolutely love. Someone should have explained to me a long time ago that the gym is a lot like the coffeeshop. You go at more or less the same times. You see more or less the same people. You have your routine. You can be somewhat friendly, or somewhat standoffish, basically by employing (or not employing) your earphones.
There are two things that differentiate the gym from the coffeeshop. One of them is no big deal. Sweat. Sweat is gross, but ultimately sort of negligible. The other is hard to get around. Nudity. Here's the thing. It seems like common sense to me that you should avoid other people while nude in semi-public. You should avoid really looking at them, and definitely avoid touching them in any way, and under NO circumstances should you speak to them. This, however, turns out not to be as obvious to other people as I would like it to be. Seriously. What can you need to say to me (a stranger) that cannot wait until you are appropriately covered?