My last two kids have gone off to college, so I am officially an empty nester. Everyone keeps asking me, “What are you going to do now that you are all alone?”
Without thinking twice, I replied, “Run around the house naked!”
What an odd proclamation. I’m already home alone a lot, and never once has the urge come over me to rip off my clothes and do some Bohemian dance au naturel.
Although I’m not sure why this kind of exposure feels so exciting, there was a time when it seemed I was constantly getting caught naked. Never once my fault. I’m not an exhibitionist by any means.
Years ago, we remodeled our bathroom. I liked showing it off to whoever would ask for a peep show.
My young son, Jack picked up on that and one morning, while I was taking a hot shower, the bathroom door popped open without warning. One by one, Jack escorted his sleepover buddies inside.
“This is my Mom’s new bathroom. She’s very proud of it.”
As the perfect docent, Jack told his friends about the design choices, the subway tile with ocean blue glass trim, and the matching towels. Damn, I wish I hadn’t spent that extra money on shower doors that don’t steam up! His friends stood around, horrified.
Naturally, I was proud of his presentation, but the tiny washcloth wasn’t doing much to hide me. I tried only to expose my backside while screaming, “Get out!”
Then, there was that time on a warm Sunday evening in March. Out of the blue, my then young children decided it would be hilarious to go skinning-dipping in our pool. Without any hesitation, they whipped off their clothes and jumped.
I put one toe in the water and immediately decided there was no way I would do the polar plunge. But their coaxing was relentless.
“C’mon, Mom. Don’t be a chicken,” they bated me.
I don’t know what came over me, but I tore off my shirt, intending to make the plunge. Still, the water was so cold, I only inched my way in as far as my waist, when suddenly, the back gate flew open. A couple with their kids, who were friends from school, were coming in the backyard.
“We were just walking by and heard the splashing and laughter, so we thought we’d stop in and say, AAAHHHH!” he shouted, while attempting to shield his children’s eyes.
While scurrying back out, the dad shouted over his shoulder, “We’d like to see more of you in the future.”
“I don’t think that’s possible. You’ve seen more than most,” I retorted.
To this day, whenever I run into them, they politely admit they never saw anything at the skinny-dipping incident. Liars.
Hmmm. The naked truth came down to this: without the risk of getting caught, the thrill was dwindling. I needed to think of something more daring to do with my new found freedom.
Like a premonition, my phone vibrated with a text from my cousin. “Do you want to go on safari in South Africa with me?”
And there it was.
“Yes,” I texted back.
Looks like I’m going to South Africa…
Live with Waffletude