Thursday, February 10, 2011

Aggressive Nudity

So my boss has a special ring on his iphone. It's for when his ex wife calls, and it is the Psycho "eee-eee-eee" music/sound/trademark noise.

Adorable, huh? I guess if you end up getting divorced, you should maintain some humor about the whole thing. What better way to infuse a little funny in the ordeal than to associate your ex with the classic murder in the shower scene?

He's pretty nonchalant about it too. We first heard the ring at a team lunch a few weeks ago. My heart raced a little, I dropped my chip in the salsa, but didn't say anything at first. Maybe none of you feel this way, but I'm very open to the possibility that I might be going crazy at any given moment. Meaning sometimes when I hear strange things I wait to see if other people hear it too before I acknowledge.

Of course, had the Psycho music/sound/noise continued without a word from my coworkers, I don't know what my next move would have been. We all know that noise to be a signal that something awful is about to happen; could I eat chips and salsa while trying to anticipate a grisly murder at the same time?

Luckily I didn't have to decide between survival and deliciousness, because my boss rolled his eyes and picked up his phone. "My ex," he explained. We all laughed--my coworkers because it was funny, and I because I was relieved to not yet be entirely insane.

She's called him a few times in the office now, too. I'm grateful to have been exposed to the ring while at lunch, because now I don't have to hide under my desk when I hear it in the office.

Anyway, even without scary ex-spouses and psycho killers, the shower can be a frightening place. We fill it with pretty soaps and shameless a cappella karaoke, but does that really make up for the scary stuff? No.

Starting with the curtain. Oh, evil curtain, you have seriously twisted ways of making me shrink in fear. As soon as that hot water starts you billow out and reach for me. Like you're trying to touch me.

So gross. Nobody likes touching the shower curtain, but it's especially upsetting when it brushes up against one of your butt cheeks while you're innocently trying to shave a leg. Putting in one of those curvy shower curtain rods got bumped to the #1 spot on my Honeydo list for Brendon after I got a butt-brush from the curtain while shaving. I almost cut my achilles in half I was so disturbed.

But it's not just the home shower that houses the pervy curtain. The gym showers are just as bad. I huddle in the corner of those, wondering if I'd rather get blasted by the initial cold water or stand out of it & potentially get brushed by the curtain once the water begins to flow. The cold water blast always wins out.

That's not the end of the grossness of the gym shower, though. Tell me, why is it okay to some people to do a Farmer Blow in the public shower? If you want to use your own personal shower as your hankie, cool dude, go for it!

But do not let me hear you honking your boogers in the public shower. Yes, I wear flippy floppies while I'm in there, but let's not freely blow our snot around anyway, shall we? For pete's sake.

Then there's the hair. Wow. What on earth are people doing in the gym showers? There is always a pile of thick, dark hair tucked around the the drain when I go in there. Always. This tells me many things:
  1. Blonds and redheads are not showering at the gym (well, I can disprove that one right away).
  2. Premature baldness is afflicting many of the athletic brunettes of northern Austin.
  3. Somebody is choosing the gym as their monthly shampoo location.

When it comes to awkward feelings in the showers, nothing beats the Aggressive Nudity. My coworker shared this term with me. It so fits. 

I understand that there are varying levels of modesty in many social situations. The gym locker room is one of them. I think I land somewhere on the middle of that scale; there are some women who scurry into the little "changing lockers" when they get down to their skivvies, and there are some women who walk around full-on naked.

(A note on the "changing lockers": these look just like the regular lockers, but have more space behind them to allow you to step inside them and get yourself covered without being seen. It is superbly disturbing to hear people carrying on a conversation from within the locker when you are not yet aware of the existence of the changing lockers. Yes, this happened to me, and yes, it was another situation where I suspected I was going crazy & was the only one who heard a lady talking from within the lockers.)

But the aggressively nude? They are at our gym. They are in our showers. And I got a really aggressive one the other day. While walking around the corner to the shower area, I almost dropped my towel in surprise (which would have probably made me join their ranks). There were two ladies, each in their own shower across from one another, showering...with the curtains open. Yes, fully open. They were just talking, showering, and...there they were.

They stopped talking when I showed up, but they did not close the curtains. Just stared at me like I was a big ol' interruption in their routine. I sheepishly walked between them to get to an open shower. I had to; they were each in the first shower of the 2 rows. There was no where else to go! Still, I felt like I was interrupting their animated, NAKED, discussion by showing up and walking between them.

I don't even know what language they were speaking, but actually I was glad. I already knew too much about them, and I'd only been around them for, oh, 3 seconds. Maybe they don't close shower curtains in their country. Maybe people shower together there. Maybe they've recently seen Psycho and are afraid to close the shower curtain.

Whatever their reasons, their aggressive nudity is making me seriously consider the changing lockers. Perhaps they are there to protect against the nudity of others and not to conceal your own.