Imaginary Ownership

Today I was the victim of something I’ve never experienced before. I was the victim of imaginary ownership. Imaginary ownership is when someone thinks something of public use is theirs…it really isn’t, at least not permanently. I know this happens in school. “Hey! that’s MY seat!, “That’s MY table!”, but my particular experience was at the gym.
I went to the gym around 12:30pm, I always go around this time on Fridays because 1) I’m off by then and 2) there is almost no one there so I have free pick of the equipment. Today I decided to use one of the many ellipticals. I finished my hour of elliptical goodness and all of a sudden, this woman comes up to me, grabs my arm, points to my stat screen and asks “Are you done yet? I have been waiting for 30 minutes and really need to get my workout done yeah?” Startled(and a bit irritated that a stranger decided to touch me), I rip my earbuds out and say “What? Yes I’m done just give me a second please.” She sighs and takes the hands on hips, angry glare. As I’m cleaning off my machine for this woman, I glance down the row of ellipticals. There are 8 of them, all exactly the same as the one I was on. They all have a little TV, fan, and water bottle holder on them. Nothing makes the machine I was on stand out from the others. I couldn’t figure out why this woman wanted the elliptical I used so bad. Did she like the smell of fresh sweat? Did she want to continue to watch the cartoon I had on and was just too lazy to find it on another TV? The elliptical had no one’s name on it, and all gym members pay the same price, I “own” it just as much as her…plus like I said there was a row of 8 and no one had come in while I was there. Imaginary ownership, do you have it? Have you ever? What do you claim ownership to that isn’t really yours?

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