I just came home from my chiropractic massage appointment and as I was there, I was thinking a lot about the notion of modesty.
I was raised in the South. I was raised to be modest. In fact, I never saw my dad in his underwear as a child. I only knew what they looked like because I folded laundry as a chore. In my family, we closed doors when we were changing clothes. We closed doors when we were going to the bathroom. And I believe that my family was no different than most others in the 1970s in the southern U.S.
I grew up in the U.S. where nudity was only shown on rated R movies and never on television. In fact some things were called pornographic if they showed a little boob.
All of these "norms" have influenced me for 38 years and created the person I am ... a modest person who still feels a little shock every time boobs flash on the tv screen. And before I moved to DK, I just assumed that was how everyone defined the word "modesty".
I have made jokes about "dropping my drawers" in the doctor's office and not receiving a gown. I have laughed with my other expat friends when they have gone to the gym and had to bare it all in the showers with no doors. I even sit in my living room laughing OUT LOUD at the TDC commercials with "Britta and Claus" every time they come on (however, to open this video in youtube, did you know I had to sign in to view this video, saying I am at least 18 years old??!!)
when I go for my massage at the chiropractor's office or go for my regular chiropractor appointment, I have to go into a "curtained booth" to "disrobe". All the patients do it. Each booth is numbered, so the doctor or massage therapist comes out, calls your number, and then you go into his/her office. The expectation is that when you go into the room, you should take off whichever garments you need to remove for your appt--- ie: if you are having your back adjusted, you remove your shirt.
Well, each time I go (including today) for work on my back & shoulders, I go into the booth, take off my shoes, set down my keys and phone and wait for my booth number to be called.
I JUST CANNOT take off my shirt and walk across the little hallway into her office. Instead, I go into her office, and remove it there. Then after my appointment, I put it back on before returning to my "booth". I have seen others walk into the doctor's office without a shirt as well as others without their pants and each time, I look away, unsure where to focus my vision. I am embarrassed FOR them. :-)
I am sure the chiropractor and the massage therapist both think I am a dork.
But I just cannot undo 38 years of being modest to adapt to the Danish way of being so open.
At least not yet. I wonder if I ever will?
For now, I guess that means I will be staying away from ALL dressing rooms at the gym and the swimming pool. LOL I am sure the Danes think I am a complete goober. Oh well! Isn't the first time, and won't be the last!