Dancing Naked (And Other Tales of Public Shame)

I can’t believe two weeks have passed since our weekend trip to the Oregon coast. It’s amazing, really, how quickly this entire year has flown by. Seems like just yesterday Tara and I were ushering in the new year at the Bristlecone Pine Convention Center in Ely, Nevada. Tomorrow night, we’ll be ushering in another new year together, and I am every bit as excited for 2013 as I was for ’12. Maybe even more so, if that’s possible. A year ago we were eager for Tara to move out here and begin a life together, but with my unemployment and her lack of a job – plus no concrete plan on landing one from 840 miles away – the future was uncertain. Now we’re both working, and can afford to do some really fun things next year! We’ve got plans, my friends, and they’re going to be wonderful. I’m not sure if everything will come to fruition, but a trip to Denver in the fall for a Broncos game and an overnight stay in a haunted hotel, Rusty’s high school graduation, and maybe new cars gives us plenty to look forward to. We might even make it to Mexico. Viva la let’shopeso.

Plus, I’d love to make an honest woman out of Tara, but she’d kill me if I talked about that, so I won’t. I did cook up a pot of homemade Italian Wedding soup the other night, laying the groundwork with an ever-so-subtle hint. She then promptly dumped it all over the couch. This may be an uphill battle, folks. (OK, that was an accident for which she apologized profusely, so I’ll try not to read between the lines. She’s definitely come a long way in her attitude towards marriage these past few months, anyway).

God, I’m link-happy today.

Speaking of our Oregon coast trip, there were a couple of events that transpired there that I failed to write about. Mainly because they caused me a great deal of embarrassment. I do have a knack for getting myself into sticky-but-humorous situations, and have chronicled several of those here (no links this time). I don’t know why these things always seem to happen to me, but I’ve accepted it at this point. And since I’m in a sharing mood, I’ll just go ahead and chronicle ’em for you now. Who couldn’t use a good chuckle in the waning hours of the year?

Embarrassing Hotel Incident #1

Our hotel had an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, and Saturday morning we headed downstairs to take advantage. The place was deserted, so we had it all to ourselves. Which is why, when we were toweling off after soaking and swimming for a while, I proceeded to drop the towel and do a naked poolside dance, swaying and grinding while letting it all hang out. There was nobody else around, so why not have a little fun? I’m nothing if not adventurous.

Imagine my surprise later that evening, when we returned to the pool and spa before bedtime. We were splashing around for a bit when something caught my eye. A black box above the door.

“Umm…is that a video camera?” I asked.

Indeed, it was. And it was positioned so that it pointed directly at the side of the pool where I did my naked dance earlier in the day.


I smiled at the camera, gave it a thumb’s up, and slinked out of there, certain that whoever monitors the footage was having a field day with it.

Smile! Your naked ass is on camera.
Smile! Your naked ass is on camera.

Embarrassing Hotel Incident #2

One of the perks of our hotel was a free, hot breakfast buffet served every morning. The first day, when we went for food, there were a couple of people loading up their trays dressed in bath robes provided by the hotel. Well, this looked casual and comfortable, so Sunday morning I decided to do the same. I threw on a robe (wearing nothing underneath, because when you’re the guy who dances naked next to the swimming pool, you really don’t care much about clothes) and strode to the elevator. Barefoot, of course, and confident there would be other guests similarly attired. Imagine my surprise when I pushed through the door and found a packed room where everybody was dressed in their Sunday best.


I tried not to let it bother me. Acting as nonchalantly as possible, I grabbed a tray, loaded my plate, exchanged pleasantries with the folks around me, and proceeded back to the room, my face a brilliant shade of crimson.

“Guess I was a little underdressed,” I remarked to Tara, who had accompanied me on my journey of shame (but had been smart enough to put on clothes first).

“Don’t worry about it,” she replied. “You’ll never see any of those people again.”

Half an hour later, we were riding the elevator to the lobby to check out, when another couple got on. “Hey,” the woman said, giving me the once over. “You’re the guy who came to breakfast wearing nothing but a robe!”

Oh. My. God.

“So much for nobody ever seeing you again!” Tara said cheerfully, relishing my embarrassment with a disturbing amount of glee. The other couple laughed. She laughed. I looked at the floor, unwilling to make eye contact. It was the longest elevator ride of my life.

I guess my resolution for 2013 should be to wear clothes more often. But where’s the fun in that?

Happy New Year!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

16 thoughts on “Dancing Naked (And Other Tales of Public Shame)

  1. Having never danced naked in public, I cannot say I know how you feel, but I hope you were showing your “best” side to the camera! I just wonder (in the same way I wonder how a garbage disposal works) why guys like to let all their junk hang out?


  2. ” We were splashing around for a bit when something caught my eye. A black box above the door.”

    OMG, Mark, when I read that I DIED laughing because that’s sounds exactly like something that would happen to me. I’m FOREVER doing crazy things like dirty dancing with some of the girls in the middle of the sales floor at work; forgetting that the store security cameras are right above me. One day a security guard came out and said, “You got some smooth moves there, Ron!”


    Oh and btw….I LOVE Italian Wedding soup! It’s probably my favorite soup ever!

    Happy Nude Year to you and Tara!


    1. I now realize “Happy Nude Year” would have been a much better title for this entry. I should have run the draft by you first, Patrick Swayze! Lol. Have a happy new year, my friend.


  3. It’s stories like those that make blogging what it is.
    And I’m confident that Tara will not be able to ignore your subtle hints for long – here’s to many long years of upsetting soup and cleaning it up together.


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