The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

naked parties

sunrise:  6:22

We have raised a household of open communications.  Each child is open to varying degrees, but in general, we are all prepared to hear and respect each other's opinions and experiences, even if we don't necessarily approve of them.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much information, otherwise known as TMI in computer or teen-speak.  My son went to the same college as A., who just graduated in December (it also happens to be both J's and my alma mater).  When they started telling us about naked parties, we thought maybe this was one of those times we'd just as soon not hear about it.  We had some wild things going on during college, but naked parties were not on the list.  Besides, the list looks a lot different when it's your children and not yourself taking part.

As it turns out, naked parties are not what one might think.  There are rules of respect and discretion quite religiously followed by all.

1.  You may not attend a naked party clothed.  You arrive, receive a garbage bag in which to put all of your clothing, and set it carefully aside.

2.  No touching allowed.  No one is to feel threatened or at risk in any way, so the no touching rule is sacrosanct.

Some of my peers were skeptical -- Yeah, right.  I'm sure there's no touching.  But S. assures me that the whole exercise would collapse if rule 2 were broken.  The students are making an almost militant statement about their decision to rise above (not rise below.....sorry, couldn't resist) superficial judgments and animal sexuality.  Eyes are studiously kept at face level.

"Besides," my son said, "the human body is, yes, a beautiful thing, but when it is just there in all of its natural state of droopiness and lumps, it's not really that sexy."

A. put it more succinctly:  "It's so great, because no one looks good naked."

I have no illusions about sex life or partying in college.  The fact that my children have been quite open with me about all that other stuff assures me that I'm getting the naked truth on naked parties.

By all reports, naked parties are freeing and funny and quirky and unique - but totally platonic by design.  I even looked it up on Wikipedia.  I discovered that it is not just one school that takes part in this new phenomenon.  A lot of campuses are trying it out.  Perhaps it is a natural and healthy escape from the rash of materialism that has inundated this country that college kids grew up in.  This is what we are - all the same underneath.

So, chalk up another learning experience for mom and dad.  Hey, maybe we should try it too!  Imagine how it might affect the elitist hierarchy at business functions or political meetings...

...nah.  I don't think so.  There's not-looking-good at 21:  makes you free and happy;  and there's not-looking-good at 50: makes you sick and depressed.  Although that could be a battle tactic for those adults who disapprove of college naked parties.  Send a few middle-aged parents to join one, and see how quickly the party's over.

But who knows?  Maybe this new generation will take their naked parties into their middle age.  Social evolution continues to surprise us.  As for me, I'll keep my naked parties restricted until further notice.


  1. That's great. You got me laughing. This reminds me of the thoughts I had when I first saw those T-shirts that were the fad a while ago : Naked co-ed basketball, or hockey, or tennis, or whatever sport it was. It must be awkward playing sports without the support of clothes, I thought....

    Who knows, let's hope this doesn't perpetuate breast implants and body tucking !

  2. I still think it's strikes a touch of TMI...

    But that said - - yes, I feel privileged to be allowed honest discussions such as this with my kids. I don't know about the rest of my generation, but the idea of actually talking to MY parents about such a thing (having it come up with parents and siblings in dinner table conversation??!!) would have been completely out of the question. Inconceivable.

    Unbelievable. And unbelievably great, in my opinion. I too am proud.

  3. I first heard of these from someone at Brown in 1990. About 12 years ago I was at a pool party that became naked after hours, with similar rules adhered to despite copious margauritas, which no doubt played a role. When quickly outnumbered by naked people, one felt the options were get naked or leave, and it was a good party and no one wanted to leave. Regarding the sitting question asked by one of your FB friends, the music was great and I remember people dancing on a big deck overlooking the pool, (including a memorable naked kick line)and sitting in a hot tub, but there wasn't a whole lot of lounging that I recall.

  4. I was once at a pool party that went naked afterhours. You sorta felt like you needed to get naked or leave, and the decision wasn't so hard when your the last one wearing your suit. The same rules seemed to apply, despite the copious marguaritas that no doubt contributed to the decision. Regarding the question on FB about the sitting, people swam, sat in a hot tub, or danced on the deck (a naked kickline developed at some point). There wasn't much lounging that I recall. It was certainly a memorable experience but not one I was seeking (or would care to repeat at this stage of the game).

  5. So, 'Villain, which version is it?

  6. If eyes are kept "studiously at face level" what does it matter if you are dressed or not? Perhaps it should just be a make up free party then.

  7. I proposed this to my college-aged friends and it was rejected hard core....