Dare I Drop The Towel?

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In efforts to run my gut off, since I have no butt to speak of, I’ve been hitting the Carleton gym relatively regularly. I’m afraid I’m not glamorous enough to fit into the skeletal/tortured artist type, so I’d have to settle for being quite the average person with a need to work off the excess flab. Can’t say anything has been working for certain, since I like the giant $1.27 blueberry muffins and will always have a soft spot for calorie-rich Chai Latte’s on a cold day.

Here’s my only point to the whole story: 1) Never before have I seen so many old, sagging, ginormous gazonka’s in my life.

Walking in the female locker rooms after the treadmills have been like walking into a badly made porno. The fluorescent lighting, the fantasy locker-room experience, all in all, it is a truly ‘liberating experience’.

Now I do grudgingly admit I’m a liberal at heart, but even I flinch a little on the inside whenever I run into this completely titular* experience. Its not quite a ‘culture shock’ per se, because you know these things are the norm in say Japan or Western countries; but after living in Malaysia for so long, you forget that boobies have a chance of popping up in locker rooms. Even an old Asian Ah Ma, the type that you would imagine to drink shark fin soup (sorry Mel), had no qualms about bearing it all.

“Halo Aunty.”

Here’s an appropriate moment to actually hashtag “# That Awkward moment when…” on Twitter. However, even in writing that, I can’t say its actually awkward at all, because in order for a situation to truly be awkward, the other person has to feel awkward too. Oh and trust me, that seventy year old gray-haired aunty who is probably someone’s lecturer would have no problems showing up to class the next day knowing that you’ve seen her in her glory.

After getting my stuff from the locker and few bouncy encounters later, I found myself in the sauna room surrounded by all shapes and sizes.There was a pair of forty-somethings, a pair of 60s, and another in her 20s. There was also someone of middle-eastern descent dressed in her swimsuit, but she’s not part of the story.

Being in this environment, the thought crept in, “Dare I do it too?”  In my arms, a towel wrapped loosely around me. Dare I drop the towel?

A part of me wanted to experience it for the heck of it, the other wonders if I’m only doing it just to conform to this society. Then still, another part of me wants to hold on to my comfort zone, re-firming my clutch on my towel. I massaged my neck as the towel loosened yet another time. Maybe I could give a stretch? So if it falls off itself, then I won’t have to decide on anything.

After ten more minutes of an inner dilemma, I felt sweat dripping from my chest and the underside of my boobs. Great, it really is getting hot. One person got up and headed out the door. A few seconds later, so did another. Now it was just one other pair of boobs and mine.

‘Okay Tee Jowee, when in Rome…” I let go and the towel slid off. I gave for a few seconds of silence, then looked up. The other lady was closing her eyes. The ceiling didn’t fall through. No one came barging in. The Sauna room was silent with only the whirring of the machine. Then I stared at my own, and shrugged. Not that bad. Nothing’s happening. Doesn’t feel any different from any other naked moment with myself.

And that was it. Liberation.

My locker room experiences are infinitely more pleasant these days. Mostly because I don’t have to walk from locker to changing rooms, and then forget to grab something, and walk back to the locker, then go back to the changing rooms. I just change right in front of my locker, when no one’s looking.

Crowd applauds.


Thank you very much.

Told you I’m a nudist at heart. Public indecency will be my next most likely crime.

*Not the actual meaning. Actual definition:Holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority: “the queen is titular head of the Church of England”.


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