Sunday, October 5, 2014

au naturel

In the days when my husband's company retreat included the spouses, I'd join the enthusiastic group. One of the places we went to was a 200+ year old, award winning resort. As corporate guests, we were given a list of leisure activities from which we could choose - a freebie. Golf was on the list, a spa treatment, and other things that escape my memory. I chose the spa treatment.  Why not? I was away from home - from motherhood, dish washing, bill paying, and laundry.  I couldn't remember the last time I'd been to a spa. Had I ever been to one? Maybe it was just a hodgepodge of steam rooms and hot tubs at YMCAs and hotel pools. This was the real deal. It had to be worth my time. It had to be a feel-good, relaxing experience.

I showed up at my appointed time and was greeted by a smiling and pleasant woman who verified what my pampering would be and then passed me on to the next attendant who led me to my hot sulfur water bath, complete with the scent of my chosen botanical.

The bath… not fabulous, but nice. I guess it's all about attitude. Anyway…

As this was over 12 years ago, I can't remember if I went into the sauna - I don't think so, though I have a vision of passing by it. Perhaps my memory of all the particulars was usurped by the next step of my treatment.

Attendant number 2 passed me on to attendant number 3 who was waiting for me in a super-sized swiss shower room.  Shower heads and hoses were staring at me from every direction, though only one hose was on and pointed directly at me - the one held and blasted upon me by a woman I'd just met. Somehow, I had found myself without my white, soft, thick, secure and comfy robe, standing naked, 10 feet away and facing this plain faced woman as she directed water over everything from my shoulders down… well, almost everything. It was like she was power washing her deck.

Little did I know then, that I was having a Scotch Spray.

"Okayyy, Hmmm…" I thought. "Step outside of your comfort zone. Be sophisticated."

After I convinced myself that this was normal, I relaxed… well, not really. Where was I supposed to look? Facing her, I had to see her. She was 30ish, short, white, average sized, had short brown hair, and wore khaki pants and shirt. What was she thinking? Seems like a very monotonous job.

"Maybe she's a lesbian; that would probably make it more interesting for her."

"Maybe she's not a lesbian, and that she's having big fun on the job; inwardly laughing hysterically at all the paranoid, Scotch Spray novices who come through; in addition to myriad physical flaws in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Soon I relaxed… really. I rotated, stood with my asset facing her and thought, "Bring it on!"

Surely the spa staff must get a bit of entertainment from their clients; but that's okay, because when the spa conversation came up at my table during the company dinner, we got the best laughs, too. As for where to look, one woman said she kept her eyes closed.

Recently, I was back at the resort which resurfaced the memory of the "hose me down" experience. (By the way, supposedly it "breaks up toxins and cellular blockage in preparation for a massage.")  It made me think about other times when my naked body is on display; when things are drooping and bulging; when nooks and crannies are in the spotlight. The gyno, the mammo tech, the colonoscopy guy, my husband, my children: they've seen it all and it doesn't faze me in the least. However, there's something about casually walking naked through a locker room that is not in my span of comfort. Over the years, I've seen many women do it. Must be nice to be that confident.

Are you one of the "confident" people or lean toward modesty?

32 comments:

joeh said...

We just got back this weekend from the Omni Homestead Resort & Spa in Virginia. Sounds like a similar place.

I chose golf...it wasn't free, but it was a great course.

I don't look at myself naked!

Barb said...

I'm with Joeh, except I don't play golf. When you get to be 70, some things are best kept under wraps!

Ms. CrankyPants said...

Confident naked?? Um, NO! I struggle to feel confident in a bathing suit! I blame my insecurity on Hollywood (not on the fact that I haven't exercised in 100 years).

Tabor said...

I am NOT confident naked, but I wish I was. I can understand how the human body is just another work of art, but my human body needs a cover.

Hilary said...

Confident? Ha! I don't even like wearing shorts. The only two times I remember throwing modesty to the wind was during childbirth. Then I didn't care who saw what. Oh and I was comfy breastfeeding just about anywhere.. but other than that, I tend to keep it all under wraps.

I love your colourful wording.. your "assets" and such. And I'm very happy to see you posting again.

Mari said...

Oh my! That would have been most uncomfortable for me. I like to have at least a little something covering me. :)

Betty W said...

NOOO! NOT confident at all! I missed you Anita. You always have such great blog posts and topics. I'm like Joeh and Ms. Cranky Pants, I'm not even confident wearing my bathing suit. don't think I would have picked the massage, even if it was free, if I knew I'd have to be naked.

Bryan Jones said...

I'm still smiling at the phrase (and associated imagery) of her "power washing her deck". An entertaining post.

ShadowRun300 said...

I guess I don't mind showing my stuff to my gyno or the mammo tech, but with everyone else I feel best covered up.
If I was ever in a "power wash" situation, I'd probably grin and bear it, only because I'd feel more embarrassed if I ran away. :)

Abby said...

A Scotch Spray! I've never heard of such a thing, but now I WANT one!
But the whole woman-in-khakis power wash imagery isn't really working for me...

I don't really have much problem with the medical professionals, but I'm not big on traipsing around naked - locker room, or at home. I will admit to getting from room A to room B in my house when only China the dog is home with me, but she's got cataracts.

Welcome back! Nice re-entry post!

Linda said...

Hi Anita, I am not very comfortable naked.

Linda Hensley said...

Uh, NO. Not comfortable, but then I'd take the power washing too for the experience. Glad to see you back. I always enjoy reading your posts.

Kat said...

Oh man. That would give me nightmares. I would NOT be able to do it. I don't really know why. I'm not that uncomfortable with my body, just with my naked body around OTHER people. HAHA!

I thought that you were going to end up telling us that at dinner the other women revealed that you were supposed to keep a swim suit on or something and then you died of embarrassment. But I guess everyone just got naked and tried to enjoy being power washed by a strange woman. HAHAHA!

I think you've frightened me away from fancy spa treatments. :)

Thanks for the laugh!

Rob-bear said...

Bears always wear their fur coats. Everywhere. That's just the way it is. But glad you survived au naturel.

BTW, did she offer you some good Scotch after the spray?

Blessings and Bear hugs, Anita!

Rebecca S. said...

I definitely lean toward modesty, although I did go skinny dipping at midnight this summer with my husband! I hadn't skinny-dipped since I was a girl with my sisters. Anyway, it was great. I still remember how the cool water enveloped my naked self. It was wonderful because no one else was there.
This is the first time I've heard of the Scotch Spray...funny name for a hose-down.
Like one of your readers, Hilary, when it came to childbearing and breastfeeding I didn't care.
It's great to read a post from you. I hope you had a terrific summer.

TexWisGirl said...

i'm not a good 'walk around naked like you own it' person, either. and i am really not the spa or salon type any more. have had a few good experiences, but mostly i just feel out of place.

Buckeroomama said...

When situation warrants it (e.g. gyne, mammogram, etc.), I'm okay with it, but I never felt comfortable walking around naked in the locker room either. I'm okay if other women choose to do that, but I prefer to have at least my towel around me.

Betsy Brock said...

Oh, this was hilarious! I would have been mortified. I think I would have been a closed eye participant. haha. And the one giving the massage would have noticed how tense my body was! haha.

photowannabe said...

I had a spa treatment once and it wasn't quite as intimidating as yours. Not comfy being exposed like that. I really couldn't look or act like this was normal.
Love the massage though.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment.
I just read Barb's comment. That's me....after 70 things definitely are best kept under wraps...(:0)

Shelly said...

Oh, I recently had a similar spa experience and can FULLY empathize! I lean more towards modesty, myself, although I find as I get older I care a little less.

SuziCate said...

Confident...no. I would be quite uncomfortable and feeling like I was on display even though I know better.

Haddock said...

Like that idea of Hose me down. Never knew that it was Scotch Spray.
By the way I want to dig up one of my old pics of a horse looking out of the stable (never used it in any blog, but my next one would be the right place for it I suppose)

Munir said...

We can still be confident with our clothes on. It is not the lack of confidence that makes us keep our clothes on, it is our modesty.

Barb said...

Oh my gosh, Anita - I just read all the other comments. What a hoot. I had commented so early, I had to see what others thought. Now, I hope you're dreaming up another post...

bettyl-NZ said...

I'm a 'what you see is what you get' kinda girl. I figure they've seen better and worse than me!

Jen said...

I think someone who sees it every day is difficult to impress or horrify. I know I would hate that job.

I prefer to keep covered, though I'm not horrified or embarrassed if accidentally exposed.

jiturajgor said...

Love reading your post after such a long time.I have just returned from USA trip with my wife. I met my Facebook and other net friends who are well-known authors of California.I am also going to publish my debut novel in 2015. Hope every thing is fine.

yonca said...

Hilarious! I have some spa/hamam/sauna experince.If my towel slips off accidently I wouldn't be embarrassed. But I prefer my towel covered.It was good to read your post after a while.Hugs!

InSeason Mom Cynthia said...

I know the whole street heard me laughing as I read this post! Walking around au naturel in public…a locker room, no thank you!

Pop Champagne said...

ohh that sounds like a nice place, and I'm totally not confident naked lol

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Surprise spa. I like to ask what is involved.

Shalet Jimmy said...

I did go to an ayurvedic treatment once. You have to remove your clothes before they start it. But I never imagined them to be lesbians. What would have happened if I imagined so?That is a nice post...