This article was originally published on Better After 50.
It's torturing me. I can't seem to get this scene out of my head:
Fresh from my workout, I enter the locker room. On my way in, I grab two fluffy white towels, still warm from the dryer, for my upcoming shower. As I make my way to my locker, I pass a large woman, completely naked, blow drying her hair in front of a very large mirror. One foot is up on a stool for balance. Everything is hanging out there. Her large breasts, flushed from the heat, stare at me as I walk by.
This woman is big and she is tough, and she's armed -- a hard, round brush firmly in one hand, a heavy red blow dryer in the other. She stops for a second, daring me to say something, but I don't. Staring right at me, with the blow dryer in one hand, she dries "down under" for a good five seconds before continuing with the hair on her head.
This puts me over the edge. Didn't she read my article, "10 Reasons to Cover Up in the Locker Room?" I shake my head, gather up my courage, and decide to take matters into my own hands.
"Excuse me," I say offering her my two towels, "there are plenty of towels here. You don't need to blow dry your hair completely naked."
"WHAT?"she booms indignantly as if she had been waiting for me to say something, "How dare you?" She is loud and unapologetic enough to garner the attention of all the locker room ladies, in various stages of dress. They stare at us, wondering how this scene is going to play out
"The towels -- they are free and there are plenty. You don't have to blow dry your hair naked."
"Are you offended by my body?"
"Oh no, not at all. Your body is lovely. I just don't want to look at it naked for so long."
"I can't help it. You are blow drying your hair naked. In. Front. Of. A. Mirror."
"Avert your eyes, you idiot. What's wrong with you? It's a ladies' locker room!"
"What's wrong with you?" I say, "Cover up." I throw a towel at her.
Others start to chime in:
"Yeah, cover up!"
"She has a right to blow dry her hair naked if she wants!"
"Why don't you just put on some panties and a bra?"
"You should read her article," says one. "You might be her lawyer."
"I'm not her lawyer. F*ck you."
"She's just a prude. I bet she wears a towel in her bathroom at home."
"I don't." I chime in sheepishly, "Not always."
"No," says another angrily, "She's absolutely right. It's gross. No one wants to look at your nakedness while you blow dry hair."
Things are beginning to escalate, tensions are high. It seems everyone has pretty strong opinion on the topic.
"And what about you, a**hole, what kind of a carbon footprint are you leaving using four towels?" someone asks me. And I shrink, because I am guilty as charged.
Within minutes, the locker room erupts with naked women and partially-dressed women screaming at each other about exhibitionists and ecological indifference. Towels are being thrown. Breasts are swinging. It's the partially-clad versus the totally naked. All hell is breaking loose in the ladies' locker room.
The manager walks in. "Ladies, calm down, calm down. Who started this?" she asks.
And everyone points at me. I am a female Larry David. They ask me to leave. I am banned from the gym. No more barre class. No more cardio with weights class. I can see an image of myself in a month, totally out of shape. I want to apologize, be let back into the locker room, but I can't shut my mouth. As I am being escorted out, I yell out, "You could use a sign in that locker room that says, 'blow dryers are only for drying the hair on your head!'"
I wake up sweating. I'm no Larry David; in the real world, I'm more of a George Costanza.
But I do smile to myself every time I see a woman blow drying her hair naked in the locker room.