Life in the Buff

Nestled in the woods along one of the roads I travel to and from South Bend is a nudist colony. I know this because one of the other moms of a Notre Dame grad told me so.

I’ve seen cars go in and come out of there, and I can’t help wondering what kind of people are comfortable with that lifestyle.

Think about it. Do they have visitors (family, friends, delivery people)? Do those visitors have to de-robe before entering? Do they have to shield their eyes from staring, or wear a blindfold?

Trust me when I say some nudist colonies have Websites. Some of these places offer special events like tennis, jogging, etc. Some are more suited for singles, but others are for entire families.

What if your mom and dad (or your young adult children) suddenly decided they wanted to join a nudist colony? Would you feel comfortable visiting them, or would you insist they clothe themselves and visit you?

I rather like to think nudists are people just like you and me, only naked. They’re not participating in mad orgies or waiting to jump on each other like animals or finding their jollies in leering at their neighbors.

Or are they? I don’t know.

I’ve been accused before of being a prude. It’s not a label I relish exactly, but it is what it is. So while I’ve been told never to say “never,” shucking my clothes on a permanent basis isn’t something I’d do willingly.

I rather like clothes. They protect my skin from the damaging rays of the sun and from Old Man Winter’s chilling blasts. They hide things I’d rather not show the world, things milk-white from where the sun never shines, or the way none of us is truly symmetrical, if you know what I mean. And they’re colorful to the eye and interesting in texture and, if you’ve chosen wisely, figure-flattering.

But residents of nudist colonies prefer au naturel. Why? What is it about being naked that grownups find appealing? Is it a return of sorts to childhood? Is it a savings of a clothing budget? Maybe they just find it more freeing?

As a writer, I might need to know the answers to questions like these. A nudist colony could be a fascinating setting for a novel! So anybody with answers (factual or fictional), help me out, okay?

Stretchy jeans?

What’s wrong with today’s jeans manufacturers??

I don’t have research to back this up, but I’m willing to bet jeans are the most popular style of pants now being offered.

They come in a variety of colors (blue being traditional) and materials, with pocket detailing, different leg lengths and widths, belts, and so on.

Go to just about any function, and you’re sure to see jeans.

So why don’t they fit?

It takes me forever to find just the right pair of jeans. I comb through the racks, pulling everything out that’s even remotely my size, and haul them to the dressing room. There, I try on one right after another, rejecting those that fall off me and those that squeeze me so tight I can’t breathe, those with zippers a half-inch long and those with button flies that make it nearly impossible to avoid an “accident” getting to the bathroom in time!

Then, when I’ve finally narrowed down my choices to one or two, I put the “rejects” back and take my selections to the checkout counter.

I learned a long time ago that you have to wash new things. Why, I’m not sure, but I think it has something to do with “you never know who’s tried them on before you.” Sure, there’s not a lot of logic in this — what’s the difference between trying something on in the store and wearing it? Maybe it’s like the 3-second rule applied when food falls to the floor — germs don’t “stick” if you snatch it up FAST!!

Washing jeans totally ruins them, I’m convinced. I wash them in cold water, then hang them to dry, so I know they can’t shrink. But have you ever heard of jeans STRETCHING?

Yep, the last pair I bought actually stretched.

They got bigger in the waist, bigger in the hips, bigger in the legs, and longer in the length. You’d have thought I’d bought them for a very tall and wide person — someone the size of a refrigerator — or perhaps I shrunk?

No, my other clothes still fit, so what’s going on?

All that time invested in trying on different pairs, not to mention the money to purchase them, gone.

So I did what any sensible person would do — re-washed them and tossed them in the hot dryer! I measured them every step of the way, so I should be good to go, but who knows ’til they dry and I can re-try them on?

In the meantime, I’ll stick with my tried-and-true tattered pair!