January 23, 2008

Feeling Charlotte

I wasn’t raised in a naked house.

No one in my family walked around naked. A towel around the head was the raciest you could expect to see after someone bathed. Maybe my father in his t-shirt because he’d just finished shaving. But generally speaking, it was far too cold most of the year to walk around in the all together. So when Charlotte utters that statement on a Sex in the City episode, I completely understood what she meant. Public nudity makes me uncomfortable.

I’m no stranger to gym rooms. I was in all sorts of sports growing up; competitive volleyball being my primary sport until I was 18. So I’ve seen my fair share of locker rooms and the activities that happen there. But I still will never understand women who saunter around the room naked.

My first foray to the gym, I was slightly taken aback when a woman walked past me wearing nothing but flip flops and a towel. I honestly didn’t know where to look, because there was a woman across the room dressing after her shower.
My prudishness came as quite a shock to me but I still felt the need to change behind the saloon doors in the corner.

Gym Bunnies tend to keep a very regular schedule. I’m given to understand that it is the most successful strategy for making it to the gym, rather than appearing sporadically and donating your monthly gym fee for little or nothing in return.
Because Carmel and I are becoming morning regulars, we see the same people every time. The familiarity of faces is calming to me and I feel less traumatized each trip. I am confident that no one will either laugh and point or ambush me with a ‘ready for instant uploading’ U-Tube linked cell phone. I still change behind the saloon doors, and I apply my body lotion in the shower because, quite simply, there parts of me no one wants to see without owning a medical degree.

As relaxed as I am getting, there is still one barrier I cannot overcome. Her name is Lady Godiva. (at least that’s what I call her) The first time I noticed her, Carmel and I were getting ready for work, smirking to each other and giggling like school boys. We were just shy of pointing and cruising by to check her out. Shameful, I know, but this woman stays naked as long as humanly possible while getting ready.

She strips for her shower and strolls thru the locker room carrying her towel over her shoulder. She applies her lotion at her locker. She slips on a thong and then sits down to spend the next 40 minutes blowing her hair dry. Her short, just below the chin length bobbed hair. My hair is halfway down my back and it takes me 8 minutes, 12 if I’m actually styling it, to wick away any thought of moisture my hair ever entertained.

40 minutes of topless blow drying. Followed by 15 minutes of makeup application.

I realize she paid a lot of money for the implants but do we have to be the visual beneficiaries of them? I say no.

In the many conversations we had about her, Carmel and I are stumped as to what she does for a living. On first glance, I decided she was a stripper, retired. She is in her late 40s, tanned to the shade of Louis Vuitton leather, and has a perfect French manicure on both hands and toes. She also drives a whore-house red Porche.

But then we saw her dressed the other day. She wears suits, expensive ones, and is on the same schedule as we are which would imply that she is on her way to work, not to shop. So Carmel’s suggestion of her being one of the Ladies Who Lunch doesn’t really apply. Those ladies drive conservative vehicles.

So we are left with nothing to suggest who she is and what she does. And I’m not sure why it matters so much. Yes, she’s something to discuss, ponder and speculate about, but we’ll get no answers unless we ask her. And neither of us is about to approach her and strike up a conversation.

I wouldn’t know where to look. It would be tantamount to rubber necking at an accident scene. You don’t want to look but you are compelled to do so by forces larger than yourself. I’d end up looking everywhere but at her; at the ceiling, the floor, a shoe on the bench, the clock...

She’s comfortable with her body, I get that. I’m fairly comfortable with mine too. Sure there are things I want to change, I’m working on them, but overall, I’m ok with what I have. I just don’t see that parading it around is a sign of confidence. I think it’s simply a lack of modesty, and there is a big difference between those mindsets.

I am not comfortable with her naked body. Apparently, I am only comfortable with my naked body.

Charlotte and I have much in common.


D-Vaz said...

Congrats on keeping with your gym schedule. But will it last? Many souls have been lost to the long run. Don't be one of them. I look forward to continue hearing about your skin escapades. Keep the naked lady reviews coming.

petergriffin1892 said...

You do realise that us males exist in a state of believing that female locker rooms contain nothing but 100 perfectly formed Heidi Klum lookalikes all walking around stark bolognaise, right? ;)

To quote Swiss Toni (look him up on youtube) no one likes to see a man in the nude. Wise words! :)

Anonymous said...

Funny, I just saw that SITC episode the night before last. So all of that time you were hanging out with me, my gym habits never rubbed off on you?? Well, I am glad someone finally dragged you there!

And on the naked lady, I usually see on or two of those at my gym and I just don't get it. Oh well, what would we have to talk about if everyone was like us??

Stick with that gym. I would think it would help those depressing rainy days!


B said...

Mel - no I was playing volleyball in Dallas, so I really didn't need to hit the gym. Here, I'm less active, since my office and house are so close together. So far, you're right; it's keeping the depressing 'why the hell do I live here again?' days at bay. It's a miracle pool!

Vaz - you life will never be that good. do your own naked women reviews. Just don't tell me about them.

Peter - Heidi Klum? Really? Hm, I wouldn't have thought her your type. Fantasy type that is. Then again, I know very little about what goes on in men's heads.

Anonymous said...

my guess is she's either a realtor or pharmaceutcal sales rep.

sales of some sort, anyway so she has to look professional (suit) but very successful (porsche) and attractive (boob job)

ooh, ohh, maybe she's got a motivational 'six easy steps to getting it all' video!

okay, that last one might only happen in LA

-b.'s sis

B said...

Sis - I went in today, discussing your theory with Carmel and we had a fresh look at Lady G, mostly because we literally bumped into her naked ass when we got out of the pool. It did indeed seem to fit, but upon reflection while blow drying my hair, I came upon a theory of my own: she owns a hair salon.

It explains the all black clothing that looks expensive but is no where near conservative (Her last suit jacket was leopard print lining with gold lame chains t-shirt appliqued to the shoulder a la Lisa Bonet, the early Cosby years), bringing her own blow dryer and spending 40 minutes on her short hair, it explains the perma-tan and the gold belly chain (well, nothing really explains that), and the fact that she doesn’t leave until 9:30am.

So I'm going with salon owner for now. Maybe on Friday I’ll ask where she gets her hair done.