Tomorrow I’m heading to Green Bay totally naked.
Drop your eyebrows. Close your mouth. I WILL be dressed, but clothing is the least of it. I’m having surgery tomorrow, and I’m not allowed to wear the really important things. Like lotion. Or makeup. Or jewelry.
Lotion I could probably live without. My skin won’t be baby’s-butt smooth, but it will take more than a couple days to do any real damage. Makeup, though–oh come on. What self-respecting woman of a certain age would be caught dead in public with a naked face, looking like an anemic prune? They know not what they ask.
I can’t wear nail polish, either. More enforced nakedness. Fancy fingers are my creative outlet. I’ve applied stripes, polka dots, floral decals, butterflies, even tiny little gemstones. All of that eventually proved to be more trouble than fun, so I’ve scaled back to just using bold colors–blue, green, orchid, purple. But naked nails? How boring. How mousey. How not me.
My jewelry, though, that’s a tough one. I’ll be walking through those hospital doors with naked holes in my ears. How déclassé. Every eye will, I’m sure, be drawn to those unadorned lobes that usually sport something elegant or bright or amusing. Maybe I’ll wear a hat.
My jewelry isn’t just vanity, though; it’s part of my self-identity. My bracelet with the medal of the Immaculate Conception, the scapular medal worn around my neck, the Benedictine Oblate pin, my rosary ring, and most important of all, my wedding ring. I’ll be stripped of rank, denuded.
And in the end, as I lay there waiting for the pacemaker to be implanted, I will indeed be naked. They’ll have managed to make the undressing complete.
Naked we’re born, the Bible says, and naked we return. This naked trip to the hospital isn’t nearly as profound.