“Can you hand me the shaving cream?” asks the naked twenty-something woman as she spits out her toothpaste and notices I’m the only thing standing between her and a can of Barbasol.
No, this wasn’t the set of a low-budget soft porn film. It was just another early morning in the ladies locker room at Equinox.
Frankly, I’m less comfortable than I’d like to be with large doses of full frontal nudity. To wit, my naked neighbor occupied 45 minutes of precious sink/blow dryer real estate not only to brush her teeth, but floss, exfoliate, apply a facial mask and send text messages every 5 minutes.
On the other hand, I take the naked as necessary approach. Meaning, I try to coolly wrap the towel around all my lady parts and swiftly do my business. The problem is, my breasts never want to cooperate with the towel so I’m endlessly working with only one hand while the other tries to awkwardly maintain my dignity.
I’m about to reach for the blow dryer which is a little close for comfort, when out of nowhere, my naked neighbor places her leg on the sink. So she can shave.
If there is a visual equivalent of an ear worm, this would be it.
I get introduced the fact that she’s groomed herself into a skinny landing strip that resembles a vaginal goatee. The word “Smitten” is tattooed on her inner thigh along with the ubiquitous Chinese character on her ankle. I wonder if she’ll regret the Smitten tattoo if she ever gets photographed giving birth (imagine it next to a crowning baby’s head) and if she even knows what the Chinese character means. I secretly hope the tattoo artist just ripped the character off of a Chinese take-out menu.
Determined not to be intimidated by her full monty, I mumble “pardon me” and reach for the blow dryer. She scoots over a little, but largely ignores me as though I’m the intruder in her bathroom.
Finally, the hair dryer is mine. That is until the cord gets tangled around her foot on the sink and she nicks herself. “Watch it!” she growls, but I’m not sure if the words came from her mouth or her vagina. “I’m so sorry,” I say with indignant horror “but you know, it’s really much easier to shave in the shower”.
“WhatEVER,” she says shooting me a bitch face.
Oh my God, am I in the middle of a naked dance off? And was the issue with my surly naked neighbor…or me?
Was this woman so supremely narcissistic that she was blind to how uncomfortable being spread eagle would make people? Or, was she just that confident in her own skin…and was I just a little bit jealous?
No, it was her. I righteously remind myself of Jerry Seinfeld’s wisdom in the classic episode “The Apology”:
Jerry goes on to say that naked hair brushing is good, but naked crouching is bad. Same with naked coughing.
Considering we’re in a ladies locker room, I’m going to assume there’s only OK Naked and Bad Naked. For me, OK Naked means being naked because there’s no other choice. You might see full frontal, but it’s just because sometimes ya gotta turn around and grab your bra or you want to weigh yourself with your clothes off. There’s actually something comforting about this kind of naked because we all have the same stuff, it just comes in different shapes and sizes. And if there’s a little boob showing, so what? It’s just a boob.
It’s the in your face “love me, love my lady parts and outta my way while I shave ” swagger that gets under my skin. Frankly, I’m not sure this boldness stems from supreme confidence, or is more a form of marking territory in some attempt at weird locker room bully dominance.
So where do you draw the full monty line?