Positively indecent

So today I had to go get X-rays done and I’m very used to it because I’m always having to get checked for tuberculosis and deformities caused by my rheumatoid arthritis and the nurse who took me back opened the curtain that covers the little dressing room and was like, “You know the drill.  Step in this cubby and take off your dress and your bra and put on a gown and then step back out into the hall and someone will come get you” and I do know the drill so I tossed off all my clothes but then my phone started ringing so I pulled it out of my dress pocket to silence it because you’re not supposed to have your phone on in the hospital and then I heard some guy say, “oh holy shit” and I thought that was a bit of an overreaction but then I turned around and realized that the nurse had not closed the curtain behind me and that I was basically naked and on my phone in the corridor of a busy public hallway.

And that’s how my day has been going so far.  How about you?

131 thoughts on “Positively indecent

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Oh no. How horrible for you. I hope you were able to laugh it off and get on with your day! God bless you. I love your posts.

  2. Twinsies! Damn it! Good thing I don’t care too much about modesty, huh?

  3. i was in a psych ward once. they were doing a safety search on me. i hadn’t realized that they only wanted me to take my shirt and pants off. i took everything off

    i still cringe at that memory to this day

  4. Guess my day has been relatively decent by comparison. Always nice to have a reference scale….

  5. I was getting light therapy and I threw up in the silo like room with all the lights and had to hit the emergency call button for the nurse. It was full body light therapy and they make you wear a face shield, so I’m standing in the light silo, covered in vomit wearing a face shield and yellow and black Charlie Brown striped underpants. I have never gone back to that office! .

  6. This was a wild ride because 1. Your story is very on brand and 2. My reading comprehension is apparently off today and I initially assumed you were there for dental x-rays and thought you stripped in preparation for the dentist.

  7. Those are the kind of moments where you wish you could put the phone to your ear, look right at the guy, and say, “I can’t talk right now – it looks like I have a customer.” 🙂

  8. totally off the subject! But I received “Furiously Happy”, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”, and “You Are Here” today. My reading plans are set for a little while. And knowing you from this blog….I bet I read more anecdotes like this one 😀

  9. I mean, is it even a hospital trip if one (I’m going for the classy Queen of England-style phrasing) doesn’t expose oneself? I guess I’d rather hear, “holy shit” than “Oh my God, my eyes.” I’d totally take a “hot damn!” I hope your tests went well and your day can only go up from here!

  10. Don’t feel bad, at least it was an accident. One dermatologist I worked for had this weirdo patient. No matter what he was there for, even if it was a spot on his neck or something, he would always take ALL OF HIS CLOTHES OFF.
    Every time.

  11. Jenny, you are the superhero this world needs. I could not possibly love you more. Thank you so much for sharing all the ups and downs with us. <3

  12. Just forcibly change that memory so that you were an artist’s life model. (Albeit in a busy hospital corridor, but that’s not so far from a college art class, am I right?)

  13. I hope you turned around and yelled ‘You are welcome, I’ll be here all day” OR I would have answered the phone and said “Hang on one minute, I’m publicly naked” LOL You make me laugh!!!!!!

  14. I’m on vacation in Alaska. I chipped my tooth in Denali park, sigh. This morning, as I walked to a dentist in Seward to get the chip repaired, I fell and sprained my ankle.
    High five to Seward Family Dentistry for all your help!!

  15. The same thing happened to me, but I was at the hospital for breast cancer radiation treatment post chemo, and the guy was also a cancer patient. We were both too tired to care. So many people had seen my breasts at that point? Meh. “Oh holy shit” would have been welcomed! 😉

  16. I have not left my house yet. After reading this, as well as some of the comments (so sorry, @Virginia about your chipped tooth AND sprained ankle) I’m think I’m good staying inside today! lol

  17. My standard response to situations like that is to point at the shocked observer and say ‘And let this be a lesson to you!’

  18. So apparently the drill now includes closing your own damn curtain. They could have sent out a memo for their regulars about the change.

  19. In hospitals I’ve seen bare butts and boobs, etc. when visiting folks. Either my friend’s or another patient walking around. Get over it guy!

  20. Jenny,

      I think the key here is your inclusion of the word "positively." You could have been negatively indecent and really shocked your viewer.


  21. Welcome to my world of “faux pas”! If it’s going to happen to.01% of the population, I’ll be in that percentage.

  22. Should have said this: “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN! THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ HAS SPOKEN!” Then ask, “Did I get the part?” You have the best adventures!

  23. I had my daughter when I was 17. It was in an air force training hospital, in Fort Worth, Texas. Carswell AFB. They would herd 15 guys through at a time to check out my cervix. No one other than my doctor had seen my cervix before that day. Now I am completely sanguine with any nudity, accidental or otherwise.

  24. So sorry you had the female form of the David sedaris story where he goes to the doctor in France and this was before he was fluent they sad take everything off but you undepant and come wait in this next room. But he didnt see or she didn’t mention the robe so he was in a main waiting room almost butt naked when people started to come in. More patient s lol I’m sorry that happened to you. One time I was in the er for my Addison’s disease and a migraine the nurse came to get an I’ve and I’m an extremely hard stick well she put the turnikit on so tight and she’s digging in my arm and I keep telling her it’s way too tight. And finally I just said screw it and I ripped it off cuz it felt like in like 2 seconds it was going to break my skin open it was awful. The nurse goes oh it’s okay honey, and leaves my room and then I hear her in the hall and she’s like I couldn’t get it in her arm she’s a whiny little cunt. I was lived.

  25. I’m less than a week away from starting my first full-time job as an instructor at a university, but I found out today that my Ph.D hasn’t been awarded yet because I didn’t remove some hyperlinks in my dissertation reference section that I submitted to the grad office three months ago. I had no idea. I defended my dissertation in between academic sessions so there was no graduation ceremony, I’m having my diploma mailed to a different address than my current one, and I misinterpreted my transcript as indicating that my degree had been awarded, when actually it only indicated that I’d passed my defense. Now all the sudden I’m getting emails from my current school, the place I’ll be working, and the people doing my background check, all being like, “You have not graduated yet!” Kill me.

  26. My life changed forever (for the worse) after spying a 90-year-old gentleman’s jewels in the hospital hallway. I’m thinking you may have had a more positive impact on someone’s life today. Just “Like Mother Teresa, Only Better.”

  27. My mom’s final heart attack was in the wee hours of the morning. They lifelines her from our small, rural town to Indianapolis, and I followed in my car in a daze.

    A little bit later, I sat in the catch lab by myself, waiting for them to come back with the results. The nice, older black gentleman who worked there and I finished catching up (as my mom was unfortunately a regular in this department) as the waiting room began to slowly fill up with the day’s regular appointments. 99.9% of them were older white couples, just there for routine checkups.

    Suddenly, the white noise of the morning tv blather in the background was cut by an extremely loud, “The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice..” singing. It was my phone, at full blast. Every single person looked at my (cough darker cough) face as I desperately tried and failed to silence my phone. I ended up just running out into the hallway to answer it.

    Thanks, Obama. I mean “Hairspray” (the musical). (Giggle)

  28. Hopefully he enjoyed the show! I on the other hand have been asked to put my underwear back on after disrobing for a massage at one of those places at the mall. Apparently something happened and now you MUST keep your underwear on. I didn’t take it personally.

  29. So, I’m a lawyer.

    I spent nearly a year on a super-complicated custody case, and today was the trial. I lived a little over 2 hours away from the county where the trial was taking place, and I’m not one of those lawyers who can afford a night in a hotel just to be “awake.” So I’m running out the house with just enough time, in my trial suit, and I grab my suspenders on the way out the door (I’m huge, and they keep my pants up).

    2:03 hours later:

    Grab everything in my front seat, and book for the courthouse door. A very lovely young attorney sees my hands full and holds the door. I walk past, and set my materials on the x-ray conveyor, and stand back up.

    And my pants hit the floor. Full speed, didn’t even pause at the knees.

    The suspenders are with my case materials on the x-ray machine.

    And I’m in my skivvies in front of two deputies, and the amused, gorgeous associated who was recently holding the door.

    The associate comments, “Well, someone’s having a worse day than I am.”

    Not competing, just commiserating.

  30. Oh noooo Jenny!!!!!!! NOOOO!!!

    I am so sorry that happened to you! My own unintended nakedness mortifies me. I’m weirdly prudish about my body (Irish Catholic anyone?) and yet I’m always the person that gets walked in on in public bathrooms or in dressing rooms at Macy’s. I’m sorry, people, but I can’t afford to go to fancy places with door locks that actually work all right?! Whatever happened to knocking?

    My extensive personal library of cringeworthy misadventures like this is ongoing…daily, really. It’s like I was put on this earth to self affirm others by simply existing as a constant loop of embarrassment personified. 😂I feel your pain, Jenny!

  31. I’m sorry I laughed so hard but it’s not my fault you bring joy to my life. That guy should feel lucky he got to see a famous author in the nude. That doesn’t happen everyday unless your Victor. Ps to all the people who commented I love you all those stories were awesome

  32. Was it someone you knew behind you? “Why hello, Reverend, how is your day?”

  33. Sounds like something I would do simply because I have children and am never allowed to be alone or have closed doors for any reason.

  34. Eh. My one year old kitten thought 4:30 am was a good time to kangaroo kick my legs and feet,so he’s been spending most nights in the bathroom ( his litterbox is in there and I of course put his food and water in there. Sounds like someone got quite a show at the hospital!

  35. I’ve accidentally flashed my boobs at crowded bars in the past. I had this belly dancer costume that I wore a few years (when I was both much younger and much skinnier). On two different occasions I was at a bar celebrating Halloween in this costume, the flimsy top slid off while I was dancing and I exposed myself to everyone. I just pulled it back up and continued dancing. The second time it happened I got second place in the costume contest that followed, which was judged by the band, who were some of my flashees. So I guess you could say that’s the equivalent of a “oh holy shit” lol

  36. Thanks, Jenny and everyone else who responded! You all made my day a lot more fun!!

  37. I’m still laughing, I’m sorry. As a person with PSA – Psoriatic Arthritis, RA’s 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙪𝙣 cousin I can relate to this on so many levels. Thank you for ‘taking one for the team’ today. Here’s to not having TB! 🤦‍♀️👊🏼🥂

  38. This reminds me of the time where I was at my OB/GYN who forgot to close the door even though I wasn’t wearing my bottoms. Always wondered why there was a chilly front when I was waiting for my doctor 😐

  39. Was that “Holy shit!” in a good way, or… ?
    I like imagining the good way. Kind of like in Animal House in the parade at the end when everything is crashing and a Playboy bunny gets thrown from her float through an open window and lands on the boy’s bed and he yells, “Thank you, God!” That’s the kind of way I’d like it to have been.

  40. I’m a nurse so I am used to being a teaching model. Will drop trow pretty much anywhere. Doctors flee in panic since clothes start hitting the chair before they are safely out of the room. I did spend a night in the ER with pneumonia once rather than be admitted up to the floor I worked on. So having people I work with every day seeing my naked arse is my one limit!

  41. Clearly, the nurse was remiss in her instructions, since she didn’t include “close the curtain.” I’m not entirely sure “Oh holy shit” is what I’d want to hear in an accidental nudity situation – I wouldn’t be sure how to take that.

  42. Well, no one saw me naked yet today. I am not sure whether that’s a blessing or a curse.

  43. Sweet Jesus, you make me laugh so much. I like to read your posts out to anyone around me so they can share in the mirth! <3

  44. Well, I have no naked body issues, a naturist am I, so I could care less if anyone sees me naked. We are all naked in one way or another every day even if it’s not clothes related, think of it like that :). Hugs

  45. It’s ok. My backyard is private, so I am often naked in my bedroom like a normal human should feel free to be. However, we had cable installed and the call before you dig guy came unannounced, and I hear a man cough from outside my open window. Scared the bejeezus out of me.

  46. I (re) started therapy today, but nothing quite so exciting. Thank you for never failing to make me smile.

  47. The R. A. I have is giving me calcium deposits in my breasticles, and doctors are freaking out about that now. I will keep this story in mind when I go in next week. *Note to self, make sure curtain is closed.

  48. Was that an “oh holy shit!” Look at this hot ass! Or an “oh holy shit!” My eyes! It would be the second one for me!

  49. This is so funny, especially the way you wrote it, and my first thought was how horribly embarrassed I would be in that situation… But then I remembered the last time I was in a hospital gown, 2017, literally almost died, and being embarrassed about strangers seeing me naked was the last thing on my mind. (Although trying to get comfortable in bed with a hospital gown on was most definitely on my mind…)

    My day has been pretty great so far, took my mom out to lunch because the small bit of extra money from a larger-than-normal paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket, lol.

  50. Next time, put a pair of stick-on googly eyes just above each nipple. Act like you don’t know that they’re there. If you can keep a straight face, casually mention that your regular doctor is keeping an eye on your breasts for lumps.

    I mean… you’ve gotta laugh, right?

  51. Thanks for the one good laugh I have had all week. Sorry it had to come at the expense of your naked bottom! Maybe you made that guy’s week too.

  52. Once again. Thank you Jenny for making my day! And thank you to your merry band of readers!

  53. Hey, better than negatively indecent.
    My mom worked summers at the Cleveland Clinic in high school – one of her jobs was to take patients to the room with the gowns and explain ‘the drill.’ One day she told a man, as usual, “Undress, put your clothes in one of the lockers, take a gown off that stack and put it on. I’ll be back for you in a few minutes.”
    There had been a mixup in the hospital laundry, and someone had gotten bedding and gowns mixed. So when she came back, the man was standing there naked, with a pillowcase over his head.

  54. I went to visit my daughter in rehab and had our first group therapy session. Very positive but emotionally exhausted. My entire body hurts!

  55. I spent a few minutes talking at my door to the Chinese couple who just moved into the apt next to mine when the wife pointed out that my raggy old tshirt had a not insignificant hole over the nipple (and I was braless). Oh. My. God.

  56. I got a certified letter that if I didn’t take down a negative (but true) review of a doctor, then I would have my pants sued off.

    It didn’t matter that the doctor’s brother cyberbullied me over the negative review which (up to this point anyway) I refused to take down. All that matter was some overpriced doctor who treated me like crap because I had “sub-par” (in his eyes) insurance had his ego soothed.

  57. You’re not alone. Last week I got to show my hooty-hoo to whoever was walking down the hall because a nurse decided to leave the room while I was still exposed to the gyn. I might have yelled. Nurses can’t be lax like that.

  58. Thank you for the laugh. I am sure it was quite embarrassing being nude in public, not necessarily being nude in general, but we all have those moments! When I was in kindergarten a little boy of my mom’s friend came over who I am guessing was my age and he was wearing glasses. I shit you not, I flipped my hair and said, “I always like a boy in glasses.” I don’t know what came over me, but I never saw him after that.

  59. I am wondering whether to laugh or be embarrassed for you… Actually, I’ll admit that I’m laughing.

    Last year when I had multiple ER trips for agonizing pain (turned out to be endometriosis), they kept trying to inject me with a painkiller and the injection has to go in your butt muscle. The only thing worse than having to show a stranger your rear end so they can stab it is discovering that the so-called painkiller doesn’t even touch the level of pain you’re having. 😛

  60. Did he say “Holy shit!” like he was all hot with desire, or “holy shit!” like when something goes wrong and you can’t fix it?

  61. You know when you’re folding clothes and not paying attention and you are turning things outside in rather than inside out? My day precisely.

  62. You know when you are folding clothes and you’re not really paying attention … Then you realize you’ve been turning everything inside out ? Yup that’s me

  63. HOLY FRACK! That’s not even funny! I mean the is the in hindsight but that nurse … really. Ugh.

  64. I laugh, but only because I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened to me. [Until the bilat mastectomy in February, I was doing every six month monitoring of the girls.] Apparently the nurse thought you’d close the curtain yourself? Yikes. More material for a future book, right? 🙂

  65. I had to schedule a colonoscopy. Usually, when my doctor sends me to a specialist, I ask, “Don’t you know anyone qualified who’s office is closer to my home?” The doctor doing the colonoscopy was right in my community, where I live and work at two sites where LOTS of people know me. I asked, “Isn’t there someone a little farther from my community that I could go to? I mean, I’d rather not see them at the market.” Her response was, “Oh, don’t worry about that. They’re not looking at your face.” LOL.

    As for the guy, I’d probably ask him, “Do YOU look any better naked?” Probably not.

  66. Argh. My version of the drill is stand with tenderest parts facing away from where the staffer disappears to. Next: One arm out of dress. Same arm into sleeve of gown. Second arm out of dress- into other sleeve of gown.
    Is one wrestling quite a bit of cloth, given that these are two separate outfits? One is. Nice to have a bit of exercise.

    Did you get the Dot-bit looked at while you were there?

  67. Translate my “Dot-bit” into “Dot-Bite” and let wordpress know its shame.

  68. I apologize for being the ass-hat that wondered “were you wearing your confidence merkin?”

  69. there are a lot more allowances for nakedness in the hospital, it’s not like you were in the line for a coffee. I think any any given moment maybe 30% of people in the building are naked, so if you weren’t screaming or covered in jello/feces I wouldn’t stress too much about anyone remembering. I work in the OR, and after recently having an emergency medical issue happen, one of my coworkers had to shave my groins for the procedure that took place in a room I work in, done by a MD I work with. And I didn’t get to go to sleep, so I talked the entire time because extreme anxiety makes you much harder to moderately sedate apparently. I talked about a lot of things. At least only like one or two randos saw you naked, you don’t have to have lunch in the same room with them : )

  70. I’ve had to have a number of surgeries for various things and every time they give me these powerful meds that make me truly comfortable with nakedness. I’ll have my gown on with the opening in the back and be plodding down the corridor, working on walking while some nurse in the background is saying, Someone, get her covered! Evidently they don’t cover the rear that well…

  71. Capped off by the moth tonight! Clearly it’s a sign that you can and will survive anything!!! Go girl!

  72. I once opened the door to who I thought was my female neighbor but it was a realtor my landlord was using to sell the house. I was in a nightie with a strategic lace area over my breasts….embarrassing and mortifying but he must have liked what he saw because he gave me his card. I was too mortified to call, of course.

  73. Our old family doctor (who these days would have been arrested for this) had a thing about women’s boobs. As one friend said, if you go to him for a hangnail, he makes you strip to the waist. yep.
    No one was too offended, he was so casual about it, but now I realize he was really, really, weird…

    And the charge nurse where I had my very first operation insisted that I bathe IN the room (rather than in the bathroom) and then she would open all the corridor drapes and leave the door open.

  74. She was supppsed to close the curtain. I have been in the hospital and seen elderly people with their backsides exposed and i just get so angry because its already demoralizibg to have to be naked in a hallway with a dooir anyone can enter. But for you to be in a stall, off of a co-ed hallway, without a door is not safe.

  75. Apparently she didn’t know the “drill”.

    And I am sure that “holy shit” was an “omg, can I take you home?” holy shit. HAHAHAHA! At least that is what I think when someone sees me nekkid and they scream. 😉

  76. Thank you and the commenters for a laugh out loud moment. There haven’t been many in the last week or so.

  77. Dear Jenny,
    I’d holy shit too if I turned around and realized I was standing near THE Bloggess! Its your celebrity fame. You’re lucky he didn’t call the paparazzi on you!
    Also, our friendly raccoon has been moonlighting as a chef. I wasn’t sure if you knew, so I had to share
    I’m a little disturbed by how tasty Pepperonni Garbage Bread Pizza looks.

  78. Okay, I don’t know if this helps, but a few years ago I went for my yearly check up and my examination room was kind of plush. I even had my own bathroom which was cool cause I had to pee really bad. I got undressed and put the robe on but I didn’t close it or anything. I opened the door into the bathroom and stepped in. There were two doors to the bathroom. The other door was wide open. There were a number of people at the nurses desk and in the hallway. Instead of calmly stepping back, or closing my robe and moving forward to close the second door, I made this weird baby dinosaur sound, which I do whenever I’m startled. Then I spun around to go back, which of course made the robe billow out.

    It was all fairly horrifying. I feel you.

  79. There is something refreshing seeing someone so freely discussing the oddities of daily life, making the mundane relevant, and showing people that we are all odd in our own wonderfully unique ways. Love this blog.

  80. Oh that is hilarious! I worked in the hospital food services in high school. Delivering the trays to the room was the most anxious I think I have ever been. I was always like ‘Can they hear me? Is it safe to enter?’ I was right MOST of the time, other times – well, I was slightly scarred.

  81. I managed some embarrassing things today, including in front of my secret crush, but did in fact stay fully clothed the entire time I was in public. Thanks for the perspective.

  82. Holy shit seems like a rather extreme reaction. Must have been stunned by your beauty.

  83. My friend’s mum is a nurse, she would say: If there’s something no one has seen before, just have it cut it off and have it analyzed. Pretty sure you’re okay.

  84. I once walked the length of Disneyland’s Main Street with the back of my skirt caught in my pantyhose. It’s been 25 years and I’m still salty that nobody told me.

  85. My daughter is at that modest age, she wears a black hoodie in August. Me and all the old hippies in my neighbourhood think it’s hilarious. For us at 16 naked meant freedom, for her,it means old, weird and possibly stoned.

  86. Oof! Well, this morning I called a child a cartoon character accidentally while teaching, then called my best friend’s brother “baby” accidentally when I meant to say it to the cat. >.> I’m totally awake.

  87. EL OH EL! That was hysterical, and also very fun to read out loud to my husband, because you only used one period in that whole paragraph, and it belonged to the nurse.

    I have no idea, at this point, how my that day went. But my yesterday I was chained to my bathroom because of the consumption of lovely (NOT lovely) Gavilyte colon prep. I get to have a colonoscopy today! WHEE! I’ll be sure to not expose myself to other random patients, just in case there are any other random patients in the corridor where my procedure is to take place. Thanks for the heads-up, Jenny!

  88. I have never before left a comment on a book, but feel compelled on this occasion. I have also never purchased a book and then declined to read the entire book. I am 74, a voracious reader, well-educated, and have been told by dozens of people that I have a fantastic sense of humor, even sometimes, off-color. Sorry, but your book just doesn’t measure up to any claim of humor. Like your mother says, crazy is a better description. I sincerely regret having wasted $31.50 Canadian (plus tax) on something I can’t justify using my time to read.

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