As a lapsed Catholic and socially maladjusted introvert, I have a healthy sense of shame. And never have I wanted to share that shame as much as when I'm in my health club locker room. Why, you ask? Because people need to put some goddamn clothes on.
Well, it's a locker room, you say, of course there are going to be naked women. And you're right. People are showering, they're changing clothes. That's totally normal and natural and I have no problem with it. But then there are the other people. You know the ones I mean. The ones who insist on not wearing clothes or a towel when they absolutely could be. I think it's weird and kinda rude...and I'm also pretty sure it's scarring me for life. My retinas are infuriated.
I'm particularly bitter because of a middle aged woman who sat naked in front of my locker last night and refused to move. I walked into the room, innocently whistling a jaunty tune as I approached the locker only to look up and stop dead in my tracks because, holy cow, there was a middle aged naked woman in front of my locker! So I stopped, turned to the nearby scale and busied myself with a weigh-in, thinking I'd give her time to put a towel on or even three well-placed wash clothes. I wasn't picky at that point. But no, half a minute later, I turned around and she was still naked as the day she was born, digging like a gargantuan pale gopher through her gym bag. And then she walked toward the scale - toward me -- to weigh herself. I darted around her like a clothed bunny, extricated my stuff from the locker and bolted, never to erase the jiggly translucent nightmare I had just witnessed.
Is this another woman etiquette thing I missed because asthma (or "Geek Lung," as I call it) kept me out of gym as a teenager? Is this just something we women do? Is it perfectly acceptable to be naked in a room full of strangers and engage in the following activities: bending over to put on your shoes (you're naked and wearing shoes???), blow drying your hair, telling a really long joke, applying make-up, sitting in front of your locker reading a magazine or breaking up with your boyfriend on your cell phone? All while naked? While I'm in the room?
Honestly, I would never inflict myself on unwitting strangers like that. I have modesty. Sure, it's mixed with probably a pathological sense of shame, but wouldn't the world be a better place -- at least aesthetically -- if some folks had just a bit more of that themselves? Like maybe Britney would've gone to Shame School and learned how to get out of a car? Or that woman last night would've known not to leave damp butt cheek prints on the bench in front of my locker?
C'mon America, let's not feel so good about our bodies! Let's cover up a little! Trust me, it's warmer and as the fully-dressed Wilford Brimley used to say, "It's the right thing to do." At least for me. And that's really all that matters.