When I read “Your Co-Workers Found Your Naked Pictures Online” on the Workplace Shenanigans and Other Craziness blog I was reminded of a monologue I wrote a while back. I’m sharing my monologue “Retro Hottie” as today’s Fiction Friday.
A woman (mid to late 40s) addresses the audience. She is professionally dressed and attractive if a bit plain
I can’t believe I’m in this position. Me! This shit is supposed to happen to Miss America or pop singers. Minor celebrities. This shit is not supposed to happen to someone like me. I mean, I’m an accountant for Christ sakes.
Okay. Technically, I am an accountant who posed nude. I confess that. But it was a long time ago. A really long time ago. No one was supposed to know. Hell, my husband didn’t even know. I figured that was how it would stay. Look at me. I’m nobody. There was no reason for those pictures to “surface.” Thank you, Internet!
All I can figure is that some guy found the pictures—those stupid amateur pictures—in a box in his dad’s attic or a flea market or something. Ebay? I don’t know. Or maybe it was the photographer. Josh? Or was it Joe? He said they were for his portfolio, whatever that meant. He’d be in fifties now. Probably married.
I guess I should be flattered whoever did it felt a few old photos of me baring it all were worth scanning and posting on a web site. Retro Hotties dot com. Apparently, I’m a “retro hottie.” Who’d have thunk it?
Normally, pictures are dated by the clothes people are wearing. Since I’m not really wearing much—shoes, earrings—that wasn’t the problem. In this case, the retro aspect is provided by the slight discoloration of the photographs, and, of course, my hair. That hair. Teased and sprayed and up to here. I seem to recall spending an hour on just my hair—not to mention how long it took to apply all that make-up, ugh. Nowadays, I’m out the door in 45 minutes. I rarely even blow dry. But that hair is what clearly distinguishes those pictures as old. Retro. I guess the wallpaper helps too. The whole aesthetic just makes me want to laugh.
But apparently, guys still, you know, get turned on by me.
Well, the old me.
I mean, the young me.
I did research, and the site has a small cult following. Who knows who’s looking at those pictures? Kids? Christ, I’m probably older than some of their mothers. I never expected this. I never even thought of those pictures anymore. I’d practically forgotten them. I guess nothing is ever forgotten on the Internet.
At work, it started as whispers. The big rumor. I didn’t know what was going on. I could tell the guys at work were talking about me, but I had no idea why. The first day I was worried about the usual stuff. Is my skirt tucked into my nylons? Is there something in my teeth? What? But it went on. I’d have said something, asked someone, but I’m not the type. I just lowered my eyes, got my coffee, and went back to my desk.
Then it was the CFO’s picnic, of all places. Everybody was getting pretty drunk on company-sponsored beer. The guys were laughing. So while I was in line for the bathroom, Jeff walked up to Ron and asked him how it felt to be married to a “retro hottie.” Ron, of course, had no idea what he was talking about. So Jeff explained. In detail. One of the guys had seen these pictures and recognized me. Or thought he recognized me. So he showed them around. As a group they still weren’t sure if it really was me. Jeff, at the behest of the others, was looking to Ron for confirmation.
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t married to such a civil gentleman. At the picnic, I really wish Ron would’ve punched Jeff in mouth. Bam. Instead, he shrugged it off. He said he was sure it wasn’t me. Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. Her? Jeff nodded but wasn’t convinced or didn’t want to be.
But when we got home and Ron told me about the weird conversation from the picnic, the look on my face couldn’t hide the truth. Ron asked me why I did it. Why do you think I did it? I was young, and I needed the money.
Seriously. I was, and I did.
How much money? Oh, that’s the best part. For 10 pictures that would come back and haunt me 25 year later? I got 50 bucks. That’s it. I used it to buy pot, and—I think—a handbag. I was an idiot. A young, hard-bodied, idiot.
At first Ron seemed mad. Then he smiled. “Come on, retro hottie, let’s see the real you.” I followed him to the computer nearly afraid of what I’d find.
We found the site quickly. What we didn’t find quickly were my pictures. There I was with my husband scanning through hundreds of pictures of naked and semi-clad women from the 60s, 70s, 80s. They weren’t well organized. You’d think they’d at least sort them by decade. But, no, you just have to browse. It was awkward. Ron and I aren’t really the type to look at naked pictures together. Or apart. Or at least I don’t. I’d glance at the screen and say “no, no, that’s not it,” and then glance away until Ron navigated to a new page. Until…
I spotted a familiar shoe. A bright red shoe. An impulse buy that I rarely wore, but I was still able to recognize it before I even recognized myself. My legs, my breasts, my face, that hair.
“Is that you?” Ron asked.
I said, “I think so,” even though I was much surer than that.
We went through each of my pictures. At least those were grouped together. First we laughed and joked. He asked me why I don’t wear that “outfit” anymore. I asked him where his secret, naked photos are posted. Soon we were laughing and kissing and…well, turned on. Apparently, Ron likes his retro hottie. Really likes his retro hottie. Let’s leave it at that.
I think I was still glowing Monday morning at work. The talk by the coffee machine stopped as I approached, the same way it had for the last couple of weeks. Jeff was there. I looked him straight in the eye and said, “I hear you’ve been looking at some of my old pictures.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so red.
As red as those shoes.
I got my coffee and walked away.
“Retro Hottie” was previously performed as a part of “Womenscene: An Evening of Original Theatre about Women for Women” in Pittsburgh, Pa. on May 15-17, 2008.
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