An Ode to Bath Time by Julie R Smith
It always looks better from the bathtub | Column
by THE PRESS AND STANDARD | August 31, 2019 5:00 PM
No matter how hectic the day is, it always looks better from the bathtub.
Some people look forward to the cocktail hour; I covet tub time. (Perfection would be cocktail hour IN the tub, but Widdle won’t go for that.)
Experiencing a decadent, luxurious bath takes a wee bit of tricky timing.
Baths are meant to be enjoyed at night; they make you sleep better. Here’s how you do it: With the hot water on full blast, add a thick stream of foaming body wash (or baby shampoo or bath bombs, whatever’s on the edge of the tub.)
This is when I turn away to wash my face, pluck mustache hairs, etc. Next comes a twist of the cold-water tap, on medium flow.
Then it’s a dash to the bedroom for after bath garments (yoga pants and a t-shirt), followed by the hasty selection of a book or magazine.
After that I turn off the cold water, place a large, fluffy towel on the bath mat and firmly shut the old, out-of-plumb bathroom door. Then I step in and sink down into heaven.
After all the drivel of the day, a bath can take the weight of the world off your shoulders. It’s my cherished private time. Widdle Baby knows not to tap on the door unless an earthquake, thunderstorm or cardiac arrest is imminent.
I’ve always been a bath person. I take after my dad, who was famous for his scalding, three-minute showers until he saw “Psycho” — why he and Mom chose that movie when she was hugely pregnant with me, I’ll never know. Anyway, it scared him off showers for the rest of his life. He was a bath guy from then on. I wanted to do everything my beloved daddy did, and since he took baths, I took baths.
Once up to my chin, I do what every other bath-lover does: I read. I float. I scrub every inch, including all 10 toes. I ponder the state of the world. I remember dogs I’ve loved. Last night I thought of something funny my brother said 20 years ago, and laughed out loud.
I might do a fast splash-around if it’s almost time for “Jeopardy,” but usually I’m good for about 45 minutes. Occasionally, right before I slither out, I’ll pull the plug, grab a sponge, stand up and start scrubbing the tub while I’m still in it. Never hurts to get a head start.
Some people — actually, most people — don’t quite grasp the importance of tub time.
“Doesn’t it feel gross, sitting in dirty water?” a friend asked once. Well, no. If I were that grimy, I’d hose off at the back door.
Hubby is a shower man, of course. I read somewhere that 75 percent of Americans take showers. The rest of us sigh and soak. My theory is that everyone would be more relaxed if we all took baths instead of showers. Maybe we’d have fewer wars. Nobody pays much attention to this theory.
My best friend, Floozy, says, “A shower wakes me up.” Wait, I thought coffee did that.
If you need a shower to awaken, you should probably stay in bed longer. Since most working stiffs don’t have that option, try this: Take a slug of ice-cold Diet Mt. Dew, followed by a huge chunk of dark chocolate (Cadbury’s Royal Dark is good). In five minutes, you’ll be wide awake and bouncing off the walls.
Later, you can relax by taking a nice hot bath.
Julie R. Smith, who’s dropped dozens of books in the tub, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.