I’m a shower girl, a lather and dash creature. But one day, I stumbled onto this article about the benefits of soaking, and since it made bathing out to be as delicious as a hot fudge sundae, I found myself eyeing the big white thing in the corner of my bathroom with marked interest. You mean, that place where I throw my wet bathing suits could actually be used for something… more productive?
Don’t get me wrong. Of course I have taken baths before, but they have been few and far between. I even took one in this house, when we first moved in, as an experiment of sorts. But it went terribly wrong, as I dropped a wine glass on the tile floor and glass and red wine mixed with a little of my own blood stained the new tile floor and kind of ruined the mood. It’s hard to get excited about something that opens a vein. I’m just saying.
But the article got me by stating that a leisurely soak before bedtime could help cure insomnia. Wait… a cure for insomnia? Now you’re talking! I’ve basically been an insomniac since childhood, which means I have been sleep-deprived over 80% of my existence on earth. So, the promise of uninterrupted, peaceful sleep is enough to start me on the quest to take the “Perfect Bath”.
Like most adventures, this one began at the shopping mecca. I went to a store, aptly named, Bath and Body Works. I mean, really? An entire store for bathing? I head straight for the aroma therapy section, which feels a little redundant since the entire store reeks of every fragrance known from pumpkin pie to cherry blossoms. Who would want to bathe with a pumpkin pie? Ludicrous! The first two scents that I sample make me gag a little and rethink the entire project, but finally I stumble onto something that not only promises orgasmic relaxation akin to, say, a vacation in Bali, but also provides smoother, moisturized skin AND it doesn’t actually smell that bad. So. Win, win.
Hastily I purchase a few more bath “necessities”: a pillow with suction cups, a shower cap (because the one thing you can’t do in a tub? Wash your hair), and a few other assorted sundries. Then I’m ready. I make the commitment to taking a bath EVERY day for a single week because what’s the point in doing something if you don’t completely submerge yourself into it. Literally.
Day 1: It’s a rocky start. First off, the suction cup pillow has yet to arrive as I purchased it from Amazon and used free shipping which basically means “it will get there when it dang well gets there, what do you want for free?” Hubs, who is used to my scatterbrained schemes, offers his advice.
“I think women just roll up a towel and lay their head on it.”
“How would you know this?” I ask, squint-eyed.
“TV?” he responds, leaning over to sniff my collection of lotions and salts.
“Yeah, I bet I know what kind of TV you got THAT from.” I turn on the water, hot, because I think that’s a lot of water to put in the tub and surely the hot will run out and be replaced with cool, thus providing the perfect temperature bath. Hubs comes in to inspect my progress, because… well, because he’s him and I’m some exotic bird that needs to be watched to ensure I don’t do something hazardous like blow dry my hair while I’m sitting in there or get my toe stuck in the drain or something.
“You don’t have blinds on your bathroom window!”
“But, the neighbors can SEE you.”
I then turn to glare at him because he’s totally spoiling my spa bath moment with his annoying man-ness and the bubbles are beginning to fill the room with their delicious fragrance. “Look,” I snip, “Here’s my theory for peeping Toms. I apologize or you’re welcome, whichever you find appropriate.” He reaches over to pull the curtains shut, thereby knocking over my plastic, flameless candle (because after the wine glass fiasco, I’m not taking any chances with fire or glass). And that does it. “Out of here! This is MY spa bath and you’re messing up my plan.” He leaves. In a huff. But I’m getting my relaxation on, so totally not paying attention.
Five minutes later, I realize that maybe I actually can light a contained candle without risk of burning down the house so I call out, “could you bring me a lighter?” Which he does but then proceeds to toss from the door of the bathroom because I’ve “kicked him out”. Make a point much? Finally everything is in place. Music, check. Candle, check. Book, check. (Actually my digital reader which makes me nervous hovering so close to water, but I can read it in semi-darkness so there’s the tradeoff.) Bubbles, check. Water, wait! That’s HOT! What was I thinking? Well, it will cool so I lower myself in like a crustacean being brought to a boil. I start to sweat which is hardly relaxing and a little perplexing in a tub of water. Briefly, I consider asking HUBS to bring me a fan, but rethink it after the lighter incident. I decide to tough it out, which I know is contrary to the whole relaxation thing, but I’m determined to enjoy this experience whether I like it or not. About the time the water begins to cool, I get bored. And I have to pee. So, I stand up with suds still clinging to me and towel off thinking about the magical sleep I will soon have. Except. I don’t. Sleep, that is. I turn. I toss. But sleep? No chance. Hmmm, maybe the magic takes time. At least that’s my last coherent thought before I pass out around 2 am, after downing a Tylenol PM. Insomnia 1: Bath 0.