Payne Capital 05: Native Attirebypaynecapital©
Finally Adriana's voice broke the uncomfortable silence. "What if you're not wearing a bra?" she called out, while gesturing to her sun dress.
Oh shit, I thought to myself looking down at my own sundress, I wasn't wearing one either.
What a disaster!
"You talk about bathing suits, surely you don't mean we should go topless?" she said, crossing her arms over her chest to emphasize the point.
In my horror, I was furious at her for engaging him over technicalities. I was certain we should be shutting the entire thing down rather than trimming around the edges in a way that validated the broader exercise.
Robert paused before answering.
"Good question," he said, with another pause before continuing. "To start, you should know, that unlike the United States, social norms and tolerance to nudity are different here. There are no laws against going topless here on the island, or even laws against total nudity for that matter, if you were so inclined."
Uh, I don't think she was concerned about her legal status. Hello.
But Adriana's comment started to sink in with the men, as they scanned with wide eyes the large number of women who were unquestionably braless in a sundress or tank top. The casual dress code was about to take on new meaning. And moreover, many of these women had long been the object of fantasy and no shortage of desire throughout the office, Adriana almost certainly among them.
The excitement of the men was more than offset by the nervousness of the women, at least by reading the body language and increasingly closed posture of nearly every female ... especially those unfortunate enough to be light on undergarments.
Robert continued, "And you will be amazed how something as simple as lowering your guard can foster the bonds of effective teams. Think about it, you would be hard pressed to send a stronger signal of complete openness and total transparency to your fellow co-workers."
Sensing he had yet to make his case he went on, "I know it's hard to break habits, but remember, the rules don't apply here. You are free to be open here. There are no laws hyper-regulating acceptable workplace conduct here. There are no lawyers, no laws, no regulations, nothing but you and your team-mates. It's that once in a lifetime opportunity to kick back and get to know everyone. And sharing hardship and even a little humility together is a great way to bond as a team."
"So the choice is yours. If any of the women find yourself in this predicament, you can embrace the spirit of this exercise. Or if you want, we will hand out some native attire to wear for this evening's events."
I was suddenly hopeful ... until he went on.
"Of course, the indigenous people here do not share the same social stigma around exposed breasts, so I fear the garment may not be quite up to American beachwear standards." he said with a grin.
I started to feel sick to my stomach as I watched several of the female staff appear holding bundles of thin, nearly translucent white linen, cut into strips about a yard in length, each maybe two to three inches wide.
This had to be a joke. This constituted 'attire'? We were supposed to wrap our tits in those rags?
As they handed them out, I was dumbstruck. This thing would do absolutely nothing to cover me or anyone else who was reasonably large breasted.
The linen was like gauze in consistency and there was simply not enough material to double around for added thickness or support. In fact, it was barely enough for a once over and a knot in the back. I tried to imagine how this was going to work for anyone with a large chest measurement, since the cloth didn't seem nearly long enough to reach in back. I guess they would have to bind the breasts tight to even make a knot, the poor things would certainly spill out above and below the narrow strip in that case.
I tested the length of the material over my sundress and confirmed my worst fears. Being large breasted myself, there was just not enough material to accommodate an easy fit.
On top of that, the material was so thin I could literally see through it when I held it up to my eyes. It was clear my nipples would be more than obvious beneath the material, if not clearly visible in the proper light.
I simply could not imagine that I would wear something like that - in front of the entire company no less! Seriously, I'd be better off going topless if they make us go through with this. Talk about a false choice.
Once all of the linen had been handed out, there was still no movement from anyone. Judging from the wide eyes and grins from the guys, some of them were clearly seeing vast potential in the evening as they glanced from sundress to sundress.
As nobody made a move, I started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the whole thing was some kind of joke. Some kind of test.
Finally Robert broke the silence and with clear disappointment in his voice he said, "Not a great start guys. It looks like we need some leadership among the team to get things started. Carolyn, Dave, to the front please."