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Look Her in the Eye

I saw her again. Naked Woman She appears unexpectedly in odd places in the locker room like the skinny dude in Where’s Waldo, sans the red and white striped shirt – or the pants for that matter.

Am I the only one who notices her or are others just as intrigued as I am? Does she live in some secret nudist colony right here in Central Ohio? Has she always had a healthy self image? Are bodies just bodies to her? Is walking all around the locker room completely naked freeing? Why do I even care?

I just think there may be a lesson to learn if I push myself to find the answer. I had set a loose goal to moon someone by Lyle’s birthday. I had hoped it would give me some acceptance of my own body, once and for all. I wanted to be able to bare my ass and not give a shit if someone else was going to try to count the dimples glowing their way. I set that particular date as tribute to Lyle since in his younger days he’d been so free to show his cheeky side.

Well, Lyle’s birthday came and went last week, and I have nothing significant to report. Maybe six months was unrealistic; I have after all squirmed in my own skin now for 46 years. Erasing body phobias in just a few short months may have been too lofty of a goal. Now, I’m not entirely convinced I need to subject the innocent to my social experiment. But Naked Woman got me thinking.

The funny thing is when I saw her last week, I realized I have indeed talked with her on several other occasions –had complete conversations actually not realizing that she was the ONE. She even has a locker in the same aisle as mine.

I had no idea. I had been trying so hard not to look at her as she walked around the locker room. I realized these two women were indeed the same when I saw her sitting in the lounge where others put on makeup and finish last-minute primping before heading back to work. She was sitting on one of the cream-colored leather couches flipping through the newspaper, her and all her freshly showered parts, as if she was at home cozy and comfy reading the morning headlines and enjoying her first cup of coffee. I’m not sure if I was grossed out or mildly jealous, maybe both.

Without even knowing it, she put me in my place several weeks ago, but it was before I had made the connection that she was Naked Woman. You see, she has also had some significant back surgery that limited her mobility, but she still comes in the Y and exercises every day. Like an insensitive boob, I came in one day after working out, and said to her, “man, I’m glad that’s over,” to which she replied, “I’m just glad that I can come in and work out.”

Smack. I slinked off to the shower hoping I could wash away my tactless comment. I saw her a few weeks after that and she told me about the surgery, and I confessed about my unintentional insensitivity. She absolved my sins, and I didn’t think much more of it.

I find it extraordinarily funny that I have talked to Naked Woman and never realized it was HER, which again makes me wonder if all of this has more to do about my hang ups than puritanical societal restrictions.

I don’t feel like I’m making much progress in becoming comfortable with my own skin, and it is causing more questions to surface. Will the inquiry help me stare down my own fears?


8 Responses

  1. Hey Augie if you’re out there, email me. I’d love to talk to you, and everyone on Saturday is asking how you are. Hope all is well.

  2. Hello, my dear cousin. I just want you to know that no matter what you think of you, & your body, you are an amazing woman! Please hear me, & take it to your heart & soul. You are human, you make mistakes, you do wonderful things. You have a great heart, a wonderful sense of humor, you are so very talented and artistic. Give yourself a break & embrace the amazing woman you are! I love you! Steph

  3. I can’t get beyond the sitting on a public couch, naked. Ick ! I’m fairly comfortable running buck naked from the bedroom to the laundry room to get something to wear….but do worry a neighbor might simutaneously show up at the back sliding door, mid run. Maybe you should try a naked stroll down through the back yard on some relatively dark evening. Or perhaps a naked boat ride? Maybe in the comfort of real female friends on ‘float day’? Just offering some suggestions if you think this is something that has to be accomplished.
    Love the article….thanks for the entertainment.

  4. Hello,,

    I have been trying forever to figure how to communicate here LOL
    I even started blogging (MyBigFatJourney.wordpress.com)
    I’m doing very well, I had an appoint,rnt today and have shed 36 pounds since surgery 12 days ago!
    Read my blog when you have a chance, it explains a lot.
    However, I still want to thank you for the support and guidance that set me in the right path. I cannot wait to see you.
    My email is Agustin_Nieves@hotmail.com I think I misplaced yours.
    Do you Facebook?


  5. Keely – yeah, the boat ride might be a place to start…Naked Woman and the newspaper was a little more than I could handle, but I did have to admire her comfort zone.

  6. Auggie – I’m so glad to hear from you. I hope you don’t mind, but I made your comment public because so many people have asked how to get a hold of you – they are cheering for you! I’ll check out your blog and yes, friend me on FB. Keep up the great work!

  7. Steph – thank you for such the kind words. It means a lot to me that I have so many beautiful people in my corner. I love you!

  8. OMG, Of corse I don’t mind. You and the WW gang are a huge partvof my support group!

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