I went for a swim last night. It was nothing impressive. Nothing brave or manly like taking a swim in the ocean or the malaria infested L.A. river near my home. Instead I flailed and kicked and struggled my way up and down the slow lane at the gym pool for an exhausting and unimpressive 20 minutes. To reward myself for not drowning I decided to end my evening by relaxing in the communal hot tub.
I thoroughly enjoy exercising. After a hard 60 minutes of sweating on a treadmill and straining to push weights that would impress no one, I like to reward myself with a nice long steam bath. Occasionally I step into the sauna. After my swim yesterday I decided to remain in my swim trunks and unwind in the hot tub. I am a member of a new fancy gym. It’s three stories tall in the heart of downtown with all the services you can imagine. Expansive locker rooms, pool, indoor track, basketball courts, even massage rooms. In the lockeroom there is also a steam room, which I love, sauna, and whirlpool hot tub. At first I thought putting the hot tub in the locker was genius. It’s there to provide relaxation and nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting in close quarters topless with someone of the opposite sex. Hell, I even get bashful taking my shirt off around my wife after a big meal.
“Take it in babe, look at all this beautiful gut you married.”
I never anticipated that the same aspect of jacuzzi exclusivity I once thought of as genius would have a dark side. Before entering the whirlpool I always shower. Not a full soap and lather shower but enough to rinse the sweat and gym funk off my skin. It’s a shared hot tub, I’m sure the common courtesy is appreciated by my fellow gym rats. The moment I stepped into the empty spa I could feel my troubles drift away. Once I was knee-deep I could feel the stress of parenting a spirited two-year old release itself from my pores. Once I was waist deep I could feel the argument Mommy Moneybags(MM) and I had about the lack of gas in her car– drift away. Once I sat down chest deep in the steaming hot water, I could feel the constant stress of watching daily televised klan meetings masquerading as political rallies– evaporate away. Ahhh, I was relaxed. I closed my eyes. I had found my moment of zen. Then there was a disturbance. Something large and clumsy splashed about beside me. It sounded like a drunken hippo had stumbled down the stairs and splashed into the corner area across from me. When I open my eyes another gentleman was also chest deep in the water and looking right at me. He gave me a wink and smile. He seemed friendly. A little creepy but friendly. I decided to name him Buddy. I kept an eye on Buddy for a minute or two until I trusted him enough to drift back into that zen-like state. Before my eyes could fully close my tranquility was shattered. Not long after Buddy sat down he was followed by another man. I only saw him coming out the corner of my eye. I decided to take Buddy’s approach and welcome the new comer in with a wink and a smile. Hey, maybe that’s how they do things at this gym. So I turned my head with a smile from ear to ear only to be rudely greeted by a pale uncut dick! I couldn’t move. I was stuck in a state of shock. Like when you go to quench your thirst and mix up your glass of water with the glass of vodka sitting right beside it. C’mon, I can’t be the only one drinking vodka by the glass with an ice water chaser. Either way, there I was stuck watching some dude and his bare penis disappear into the same body of water I was sitting in. I was outraged! This wasn’t his personal bathtub. This wasn’t some clothing optional pool party from the 70s that could break out into free love and cocaine at any minute. This was the public spa at the YMCA damnit! I couldn’t even make eye contact with the guy. I just stared at my new friend Buddy with a smirk. One of those “can you believe this guy?” kind of looks. Buddy just kept on smiling, always the optimist. I frantically searched the many signs covering the wall looking for a “no-nudity” rule to gesture toward when a third gentlemen entered the small enclosure. He stepped over toward the coat hooks on the wall and proudly removed the towel around his waist only to reveal, yet again, nothing. As in no bathing suit. He then gleefully stepped into the now overcrowded whirlpool and sat down right beside me. I was again outraged. I felt violated. I looked angrily at the two naked men. The first seemed peaceful. He had closed his eyes and found his happy place. Just like me before I was rudely interrupted. I wondered what he was daydreaming about. Probably some Caribbean nudist resort where prudish bartenders like myself had to serve mai tais all day in uncomfortably close proximity. I peeked over at the second guy. He looked deep in thought. Probably pondering the negative consequences to his sperm count by allowing his bare balls to boil in a hot tub full of other innocent men. I looked over to Buddy, he looked back over to me and then over to the submerged staircase. He too was planning his escape. With a quick nod he stood up and made his way over. Buddy, like myself, was surely thinking, F#@% this, I’m out. I would soon follow. He gave me one last wink when he reached the stairs and began to make his ascent. I looked upon Buddy fondly. Like an ally and a friend. Someone that also saw the ridiculousness of the situation. That was until he reached the third step and his bare hairy ass was revealed to me. C’mon Buddy! Has the world gone mad!?! Not you too??? The gravity of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks. This whole time I had been in there marinating with a bunch of guys and their johnsons hanging out. It’s like we were making dick stew or something. The only thing missing was some Looney Tunes character standing over us slicing carrots and onions into the pot. OMG I was cupping some of that water in my hands and splashing it on my face!!! Needless to say, I stood up and quickly left.
I accept that I work out at a busy gym where people feel free to walk around the locker room in their birthday suits. It’s all good, man. Do you. I don’t turn my nose up when guys step into the sauna without rinsing off in the shower even though there is clearly a sign on the door instructing gym members to do so. I’ll even forgive the guy** that passed gas in the steam room. Maybe the gas was really cramping up his stomach. And I guess letting it out was a better option than shitting himself in front of strangers. The point is, I have no problem sharing space and facilities with other strangers so long as boundaries are respected. Call me childish, immature, call me a prude if you want, but that will be the last time I step foot into that jacuzzi without deep sea scuba gear, or at least a wet suit.
**it was me
- Thing I learned today – I still have body image issues. It’s something that began when I was just a teenager. I was never really fat or anything, I was just fat enough to be teased. Teased by not only my classmates but some family members. Those are the ones that hurt the most. Please, think before you speak. That sharp hurtful little joke that provided you with 5 seconds of laughter can have consequences that last a lifetime. The one you hurt could be someone you love.
- Random Thing – Donald Drumph is clearly going to win the republican nomination and promptly lose the general election. So what happens to all his passionate and angry supporters? They certainly aren’t going to feel any better. Scary times ahead.
- Sports Thing – It’s a great time to be a Oakland sports fan!
Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eighteenth Daddy Day By Day. This was definitely my most immature post to date. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…