Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dear Ms. Manners, can you provide advice on how to greet a casual business associate when the encounter takes place in a health club locker room? Oh - and the said associate is wearing only a birthday suit, not a business suit. The situation has left me awkwardly speechless, so I am hoping you can be of some etiquette assistance. Sincerely, the Spynster

Well, seriously, it was awkward! I walked around the corner and there was a woman I know only from business situations, standing at the blow dry station wearing not a stitch of clothing. Complete nudity is not that common at our health club, at least not on the women's side of the locker rooms. Who knows what the men do - spynsters don't want to know! Anyway, most of us females change quickly and efficiently and drape towels generously when going in or out of the showers. But occasionally some free spirit will forgo using draped towels and in this case the free spirit was someone who would have expected a social greeting from me!

I tried to think of a quick appropriate greeting like "Hi! Nice to see you!" - oh, that was soooo not true. or "Hello, gosh you're looking great!" Also not true - she's my age and we're both shaped a bit like sweet potatoes. (You know, tapered on both ends, plump & fleshy through the middle.) Or "Wow, I'm surprised to see you." Now that was true, but how could I say it when I'd be looking in every direction except towards her?

I took the cowards' way. Before my forward foot hit the floor I did a complete u-turn and walked the long way around to my locker. Past the toilets, and sinks, and sauna, and showers, and weight station, and private lockers. Anything to avoid having to stop and chat. Gosh, I added to my cardio workout by doing that. Maybe I should say "thanks" next time - only I hope there never is a next time. Please Ms. Manners, what would you say?

1 comment:

Ellen Kimball said...

Hi Spynster 57, this is just a delightful post!

As a former nudist in training, when I was MUCH younger, I brought the concept of respectful and private nudity to my new stepfamily in 1972. It was something that others were doing and had done before me.

Later, I was told by therapists that it might have been better NOT to swim nude at night in our secluded backyard pool with my two tiny biological children ages 3 and 4, as I had been doing since their births.

You see, I had a brand new husband who had budding teenagers ages 14, 12 and 9. Their mother had died of cancer in 1971, and to the say the least, it was UMMMMMM.... I think the word they use is "inappropriate."

I have had to dodge that bullet for all of my 37 years of marriage to my husband! Their deceased mother was PERFECT ... while I was the piece of feces brought in to clean up after her. I actually answer an ad for a housekeeper which was placed in the local Boston paper which is how we met.

Ah, well. All my children are now pretty conservative. I, however, have a date with a fellowship of women Unitarians here in Tigard, Oregon. We have an Annual Clothing Optional event in August. I've already paid my $16.00. It's at a private estate, deep in the West Hills of Portland, set up by a 80+ year old woman whose husband is now gone.

We float around on a gorgeous secluded pool and have some wine and canapes while we watch the sun go down.

Mostly, I get to look at the scars from breast surgery, various tattoos on women young and old, and we're all on floats or "noodles". It's very lovely, really.

We Unitarians tend to discuss the world at large with acceptance, and try not to judge other people, whether they are clothed or not.

Someday, perhaps in a perfect place, we would just generally be less uptight about our bodies as they really are from birth to death. That does happen in some cultures as close as Europe! When the German women on the Red Sea cruise took off their bathing suit tops, you should have seen the American men STARE!

Too bad that perfection didn't happen sooner. Perhaps the failure was in the Garden of Eden. I don't know. I wasn't there.

Peace, love and happiness,