Towels and Conversations

In my first year of college, whenever I’d have an evening shower, I usually would end up down the hall afterward.  The social and clearly labeled “extrovert” end of the hall was always booming when the girls were in, and I always would go down to check in when I heard the chatter.  (I had been assigned the introvert end of the hallway, and, somewhat ironically, I was the only one in the hallway who knew everyone else.  I just like to get to know the people around me, and so college was no exception to that.)  This meant that, come evening time on weekdays, I would spend some portion of the time down the hall, socializing, so to speak.

And, as mentioned, this included the time immediately following my evening showers.  And so, I would be hanging out down the hall, hair wrapped in one towel and body in another, both holding tightly, as though sewn into place.  Totally normal for me.

One night, one of the most outgoing girls asked me about how on Earth I can be so comfortable in just a towel… Wasn’t I worried it would fall off?… Or that I was naked underneath???  No, not at all, I told her.  And I explained why I wasn’t.  First, we were all girls, so I saw no issue anyway (though I had no intention of anyone seeing anything under the towel).  Secondly, I grew up with older sisters who had seemed to spend a third of their time at home (when in college) walking around in a towel or two, and so it was very normal for me.  And, from a very young age, I had learned their tricks of how to make the towel stay in place, and, naturally, I had mastered it by college.  So, it never seemed dangerous for me to be hanging out down the hall  – this was after the curfew when boys had already been kicked out, mind you – in a towel.  It was like hanging out in almost any other clothing.

She had trouble believing that the towel was stuck, and so I even did a little shaking around to show how it wouldn’t fall off.  Nevertheless, she still was terrified of ever doing such a thing herself, and I was amazed that this towel tying trick wasn’t common knowledge or part of common use.  I think I even showed them right then and there how I tied the towel (without opening it, of course).  These were the girls who talked about just about everything with one another, quite openly, and yet they were somehow terrified at the thought of showing their bodies to one another.  I still have a certain shyness about my body, but, in certain contexts, it’s very so what to me.  Like in onsen, the Japanese hot baths, it is absolutely no big deal to show my body and to see other women’s bodies.  And in theatre, for costume changes, it happens sometimes… oh, well… it’s no issue.  It just happens.

To this day – last time was Friday evening – I still walk around in my towel and chat comfortably with people after I shower.  My high school ‘big sister’ was known for always saying, in response to a compliment about her clothing, “I’m naked under this.”  The initial shock always wore away when, after a few moments of consideration, the listener realized that we all were naked underneath whatever outfit we were wearing – that’s kind of how it works when you put something on in the first place.  For me, there is little difference between clothing and a towel.  Plenty of people regularly don’t wear underwear, and men don’t wear bras, so we’re just as naked under a towel as we are under most clothing.  (It’s just what in our minds that messes with us and makes us uncomfortable.)  That’s why, even when I’d shower in college, and a guy would be in the hallway when I was heading back to my room in just a towel, I was unconcerned.  I’d even talk with them, if I knew them.  It seems that, if they were concerned about talking with me, they could always excuse themselves and leave.  That’s what my friends and I would do if we had an issue with a guy in only a towel.  (But that really isn’t much of an issue to me, mostly too due to my upbringing with older siblings.)

(I somehow feel harsh or demanding with all of that…, but I didn’t mean to be; not in the least.  People can always do as they prefer – I’m just sharing why I am so comfortable in such a silly situation, and why I see it a totally normal, despite its being totally awkward for plenty of people.  I mean, my ukulele teacher is someone I met when we both were bathing in an onsen, naked, of course.) 😛

Post-a-day 2018

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That guy

Sure, he’s attractive.

But, after all these years, why have we never dated, you want to know?

Because too many of his actions are consistent with ones that would belong to a description of someone defined by our culture as “a douche”.

That’s why.

Post-a-day 2018

High school crushes

It seems that I have a sort of high school crush.  That is to say, if I were in high school right now, I would have a total crush on this musical theatre guy.  For whatever reason, I noticed his photo and name in a program a few years ago, and have remembered him ever since, always recognizing his face and name, both in the program and actually up on the stage.  (I think I overheard some family members of his once, and so checked the program to see whom they were talking about doing so well in his musical theatre goals.  That sounds familiar.)

Anyway, it’s been so long and it has happened so gradually, I didn’t even notice when I started getting excited any time I saw him in a program.  Fast forward to tonight, and I was actually a bit giddy when I saw his picture and name.  I had a casual fan girl moment when he passed me as I walked to the bathroom during intermission. And it was not actual freak-out or anything – I merely smiled and considered how I would have freaked out and jumped up and down and all if I actually had been in high school, and if this were a real crush.

Nonetheless, I am delighted for this guy and his obviously progressing career in musical theatre – and his obviously progressing muscle mass – and it is exciting to recognize someone in all of these shows, even if I haven’t met him and I don’t actually know him.  Just his name and his talent…

Plus, it’s quite likely that he is gay, making it all the more like my old high school crushes – the best and most desireable guys always seemed to be gay back then.  (And I’m not so sure that that has changed much since then, actually…)

Post-a-day 2018

Marriage is what brings us together today

I had dinner with a friend last night, and we were talking about how we both still had to send in our rsvp for a friend’s upcoming wedding.  We discussed briefly what we each would do for our own wedding invitations, and I made a comment about how crazy it would be in the first place, if she were to receive an invitation to my own wedding.  ‘You, too, eh?’ was something like her response.  A conversation ensued about my views for myself on marriage.

It has been a recent discovery for me – meaning just in the past year or so – that I cannot quite see myself ever being able to marry.  To me, anyway, there is a sanctity to marriage that includes the line ‘no matter what’.  I do my best to say what I mean and to mean what I say in life.  And I do my best to correct what I have said, when I discover afterward that I have erred.  I believe that I could not honestly say and mean that I would be willing to commit to remaining in and working for a relationship no matter what.

To put an extreme example to this, I have read Jane Eyre.  (Have you?)  For those who haven’t read it, but intend to read it, and don’t want anything given away, ignore these next two sentences, and pick up at the bold font.  Essentially, Jane Eyre falls in love with the ward of the girl she is tutoring, and she wants to marry him, but then finds out that he can’t actually marry, because his mentally insane wife lives in his attic (or something very close to that).  So, she leaves him and is in shame for having loved a married man, the crazy wife eventually burns down the mansion and dies (I think in the fire she sets on the house), and Jane and her love are reunited years and years later, when he is old and blind (or, again, something to that effect) and legally single again.  Not that you needed so much detail, but it’s a ridiculous story, and there is no part I would be willing to play in it.  ‘No matter what’ includes ‘your spouse has gone mentally insane and tries to kill you’.  And I know that this is an extreme example, but it is merely an example.  There are a multitude of situations in which I would not want to find myself, if I couldn’t let a relationship go.  I know, too, that they are all incredibly unlikely.  But they are possible, and I would be lying if I agreed to staying together and loving one another no matter what.

This isn’t to say, of course, that I would be unwilling to share my life with someone.  I am definitely willing, should that someone come along.  I just cannot honestly say that I could ever marry that person.

Now, that is my recent discovery – one that really surprised me, when I discovered it – about marriage and myself.  As dinner was ready just as I finished explaining it to my friend last night, our conversation topic turned in the direction of food.  And so, recalling today that we hadn’t ever gotten to the ‘you, too?’ comment that began my non-marriage-details reveal, I sent the friend a message about it.  The following was exchanged between me and the friend, revealing her thoughts on her own possibility of marriage.

……………………..

H: Also, we never finished a certain conversation. I seem to recall that you had visions of yourself not ever getting married, but we never went into details on it

Friend: Definitely a conversation to be continued!
I think I’d like to find someone that I’d think about marrying. But my life is pretty great when I pull my head out of work and enjoy it! I don’t agree that there should be pressure to find someone to share your life with to make you complete. Also, I’m realistic about what it would take for me to get to that point with someone (a lot). I don’t trust new people that deeply very easily. And I don’t date a lot. But there ARE things I’d like to be better at fitting work around: horses, fitness, my dog, friend time, trips I want to take. So I’m focussing on that. If the guy thing happens, it happens. Sometimes I get a little down about it, but usually I just try to focus on all the good things and don’t worry to much about it 😁

H: Oh, my goodness.
Yes.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s perfection in words.
(Minus the missing o near the end)

……………………………..

And so, there you have two modern-day female views on marriage for themselves.  I hadn’t considered the topic in quite the words she used, but similar ideas have definitely arisen for me.  Yes, I want to share my life with another/others who are close to me.  No, it ultimately does not have to be a spouse.  I just don’t like living alone in the first place – I want loving people around me, supporting me and being supported by me in everyday life.  I want to share the joys and successes and failures of my own life with someone, and vice versa.  But it doesn’t have to be someone with whom I have romantic ties.  That’s part of why I loved so much how my friend listed the things she loves and on which she wants to put more focus in her life.  I believe that, when we do the things we want to do, and we go the places we want to go, we find the people we want in our lives.  (I even said something almost exactly to that effect in a video I did for a class in college, talking about one of my study abroad semesters.)  And so that is my goal in my daily life. Sure, I would love to find that someone perfect.  But doing the things I love to do, and going where I love to go, and spending my life with people I love and who love me… that’s the most important goal for me in my daily life right now.

Post-a-day 2018

Rocks with that?

I was reminded today of how I used to have a chunk of charcoal in my water bottle.  I haven’t thought much about that at all recently, (however, I might start doing it again) but apparently the lacrosse team I used to help coach thinks of it often.

First off, the charcoal in the water bottle is something I learned from Japan, though, via my brother before I moved there (and then it was emphasized while I lived there).  It has to do with cleaning up the water, essentially, from what I recall.  (Note: It is not drinking charcoal mixed with water.  It is a stick of this specific charcoal that sits in the water bottle, so that its pores can absorb unwanted stuff from the water.)

Anyway, so I had this stick of charcoal in my water bottle.  I carry my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me in life, so lacrosse practice was included back when I was coaching (and teaching).  Apparently, one of the girls has held on to the fact that I had ‘some kind of rocks’ in my water bottle, though I have doubts as to whether she recalls what the ‘rocks’ actually were (the stick had broken in half, so there were actually two pieces in the bottle, instead of one, but they didn’t really look like rocks).  In memory of my water bottle, in a sense, that particular girl regularly drops rocks into other people’s water bottles, telling them that it is healthy, and reminding them of how I did it.

Yes, my wonderful lifestyle rubs off in the best of ways.  😛  I guess it gives us a new meaning for ‘on the rocks’, now.

Post-a-day 2018

from nothing to nuts

Tonight, I am well and good exhausted.  Why is it that plans all happen right around the same time as one another?  For weeks, I grow lonesome in the world, with everyone being unavailable or uninterested in doing anything together, and my having loads of free time.  And then, the one week that I am suddenly booked for work, so many things happen, and people reach out wanting to do things.  Of course, I want to go do those things with those people, and so, even though I don’t do them all, the ones I do do are totally exhausting after the already booked work schedule of the week.

Crazy.

Also, I love this scene from “Clueless”, a movie based on Emma, a novel by Jane Austen.  We talked about it tonight while having more cobbler and ice cream back at the house, after midnight, and after we’d already gone to a play-plex to be semi-children for the celebration of our birthdays.

Post-a-day 2018

My life in a novel

I feel like pieces of my life – almost every day – could be parts of a Sophie Kinsella novel.  Perhaps that is how she writes her novels; she combines all the ridiculous bits of her own life, with the plot of a made-up person’s life.  Even if she doesn’t do that, I think this is good enough validation for me to do that myself.  I mean, let’s be real here: I’m wearing a would-be engagement ring around these days, as though it’s no big deal, and I’m about to start telling people about how amazing it actually is, and how I think it’s a great thing for women to try at some point when they aren’t actually engaged.  How is that standard white bread normal?  Plus, wouldn’t that be a great part of a book about smart yet silly, somewhat crazy girl in her mid-twenties?  Exactly.  I need to start writing my own Sophie Kinsella novels.  She has inspired me and shown me that my life has just enough ridiculous for such a story.

Post-a-day 2018