my full monty at the spa

Mama Mary Show La Costa Resort

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.




  1. 1
    JR Reed says:

    Where are the pictures? Is this some sort of bait and switch? I mean, it was a good blog post but I was expecting at least partial nudity. *sigh*

  2. 2
    Sean Harrison says:

    modesty killed the cat.

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    I am sorry to laugh but that is funny. Thankfully you are a gorgeous fit woman and should be damn proud of how you look.

    I bet those women were nothing but jealous. :-)

  4. 4
    Chandra says:

    Thanks for a good laugh today. Modesty for me went out the window when E’s pediatrician walked in the hospital room while the lactation consultant was helping the girls get flowing. I always wondered what the etiquette was for a steam room, I’ve just made the assumption of wrapping a towel around myself…honestly never thought of a swim suit. But that may be because I never bring one to the spa.

  5. 5
    Jenny Burt says:

    Omg Mary, I would have been horrified. I am so much more modest than Marci and Diana and mom so I totally feel your pain. I couldn’t help but laugh since I can relate . Thanks for sharing such an embarrassing moment.

  6. 6
    Marta says:

    Lol, I can’t imagine. Omg, I’m embarrassed for you.

  7. 7
    Laurie says:

    Total gut laughing right now. I can see the whole thing happening and the faces that you were making and the fake smiles and the whole thing!
    One of the best posts so far!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks, Laurie! You know me so well so I’m sure you can imagine the whole thing. I can reenact this weekend, with clothes on.

  8. 8

    I’ve been racking up places that I can never return to due to embarrassing moments like this one! I would be SO tempted to change dance schools, lol.

  9. 9
    Becca says:

    Hilarious!!! I’m dying, Mary!!! So glad you went back for that towel!

  10. 10

    Oy. Just think all those nightmares of showing up somewhere naked came true – now when you have one of those dreams again, it won’t be a nightmare, it will be a comedy dream! I was just in a steam room at a spa and seriously a woman was in there laying down knees bent – like who wants to see that? I couldn’t see that when I came through the dang haze, it was once I sat down. Then I casually closed my eyes and put the cucumbers over my eyes. I think that dance studio owner should not have called you out. Steam rooms are not for talking. But it made for a great story!

  11. 11

    This should be a an SNL skit!

  12. 12
    Laura F says:

    This post was great! You truely are a comedy writer. I could visualize and feel your inner pain! Thanks for sharing this Mary!

  13. 13

    Ah, Mary I love you, brave bare buns and all.

  14. 14

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