Thursday, August 6, 2009

well, i never!

I never imagined how much fun it would be to read everybody's "never list." A lot of bare naked toes out there. A lot of nonsmokers. A lot of people unconvinced by the Las Vegas tourism board.

But people! You just have to go skinnydipping once. It's daring and liberating and kind of the quintessential way to commune with nature without a long term commitment like living in a handmade shack and growing your own beans (sorry, Thoreau, but you were kind of a zealot).

When I was in high school (many years ago, when phones were attached to the walls by cords and computers were the size of laundry hampers--but also when the 80's look was truly fresh and new and inspired) we lived on a lake. It was a quiet lake--only 3 families lived on it year round, the rest were summer folk and one entire bank was a private boys' camp for rich Jewish kids from Chicago. In order to keep peace, my father made me a bedroom in the basement to separate me from my sister. I had total access to the lake through a basement door--I could walk out to the dock in less than 40 paces.

In the summertime I worked at an ice cream parlor. I'd bike to work wearing my uniform (polo shirt emblazoned with the shop's logo and shorts) over my swimsuit. After my shift I'd bike home, sweaty with a rainbow of ice cream flavors smeared up my right forearm (the badge of ice cream scoopers everywhere. That's real ice cream, not this "soft serve" crap out of a machine. That? Is not real ice cream. And those who serve it do not scoop.). I'd strip off polo and shorts and run to the end of the dock and dive. Instant revival.

I spent hours floating in an inner tube with a book in hand. Or sitting at the end of the dock dangling my feet in the water. Or drifting in our boat.

And at night, when it got mighty hot and stuffy, I'd slip outside and leave my nightgown on the dock. I'd glide into the water, water dark and shiny beneath the moonlight. The ripples from my movements gently lapped the shore and I'd feel so empowered and independent and mysterious. The lake was mine. Stripped down to my birthday suit I was one with the water, the trees, the air, the fish, the frogs, the stars, and the cattails. No one knew I floated out there, alone. No one knew how daring and brave and confident I was. It was my secret, as long as we lived on that lake I skinnydipped on summer nights. It was the only adventure within reach for me at the time and in that dark water I could be anywhere, the Amazon, the Nile, the Black Sea.

Reader, give it a try--solo midnight skinnydipping--it's mighty liberating even for modest shy types like me.

23 comments:

  1. great post. i missed the never list..... and my reader is so full......

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  2. It is fun and super special, isn't it? Talk about being one with nature.

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  3. What an awesome post. It really takes me back to my "younger" days too.
    I think skinny dipping is more fun if you do it with a group of people in pitch darkness. I may just be afraid of being in the black water all by myself without seeing if fish are surrounding me. ;)

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  4. Oh, believe me - if I could, I would! But there has to be a body of water available to dip in.

    One of these days, I will skinnydip! (Chunkydunk might be a truer way to put it, though...)

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  5. I'll just take your word for it. :-)

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  6. What a wonderful, adventurous childhood 'secret'. I used to sneak out and walk in the woods when the snow was falling. It was so peaceful and hushed and best experienced alone.

    I can't say the same for skinnydipping. (wink)

    - Julia

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  7. My husband would dearly love it if I tried skinnydipping. He has no problem being naked outdoors, but then he's 26 and looks like a model and I'm almost 31 and....not. Maybe someday.

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  8. Now I have to add "private lake" to my list of things I need.

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  9. Sounds like a great place to grow up.

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  10. In our old house, our swimming pool was not visible to any neighbors . . . so . . . skinny-dipping is not on my never list.

    :-)

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  11. Ahhhh, I just had this horrible thought of a bunch of rich Jewish boys hiding in the bushes with binoculors having a too-good-to-be-true peeping tom experiance. Kidding.
    Maybe, if I lived on a private lake, humm, maybe...

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  12. Man...can we go back in time and switch childhoods? ;) Mine was good...but yours sounds like a book I would like to read.

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  13. I agree, skinny dipping is so liberating! I remember my first time ocean skinny dipping. I was with a european girlfriend who wanted to go to the nude beach, of course! At first I was shy but then it seemed so normal and "unweird." Very liberating and and wonderful. The water was perfect (Santa Barbara) and it felt amazing. One of my best memories so far!

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  14. Sounds lovely--something I've never tried.

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  15. Oh, I love that story. It could never be mine. With 9 kids in my family - I definitely would have been seen.

    My brothers were my gatekeepers - they even found my diary and read it out loud around the house :( don't know which would have been worse - getting caught by them skinny dipping - they would have taken pictures - but at least back then there was no internet for them to post - or they would have.

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  16. I'll skinny-dip in the SEA, anytime. Tropical lakes and rivers tend to be rife with sneaky nocturnal feeders with GLOWING EYES, like caiman and anacondas.... But the warm tropical sea, oh yes.

    Just don't skinny-sit in the tropical sand!

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  17. Oh yes. Especially after the water is warmer than the air...heaven.

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  18. SD is the best. I still like to take showers outside under our house and just pray if the UPS man comes he can't see too well through the lattice!

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  19. Definitely did this as a kid. My own children can't believe it! What a very fun post this was.

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  20. Just don't do it drunk. And then swallow a lot of salt water. And then puke it up. Oh yeah...

    If you seriously need more details, just search "Puerto Rico" on my blog. It's there in all the glory details.

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  21. I never imagined how much fun it would be to read everybody's "never list."
    ___________________
    Julie
    Best place for your complete Internet marketing

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Spill it, reader.