21 April 2016

Naked Friends

I don’t have any naked friends.

In fact, I didn’t even know that ‘naked friends’ were a thing until my sister Sue told me about them. We were on a long drive and the conversation had gone from world politics (3 minutes) to middle aged skin (2 hours, 15 minutes).

I was telling her that nobody has seen my new boobs in all their tattooed glory, except for three people. Jim,  of course.  My mom, since she was the one who made me. And my friend Leslie, who, after a bunch of wine in her kitchen said ‘Hey, can I see your boobs?’ And was delighted to show her.

‘Nobody’s seen my boobs in years,’ said my sister. ‘Really?’ I squealed, recalling her astonishing lack of modesty in our family home. ‘What about Kim?’ I asked, referring to her close friend, fellow single mom, drinking partner, confidante, and work out buddy. ‘Nope,’ said Sue, ‘Kim is not a naked friend.’

The present:
 According to Sue, friends fall into two categories. Friends with whom you can be freely naked, and friends with whom nudity does not feel at all natural.  And ‘relaxed nudity’ has nothing to do with the level of trust or friendship. Casual friends can be naked friends, and best buddies often, are not.

We drove along sister silently and I tried recalling who I’d been naked with. Nobody. We’ve all changed clothing around each other, and have been slightly naked, but I’ve never had a fully naked face-to-face conversation with a girlfriend. There’s been side-by-side talks in the steam room, but I’m certain I would have been at least partially covered by a towel. Could it be I have no naked friends?

I like to think that I’m fairly open minded and relaxed about nudity. But I’m not. I’m one of those girls that like to have clothes on unless I’m in the shower. Doesn’t have to be a lot of clothes – panties and an undershirt will do – but I like a little fabric next to my naked skin.

I’m really not against nudity. I think the human body is beautiful! (Well that’s not really true). But  I want so badly to be the type of person who is completely open-minded and serene in a locker room. I changed next to my mother Violet,  and  her aqua fit gals, and didn’t bat an eye at the occasional nipple or wrinkly bottom. But when one large woman came strolling around the corner with so much hair that it looked like she was wearing fur pants, and then bent over right in front of me– well that was neither lovely, nor natural. It was awful! I could feel the horror spreading all over my face.

The future: Unwrapped
So I think I’m the problem. My sister listed off several naked friends with whom nothing was off limits – even things that rhyme with shlabia. That means that Sue is also is on a ‘naked friend’ list. But I’m not. I am nobody’s naked friend.

Perhaps my inhibitions are discouraging  my gal pals from having our own naked friendship.  Eventually, I am certain, I will be a naked friend, as I will lose my modesty in the same way I lost my filter; abruptly and uncomfortably.

‘Till that time I’ll be a loyal friend, albeit one who is partially dressed.