Oversharing at the Sauna House

I treated myself to a Monday night Sauna House session this week. I’d ingested my fair share of toxins over the weekend, had a hectic lets-get-these-loose-ends-tied-up-before-Christmas day at work, and figured it might be nice to start Christmas week sweating for two hours sans phone. I often find myself going to the Sauna House in tandem with friends, so it was a nice change of pace to go solo with a book. 

While solo relaxation seems like the mode the Sauna House is built for, there is something intrinsically social about it (especially since Nordic saunas—which the sauna house is based on—are a very social part of that culture), and I was the only during my session who wasn’t part of a pair. I wonder then if the people in the sauna around me were talking very loudly about topics I would not speak about in a public place or if being at The Sauna House alone meant I was more observant than the average public sweater. Regardless, here are some conversations I overheard (I’m not going to use the term eavesdrop because that connotes surreptitiously trying to listen, and I had to do zero trying here) sitting in the sauna: 

  • Two women casually discussed a friend’s eating disorder, including things said friend told each of them about said disorder in confidence. Like, I get that many people spill things told to them in confidence, but for the entire sauna to hear? 
  • There was a couple whose relationship I couldn’t discern—were they on a date or friends? I don’t know, but if they were on a date, the woman had just separated from her husband of twelve years LAST WEEK. I mean, to each their own, but I hope they were just friends (and I don’t care if that makes me somewhat judgmental). 
  • The same couple both loudly shared how their respective ex-partners didn’t sexually fulfill them in the weeks leading up to the respective collapses of their relationships. 
  • A young woman complained to another young woman about her unprofessional her boss was. She identified her boss by name and position and said where the boss’s husband works and what school her kids attend. This doesn’t seem like a smart move. 
  • Two guys talked about how they both pretended to be more into the women they were dating than they actually were. Again, one of the guys identified the girl he was dating by name, occupation, home state, and section of town. If I had more balls, I would’ve lied and said, “Stacy’s my cousin,” just to see the reaction. 

Is sharing this kind of information so openly and publicly weird? Like, it’s one thing to do it over drinks in a banquet at a loud restaurant, but in a sauna with no music or background noise? Or am I weird for thinking it’s weird? Curious minds would love to know.

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