Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Born Again Modesty

I know that throughout this experience I should write about higher learning type stuff that’s interesting from an intellectual, my-how-college-differs-from-my-career perspective.  However, I had an experience today that must take precedence.  Today, I ran at the university’s Rec Center, and afterwards I showered and changed in the locker rooms.  Of course I showered; when I run, I sweat.  A lot.  But that’s not where I’m going with all this.  No, rather, I encountered the end-all be-all of locker room heaven: shower stalls with enclosed changing areas!
All right, so I know that’s not mind blowing for some of you. Still, most of us who have joined (and used) a gym since reaching independent adulthood have experienced the wide open locker areas that provide little-to-no opportunity to cover up – or hide away – while changing clothes or getting dressed post-shower. It’s… um… it’s intimidating, okay?  And if you’ve ever changed in one of these giant diorama type areas, you almost certainly have found yourself twisting and bending awkwardly while trying to pull on underwear without knocking off the towel precariously wrapped around your upper torso only to then have to sort out how to drop the towel while at the exact same moment putting on your bra so simultaneously that you don’t accidentally flash the other novice contortionists in the room.  I wonder if there is some Guinness World Record to be attained with all this?
Yes, yes, we should all be grown ups and not care about others of the same sex seeing our naked bodies. Our bodies are beautiful and natural, right?  WRONG!  Wrong, I tell you!  ...  Ah, I kid.  I admire women who can just let it all out and be okay with their naked selves in a relatively public private place. I, however, am not one of them.
I was forced to confront this fact head-on today when upon learning that I could shower and dress without anyone seeing me I almost laughed out loud with joy.  I must have looked a bit lunatic, grinning from ear to ear while shuffling madly toward the shower stalls carrying my towel and giant gym back.  “Uh oh, Ma escaped and wandered over to the university gymnasium again to try to use their super secret ultra modest shower stalls. Your turn to round her up.”
On a side note, did you ever notice how cheap, brown paper towels at large institutional buildings smell not terribly unlike throw-up?  Just an observation.
Anyway, today I am grateful for the modesty of college age young women and for the university I attend that took the trouble to design facilities respectful of that attribute. 

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