Monday, September 24, 2012

Can I Please Get My Iced Tea Without Sugar? Please?

Is anyone really interested in the small cultural difference between Oklahoma and the West Coast?  It's the main question I'm asked in both places.  I end up talking about difference that are huge in every day practice, but just sound kind of silly.  For example, in the locker room in OK, everyone is pretty well covered up.  Anyone with a hidden camera in that locker room would die of boredom.  Lots of women dress in the toilet stalls - ick!  While in the locker rooms in Seattle, flashing naughty bits was the norm.  There was only one day in the locker room at the Washington Athletic Club, (the Club where I met my husband), when everyone was covered up, possibly due to a faulty thermostat.  And you might wonder how I can remember such an obscure bit of trivia?  Well, it's because this was the day that a couple of senior aged sisters came in pushing their father ahead of them in a wheel chair, and announced that "Dad just wanted to see the women's locker room!"  On any other day, the shock of all those naked females would have killed the 90+ year old man, but I have always wondered if he knew that.  Suicide by pulchritude?  And I must apologize for the use of the word, "pulchritude", which almost violates my rule of never using a big word when a small one will do just as well.  I say almost, because nothing else had the alliterative appeal or made the phrase as tidy.  But my point, and I do have one, is that every single day in the locker room, I have to juggle my towel and shimmy into my clothes so that I can fit in here.  I never could have appreciated how these tiny differences add up without this move.          


  1. Wow. You've done my head in here. First of all I was prepared to offer (sugarless) tea with sympathy (sorry, couldn't resist); I like my iced tea with lots of lemon. Then you went on to talk about nudity in locker rooms. I don't remember much about the locker rooms at OKC's Downtown Y, but yes, there were towels in use, but not without the occasional flash - it just happens. The 'Dad wanted to see the women's locker room' story is incredible. One wonders if they could actually have been that stupid or if they were happy to support him in his licentiousness. Then again, a woman brought her grade school son into the changing rooms in Newcastle. He was old enough to be uncomfortable and so we women were uncomfortable. I complained at the front desk (after I was dressed, of course). They were asked to leave. She was horrible to her son, apparently he was a bit wild and she didn't trust him out of her sight... Women here in Britain aren't that fussed about changing in public other than that changing facilities are often pretty chilly. That said, there are little cubicles provided in the present facilities used by our running club and I enjoy the privacy. I'm not exceptionally modest, but it seems a nice luxury. I sometimes think I'm protecting the young girls from the knowledge of what they will become.

    I quite liked your use of the word pulchritude; I did have to go look it up. 'Beauty' is not the definition I expected! I've spent too much time in my changing cubicle and forgot what was out there in the main area, used by the youngsters.

    While I'm thinking of it, whatever happened to your friend Aesthetic Alterations?

  2. Hm, I know in the locker room on our campus, the modesty standards are to each their own. Some dress in stalls although I've never really had a hang up about that since middle-school and regular doses of naked female bodies.

  3. Oh Shelley, Tea and Sympathy - how cute! And protecting young girls? Pretty funny stuff.
    As to Catherine, as busy as she is, we were lucky she wrote her blog as long as she did.

  4. Hi Terri - I thought the ritual of stripping for communal showers in middle school (Jr High, for some of us) was nation wide. I don't care either way, but I am a follower so I'll do what ever the rest are doing.