Sunday, June 8, 2014

Updates and getting naked

First the updates, because it never pays to lead with getting naked.

1. A couple of days ago I wrote about my upcoming piano gig at church. It went pretty much like I expected, which means it was a humbling experience that I don't intend to repeat. And people were kind and understanding and some even claimed not to notice. That's it. I have nothing else to say about it.

2. Last night I wrote a plea for one more like on Facebook to bring the number up to 150. Tonight as I write, the number is 170. Thank you. Your comments and likes and even the occasional criticisms help me sit here in the wee-est hours of the morning tapping away on my keyboard. I wish they cleaned my house too.

3. No, I don't have my guitars back. Don't ask me to explain. I have learned not to bang my head against the behavior of some people, because I will never understand it: bullies, mothers who kill their children, Rush Limbaugh, clowns, exes, and people who steal from friends. I can't explain this situation.

4. I've been writing about misogyny lately and about male entitlement to sex. Lots of women know what that feels like, and one of those women is my friend Autodidact Poet. She wrote a brave post on her blog titled, "The Thing that Needs to be Said." Our stories are powerful. What story do you need to tell?


Photos stolen from a couple
of websites. Sorry. I wasn't there.
Now for the nudity. A reader and friend sent me an article about today's World Naked Bike Ride in Portland. Fucking Portland. Why do they get all the cool stuff? I want to go on a naked bike ride with thousands of other naked cyclists. I really do .... in my head.

I just can't imagine I'd put down my embarrassment over my imperfect body to do it. Well, that and my bike seat is about the size of a golf club head. I'd have to do something to accommodate the dildo factor.

I've looked through a bunch of photos from the ride looking for one thing: a naked middle-aged woman. I couldn't find one. Not a single one. In fact, despite the claim that riders of all ages and sizes and body types rode, most of the riders appear to be under 35 and relatively fit. Or older men. Older men seemed well represented, fit or not.

Which is fine, but where the hell are the middle-aged women? Or even the women over 30? I don't even see many of those in the photos. Is it photographer bias? Possibly. Or, more likely, women over 30 are so ashamed of our bodies, we can't get out and get naked with the rest of the cool kids.

It seems a shame, which is why I wish I had the courage to fly to Portland next year with my bike and represent.

I mean, somebody should. But honestly it won't be me. First, I can't afford it. Do you know what teachers make? Nothing in the summer.

And second, what if someone did post a photo of the one middle-aged woman who happened to be me, and what if one of my students saw it? I can't imagine the trauma. Maybe I could hide behind a layer of paint and some fairy wings, like these young women did, but see number 1.

Third, I'm afraid I'd go all that way there and chicken out, because seriously? It's hard enough to go outside my house in spandex bike shorts that at least smooth everything out. Walking around a park buck naked and then riding through neighborhoods while people in clothes stand on the sidewalk taking photos with their cell phones? The fear factor is high. I'd worry I was sticking out like an overweight, middle-aged woman with no clothes on.

Still, I applaud the thousands of people who made the ride today. It looks like they had a blast. It looks like they feel free and proud and confident. Some of them probably had to pry their saddles out of their asses, but what a small price to pay for freedom!

Would you do it? Would you go on a naked bike ride in your city?


  1. As soon as I got to the end, I forgot what you wrote at the top. Oh yeah. And so sorry about those guitars. I get steamed whenever I think about it. I really get mad about your electric. Your question. No fuckin way I'd ride. No way. For all the reasons you listed and then some. I am not surprised that most of the riders were young-ish fit women and men past their (cough) prime. The young women in fairie wings were cute, but nope.

    1. Yeah, I'm steamed too. It's a violation.

      I guess I wasn't surprised by the demographic who rode. I would have to be one of those who wore bike underwear with a chamois even if I did get up the courage to do it. Facebook comments suggest most of my friends wouldn't do it.

  2. The naked part doesn't bother me nearly as much as the bike-seat-my-ass issue. If it weren't for that, I'd do it!

    1. I would do it if you did, Crystal!