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How I Met the Wicked Witch of the East in the Girl’s Locker Room

October 20, 2011

The proffered witch-y shoes.

“That woman exercised as long as me! Amazing!”

I turned around politely. A small, middle-aged, nut-brown woman with flyaway brown hair and inquisitive eyes looked at me. She was wearing a sweaty T-shirt and tight spandex pants. She reminded me of a squirrel, if squirrels did yoga at the Washington Sports Club.

“Over two hours! We arrived together, and golly, I guess we are leaving together too!” She was infectious with her energy. I could instantly tell that she loved talking to strangers even more than I did.

“That’s great! You both are an example to us all,” I joked.

She sidled closer. “I’m going through menopause.” She stage-whispered it, as if it were some sort of delicious sin. Strange. “I’ve been going through menopause for five years. But I haven’t gained any weight. Not one pound! Nada.”

“Impressive.” I pulled my hair into a tight ponytail, and then closed my locker.

“Still, no matter what I do, I have never had a flat stomach. Can’t seem to quite get there.” She had somehow, in the moment I looked away from her, taken off her shirt and bra. Her breasts hung there in front of me, very matter of factly, definitely not shy. She cupped her mid section mournfully.

“Still, your doctor must be thrilled with you. Exercising so often. You look very healthy.”

She nodded and her breasts nodded with her. Why was it, I suddenly wondered, that young women, with the perfect bodies that youth affords them, cover up, while older women flaunt it all for the world to see? Where does this embarrassment of the body come from?  And just as importantly, what’s the magic age when you no longer give a damn?  Is it post-childbirth?

“Ooh! For Halloween this year, I have the perfect costume. This year I am going to be the Wicked Witch of the East. I have this gorgeous vintage dress in silver, and today I bought the tiara and shoes, look!” She whipped out sparkling flats from her locker, Dorothy Gale meets rap star bling. In pink.

“Those are gorgeous! It’s amazing you found them in your size!”

“Yep, just snatched them up, knew they’d be perfect. Just my size, the only pair! Size four.” Reverently, she placed them back in her locker. “Last year, I wore a campy costume and was hit on by all these unsavoury sorts of men! Maybe if I have a classier costume this year, then…”

“-the more elegant and chivalrous man will become your date?”

“Exactly! Gosh, I love flirting on Halloween!  I’m going to wear a tiara!” She put her hands on her spandex-ed hips and sighed happily.

I laughed. No matter what age of woman I talked to, not matter what place, somehow an implicit we are all girls together- let’s talk about men! mentality arose. Was it sad that I ended up talking about guys in a women’s locker room with women in their sixties? I see the universality of it all as something sweet, rather than pitiable.

Like boys don’t talk about girls in their locker room chats.

I said my goodbyes as she cheerfully finished undressing, and I headed out to the nudity free confines of the gym. Maybe I should buy sparkly pink workout shoes to improve my game.

For a pictorial image from QC that shows the sort of youthful bias young women have against casual older nudity:

Please note the instinctive 'ugh' response.

One Comment leave one →
  1. MrRoivas permalink
    December 21, 2011 11:36 PM

    Men don’t talk in the locker room. Sorry.

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