Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Pass me the talcum powder...

"How was the gym?" the boyfriend asked when he came back from work.

"Ok" came the rather muted reply

"Oh no, your knee playing up again?"

"No. Worse. I had to deal with nakedness."

I should explain....

It's a bit of a thing with me. Maybe it's because I'm British. Maybe it's just something deep inside me. But I cannot stand public nakedness. I really seriously have a problem with it. And I don't think that this is something hereditary because as soon as I was old enough to learn how to work a lock, bathtime became private time, much to my mother's annoyance. She would always yell at me not to lock myself in the bathroom in case I fell over and fainted and she couldn't come in to help me (ever the optimist is my Mum) but the reason I locked it is because if I didn't, she would merrily sail in to wash her hands or brush her teeth, leaving me fanctically splashing about trying to make myself respectable (which you can't do when you're not wearing any clothes in the bath).

I'm not suggesting that many people adore public nudity (nudists and naturists aside) but I mean I have a terrible issue with it. It makes me want to throw up and poke my eyes out at the same time.

I know that there shouldn't be anything wrong with the naked body, it is God's form blah blah blah. I just don't want God's form in front of me. Sans clothes. And I'm not hypocritical, it's not just other people being naked, I don't particularly like to be naked in front of myself. I'm just not a happy naked person.

Unfortunately, when you go to the gym, the chances of you experiencing nakedness rise tenfold from other every day activities. Now I go to the gym already changed, my friend who picks me up on her way home from work, goes in to one of the cubicles and changes and I sit on the bench in the main changing room and gab away to her.


A couple of times now I have come quite literally face to face with my worst fear. A stranger. Naked.

As much as I am not a naked person, there are people out there who are very much naked people. They are perfectly comfortable with their form and feel no shame. Hurray to them I say. But I also say in an equally loud voice, "OH MY GOD COVER YOURSELF UP!"

I know that technically the ladies changing room is not a public place as such but I just don't understand the need to...well.....parade, which is what this woman does (yes I've come across her more than once). I mean what's the harm in coming out of the shower area, in to the changing room with a towel round you? And there really are plenty of cubicles available, it's never busy, maybe you could apply your talcum powder in one of those? Anything but just please do not do any of these activities in front of me. There is a part of me that feels she is possibly an exhibitionist, I've never known someone to wander about being that naked for that long, it can't possibly be necessary.

Whatever it is it makes me terribly flustered. What I really want to do is immediately get up and walk away but then that would be offensive wouldn't it? It's not her problem that I have this affliction and to walk away would be an insult to her that I'm not really intending. It just sends me in to a total fluster, I am completely unable to carry on whatever conversation I'm having with my friend, who is oblivious in the cubicle, and I've nearly caused myself serious chiropractical (is that a word?!) damage, trying not to look directly at what is happening in front of me. It's not that she's terribly ugly or out of shape or anything - to be honest I couldn't tell you what colour hair she has, so determined am I to avoid eye contact.

I just have to pray that my friend gets changed quickly so she can come out and get me out of the terrible situation I've found myself in.

It certainly doesn't put me in the mood to start sweating on the cross trainer...


The Curious Cat said...

When I encounter other people's nakedness my only major worry is that I'm staring too much when I don't mean to. In my head I'm like 'uh...where do I rest my eyes?!' It is silly but I know what you mean...sounds like a problem you need to try and resolve - I'd suggest a week away at a nudist colony but I imagine that would be your worst nightmare?!

I'm also hoping you can cope with nakedness when it comes to er...loving relationships! Sudden scary thought - pregnancy going into labour nakedness...!!! Sorry, I'm making it worse aren't I? I'll shut up now... :) Amusing entry though! xxx

Garden Girl said...

Oh my god. I haven't laughed so much in ages!! Are you sure we weren't separated at birth??!! I agree totally, I never know where the hell to look, and there really is no need to let it all hang out in public. Bleurgh.
I do admire the confidence of people that can do it though, I guess I just have too many personal hang ups to do it myself.