Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ok, seriously? Ew.

Kate's recent posting got me thinking about gym ettiquette. I actually don't mind nakedness in the gym locker room. I mean, if not there, where else, right? Everyone's got to change. As long as you don't stare, point or take photos everyone pretty much minds their own business and averts their eyes.

However, if you can possibly sidestep bending over while being naked, all the better for us.

I credit having six really strong, wonderful girl friends from the time I was little for my non-overly neurotic body image. Misery loves company, I guess, and for all the awkward body weirdness that adolescents have to endure, I thank my lucky stars I got to do it with their love and support. Also, it was nice knowing I wasn't the only freak out there (no offense, ladies).

And, after living in Japan, where the onsen culture pretty much mandates nakedness, nothing surprises me. Like the time Emira, Erin and I did the onsen tour in Beppu and got trapped in a giant mud pit filled with the world's longest pubic hairs.

Then there was the time that Emira and I had to take a naked rose petal bath together as part of our "spa package" in Bali. Ok, well, we weren't totally naked. To their credit, they did give us paper panties (!). I'm still ROTFL about that.

So, long story short, I'm no Samantha in the lockerroom, but I'm no Charlotte either. In fact, I like to think my locker room 'skeeve' factor is a bit higher than droopy boobs and cellulite. But tonight - oh, tonight - I finally discovered my limit. A woman was undressing next to me, no big deal. I was minding my own business, keeping my eyes respectfully to the floor.

Which is when I saw Them: ten long, yellow, peeling, cracked, pus-infested toenails. Really, each one was so long you could use it to snort cocaine, if you had the notion (and the flexibility). Think Howard Hughes minus the kleenex boxes. Think yellow like Mountain Dew. This pus as in......pus.

You know those tv commercials for Lamasil? You know why they use that relatively cute Whammy-esque creature? Because if they showed you real pictures of toenail fungus, you just might throw up a little in your mouth.

But the grossest? The grossest was watching her march blythely into the tiled shower room, sans flip flops.

M is for Mouth, I Just Threw Up a Little In


Megan said...

My exercise these days is mostly walking to and from class. It's no biggie, probably a mile or so one-way and with plenty of uphill. No locker room grossness, right? Well, in a city where there are about 20 times more bars than public restrooms, and no requirement to curb your dog, it's like a minefield. Ain't a day goes by I don't almost step in piss or shit of some kind.

It's hardly pus-crusted toenails, but still. Ick.

Anonymous said...

One time I was running after dark, and I tripped over a dead, bloated racoon. That was pretty gross.

Anonymous said...

OK, so to clear the air, I have no problem with nudity at the gym. There's no way to avoid nudity when you're changing, showering, etc. However, it's the flagrant lack of couth and modesty, especially among the older generation, that I take issue with. I do my best to keep others around me comfortable by maintaining a certain level of modesty. Unfortunately, flappy old lady exiting the stall does't share my mentality.

Megan said...

Kate, I'm with you. I think we're all there. Locker room = nudity, and by using it you're implying comfort with it. But... there's nudity, and then there's nudity. Chick changing into her sports bra next to me? Fine. Group shower exposure? Awkward, but fine. Naked dude bending over, flappy lady prancing around, or any other behavior that seems focused on challenging me to take issue with nudity? Not fine.

kd said...

yeah, naked!! I love being naked! but I do tone it down in public locker rooms. FYI, if you haven't watched the scene in the movie European Vacation of the herd of naked men running on a beach, see it. You'll get over your fear of naked, flapping bodies quickly.

emira said...

Ok, Ok, Miss Mer you had to bring up the paper panties, didn't you. I forgot about that whole incident. Now I'm going to bed with nightmares of bathtubs and moreover the image naked japanese men staring us down as we tried to walk out of the pubic infested mud bath. I didn't feel relaxed either of the two times and weren't we suppose to. Ahhhhh....memories.

Anonymous said...

In an innocent and non-sexual way I kind of enjoy locker room nudity, both my own and that of other ladies.

Two of my girlfriends and I take an aerobics class together three nights a week, and we do enjoy sitting around the sauna in the nude, and were completely fine with the group shower room and all. I think that nudity in the women's locker room can be kind of nice (for me anyway) because it's kind of a nice female bonding experience that allows you to let your guard down since there are no men around. I think it can be kind of fun, again, in a non-sexual way, to be able to spend time nude in the company of other ladies without it being for a sexual purpose like it would be with a husband or boyfriend.

But there are of course good etiquette rules that should be followed. Like not sitting bare-butt on the locker room benches. Not bending over and mooning other ladies in the process etc, etc.