Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The naked truth

I am not really very comfortable with public nudity. Mine or other people's.

In the locker room at the gym, I duck into one of the curtained changing areas to slip on my swimsuit and I wrap myself in a huge towel on the way to or from the shower. Other women are not so modest, and that's cool, but when confronted with other's nudity, I can't help but feel really uncomfortable. I look up at the ceiling or down at the floor or I study the really fascinating tile work on the walls and find myself wishing they would all respect my other people's hang ups and use that long wall of private changing areas, thankyouverymuch.

I have been swimming every Wednesday night for 19 weeks and every Wednesday night when I come out of the pool there is an elderly woman there going through some type of strange ritual involving the sauna, the shower and a lot of meandering about. She walks around the locker room slowly, sitting sometimes on the benches but mostly just kind of loitering. Every now and then, she'll duck into the shower or the sauna for a few minutes, but then she emerges again only to wander around with seemingly no real purpose but to make me twitchy.


Because she is naked as the day is long the entire time.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

But, well, it's kind of - disturbing, at least to an uptight born-and-bred New Englander like myself. And odd. I really want to ask her what the hell she's doing. And why is she doing it nude? And can't she at least throw a towel down on that bench because really . . . ew!

In any event, I've sort of gotten used to her and accepted the fact that she's a bit . . . eccentric. And besides. I only have one more week of Wednesday night swim classes, so I can deal.

Except, I can't. Because she tonight she crossed over from simply strange to complete whack-a-doodle. (A naked whack-a-doodle at that.)

Let me explain: I was standing at the sinks drying my hair. No one else was in the locker room. She came out of the sauna and walked over to one of the other sinks where she proceeded to wash her armpits. Which . . . OK. Maybe she got sweaty in the sauna, but then again, there's a whole room of showers not 10 feet away.

But then, THEN she proceeded to pull one of those single-blade disposable razors out of . . . where? I have no idea. (She was nude, people, so I really don't want to spend too much time thinking about where that puppy was stowed). But in any event, she begins to SHAVE HER ARMPITS. Right there at the sink.

Which is when I went into major defense mode. I bent over and began drying my hair upside down. I did this because 1. I no longer had to look at her and 2. my hair dries faster this way and at this point all I want to do is get the freakin' hell out of there.

Then, she ups the ante AGAIN.

With no warning, she throws one leg up on the counter top (she's apparently quite limber for an old broad) and begins SHAVING HER LEG.

Now, I would like to remind you where my head is at this point. Down. Low. Which means that when her leg hit the counter top with a large thump, I involuntarily glanced in her general direction and out of the corner of my eye I saw WAY TOO MUCH OF THIS WOMAN. WAAAAAAYY TOO MUCH. Like as much as we all saw of Britney Spears when she forgot to wear underwear for a week straight.

(And yes, I am scarred for life and no, I will never be able to burn this sight from my brain.)

For a split second, I actually wondered if I was on some type of bizarre, adult candid camera show. I started looking around for the hidden camera and wondering if Ashton Kutcher or someone was going to pop out of a locker. But of course, that didn't happen and she went right on calmly shaving her leg while my brain - frozen like a deer in the headlights - attempted to process what it was seeing while at the same time desperately trying to forget what it just saw. ::shudders::

This was the straw that broke my proverbial back. I switched off the hairdryer and walked out of there before she could start shaving SOMETHING ELSE and me and my still-wet hair went swiftly into the frozen night. Which was infinitely better than hanging around for the finale to this woman's highly bizarre grooming ritual.

Next week, I think I'll use the girls' locker room. Just to be safe.

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Blogger Lady M said...


As dancers, we're accustomed to changing clothes in front of others in the shared dressing rooms, but generally everyone is moving fast and professional-like, not loitering around. I would have been really uncomfortable too!

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

I am sorry you had to go through that but I can't stop laughing!!!!!

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Oh man that is disgusting.. the visual.. I have chills!!!!! So sorry that happened.. bleh.

11:51 AM  
Blogger ryssee said...

OMG that is unreal. You really do have the strangest things happen in your presence.
BTW, have I ever told you that I know the reason why men shouldn't wear split shorts while shopping for shoes? I found out three times. Yep, I didn't learn the first two times that I should have HANDED the shoes to those customers instead of putting them on their feet and tying the laces. Teehee.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Wow! I don't have a problem with seeing naked bodies in the locker room - but she's just wrong!

Eww! Sitting on the bench naked - makes me want to rethink sitting AT ALL when I go in a locker room - not knowing what's been on that bench.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD! Awful! I would feel the same way. This woman sounds just like a member who used to go to Headquarters Health Club. Does she have short whitish hair? I bet it's her! - Alex Borchard

12:49 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I truly truly hope she wasn't fat too. (Not that there's anything wrong with fat, but do ya really want to see it on an old naked chick?) UGH!!!

P.S. Thanks for stopping by!!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Take90West said...

This post made me laugh, only because I totally know what you mean...I have a naked lady at my gym too who does a weird sauna-shower area-benches shuffle thing.` It seems like all she does is roam around naked. Gross. I rarely shower at the gym just because I don't enjoy all the naked-ness!

9:43 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

ACK!!! That is just so wrong.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

AHAHAHAHA Glad you sent us the link to this....classic funny!!

9:20 AM  

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