Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dreams Do Come True--A Cautionary Tale*

So, want to read my tale of inadvertent public nudity? (Fear not, to provide your eyes from burning with the horror of it all, I have not included any photos of said event.) I'll tell you the story right now, if you have the time.  Grab a cup of tea and come sit by the warm glow of the computer.

****

This story takes place in the not-so-distant past at the Orange County Burke-Williams. Burke-Williams is a day spa I used to go to in West Hollywood when I lived in LA. They have a posh spa area you go hang out in before you get your scheduled massage. The spa room has saunas, hot tubs, showers, a roaring fire and special soaking tubs. They stock it with fluffy towels, bowls of fresh fruit and always-full pitchers of ice water w/ lemon slices in them. They provide you with a thick robe and a pair of terry-cloth slippers. The spa areas are gender-segregated so while you're in the spa, you don't wear clothes. You soak in the tubs, use their fancy moisturizers, etc.. and when they call your name for your massage, you put on your robe, and walk down the hushed (and non-gender segregated) hallway to a private room.

Although I had never been to the Orange County Burke-Williams before, the set-up was familiar. I checked in and got my spa-issued robe. I found my locker, took off my clothes, and put on the robe. I went over to the hot tub, slipped off the robe and stepping into the steaming water. I had lucked out. The spa was completely empty, so I leaned my head back and sort of blissed out in the bubbling water.

I could hear people starting to file in. Some people came in alone, some in groups. One group seemed to be in for a special occasion like a wedding party or Girls’ Day Out. I heard the Girls’ Day Out group coming over to my hot tub and I idly glanced up. Using some keen powers of observation, I noticed something immediately--everyone was wearing bathing suits. If you were reading carefully, you may recall that I most assuredly was not. More alarmed now, I looked behind me and surveyed the rest of the spa. Everyone was in bathing suits. It was then I realized some information that would have been helpful to know a bit earlier--people in LA go naked in spas, people in Orange County do not. I sank lower in the water, hoping the bubbles would obscure the now-shameful fact of my nakedness.

I considered the situation. It did not seem good. Not at all! I was inappropriately naked in public! Holy fuck! It was just like that dream where you're naked at school!

And yet.

It WAS just like that dream. Which meant that the situation wasn't entirely unfamiliar. I had been in this situation before--at least in my mind--and knew just what to do. I would act like I was NOT naked, and perhaps no one would notice.

I waited for a few minutes on the off chance that everyone would suddenly leave and I could exit the tub in peace. This did not happen. So chanting the silent mantra to myself--"I am a cool European chick who does not share your silly American hang-ups"--I stepped out of the tub, dripping in my unwanted naked glory and made the long long long walk to the safety of my robe. I did not tarry, but I at least tried to exit the pool with some sort of naked dignity. I guess I succeeded, but I don't know for sure. I didn't make eye contact with anyone. I wasn't that fucking brave.

14 comments:

Lost.in.Idaho said...

...and you were talked about in OC circles for weeks to come...

Way to rock the confidence! I giggled a lot. :D

Vapid Vixen said...

Oh my god!!!! This is my nightmare! Congrats on pulling it off with as much dignity and grace as possible considering the circumstances. Reading this I was horrified yet stifling giggles behind my hand.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Brilliant ploy. If anyone had challenged you you could have tried telling them that THEY were dreaming. Worth a try.

Brandi said...

Excellent! I had the opposite reaction on my first LA spa experience. Most of the spas that I had been to were the everything in the room ones with out the hot tubs and all the extras. Now I am a bit spoiled with the LA style spa and a lot more comfortable with struting my pasty white naked ass in front of the crowd.

Anonymous said...

My wife tells me that in high school and in college girls always had their own private shower stall. I can tell her that boys didn't. We walked around with everything out in the open. How ironic. In terms of genitalia, women are already pretty much hidden, while men aren't. So what's up with this modesty thing with women? American women, anyway. Bikinis hardly leave much to the imagination. It is hard to understand how the naked body could become such a taboo thing. Good you had such dignity, if that's what it was.

Johnson said...

Hilarious. I probably would have tried to talk my out of it. "I don't want to alarm any of you, but I am totally naked. If you can all avert your eyes, we can just act like this never happened."

The Housewife said...

Haha, epic. Sounds like something that would happen to me..

Maybe they were in suits because it was a gaggle of ladies. Somehow, seeing someone you have a friendship with naked seems a bit too intimate.. strange.

Stacey said...

I blush when I step out of the shower and the cat barrels in, so this story is definitely the stuff of nightmares for me.

Mongo, At The Moment said...

I have absolutely no idea what I would've done, aside from attempting to *joke* my way out of it -- and that has a real iffy possibility of success in The O.C., where having a sense of humor has been genetically eliminated through selective inbreeding.

Sounds as if you handled it as well as anyone possibly could. You get a '10' from everyone but the East German judges, and even they had to give you a 9.8 .

Tricia said...

Oh, gawd - that's classic. I love it. Love, love, LOVE it!

HSky said...

You should be ashamed of yourself!

Enid Wilson said...

Did you get any applaud? I went to nude spa in Korea. First time, feel quite strange.

Chemical Fusion

Rusty Hoe said...

HA! Love it and can totally relate. I am distinctly lacking in spa etiquette as I found out after being laughed at by the towel ladies. First time at a top notch spa, Raffles in Singapore and I was faux pas queen. I like to think I made their day. I'm pretty sure you're the talk of the OC after jazzing up their lives.

PS thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Yvonne said...

This was awesome. I love the European chick mantra, that would TOTALLY have helped me too. That and my high school French, "Oui, j'avec un je n'ais ce pas. Au revoir!"

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