Yesterday I decided to do something that I hadn’t done in many years. Something that many people do regularly and can’t seem to get enough of. Something known to relax the mind and body and rejuvenate the spirit. Something for which there are glossy magazine ads, television episodes, and chains of stores in every shopping mall in America.
Yesterday, I took a bath.
Before you frown, please note that I take regular showers. But as for baths, well, I can’t remember the last time I actually took one. It just isn’t usually on my list of things to do. But lately, probably because of the stress which the holiday season can create, I have been bombarded with images of people bathing. You know the usual scene – a gorgeous, modern bathroom with a tub the size of a Jacuzzi, surrounded by flickering candles.
And in the tub lies a woman like me (funny – I can’t recall a single guy in these ads). She is immersed in the bubbles, eyes closed, and a slight smile on her face to remind us that she is absolutely relaxed and content. A bath is the thing to do! A bath is more than just getting clean – it is therapy, it is bliss, it is an hour-long soak in Heaven!
Clearly I have been missing out on something amazing by abstaining from baths all these years. So at last, I filled my tub – my clean and nice, but nothing-like-a-jacuzzi bathtub in my normal, not-quite-modern bathroom. I lit a couple of cinnamon-spice scented candles, grabbed the novel I am in the middle of reading, and slipped into the inviting hot water.
But here’s the thing the ads don’t remind you: bathtubs are hard. Very, very hard. And there is nothing relaxing or blissful about hard, slippery enamel pressing against your spine and rear end. I shifted and twisted, but I just could not find a comfortable way to sit in the bathtub. Nor could I figure out how in the world I was supposed to wash and condition my hair. I did, however, manage to get my novel soaking wet. That did it for me. I climbed out of the bath, drained the now-tepid water, and snuffed my candles, which had by then overwhelmed the little bathroom with the fragrance of cinnamon spice.
That is what so many people are raving about? That is the reason for all those bath stores? That is an activity which relaxes the mind and body? Today, my poor spine is still bruised and sore from my adventures in bathland. Until the day that someone invents a tub made out of memory foam, I think that I will happily stick with showers.