After my much needed, relaxing massage at the La Costa Resort and Spa this past Sunday, my masseuse mentioned that I should sit in the steam room for a few minutes to help loosen and clear up some of the residual gunk in my chest and head from my lingering cold (yes, another cold!).
Awesome idea! I thought to myself as I sauntered through the lush garden courtyard in my white plush robe.
Upon finding the steam room, I stopped just outside the fogged up glass door, realizing that I was not wearing a bathing suit under my robe. Hmmm. Typically at these public spas, I am on the modest side. I do not walk around Full Monty, even though, by spa protocol, free-balling it is deemed perfectly acceptable. I, however, am not comfortable doing so. Hence, my dilemma at the steam room door.
My brain being a bit gooey from the massage was not my ally in that moment as the option of grabbing a towel to wrap up with did not cross my mind. Instead I decided, Screw it, I’m going in naked. There’s probably no one in there and if there are people in there, I’ll never see them again. Plus, people do it all the time, and who cares anyway? I am 40-year-old-woman-hear-me-roar-and-see-me-naked. Boom!
I hung my robe up one the hook and slowly opened the door to the steam room. Overwhelmed by the dense, hot wave of steam, I had to stop for a moment to get my bearings (or should I say barings?). Finally, the steam parted enough to reveal eight to ten female figures, all in bathing suits. My momentary bravery turned to awkward discomfort.
I stood there, buck naked, like out of a bad dream where I was late for a midterm and couldn’t find my clothes, trying to process what to do. I finally glimpsed a small opening of mahogany bench, a scalding hot mahogany bench, but then realized I would probably scar myself for life if I tried to sit down directly on it.
I noticed a woman, a bathing-suited woman, sitting on a towel. Ding, ding, ding!
I made an immediate about-face, exited the steam room, found myself a towel, like I should’ve done originally, wrapped up, made my way back into the steam room and went to the empty spot I had spied earlier amidst the others.
Ahhh! One deep-cleansing breath in. Mortification over. Time to relax. And . . .
“Mary Godwin?” I heard from the hazy figure sitting next to me.
Oh my god! Someone knows me in here? Well now they REALLY know me, whoever it is. Terrified at whom I might find on the other side of the mist, I waited for it to part.
After a few seconds, I could finally see that it was the owner of the dance studio where my daughters and I take dance.
OH HI! I exclaimed, probably a little over-zealously trying to hide my embarrassment from being bare-assed just a few minutes prior.
We chatted a little and I died a little.
Figuring she was not alone, I looked around her and sure enough, there were a few other teachers from the studio with her also. Awesome!
“Hi Gals!” I said, again, way too cheerfully.
I replayed the previous four minutes in mind and died again.
I could not believe I had just revealed myself to a room full of unsuspecting women, some of whom I know. I mean, what are the chances of me running into women I know in the steam room on the one day I decide to brave the bare beave? Oh, the horror!
In retrospect, I am just thankful that I ultimately grabbed a towel to cover up because had I sat down next to her fully naked, well I just don’t think I could’ve recovered from that.