Train in Vein

Breaking Bath: Why I Stick With the Shower

If I were an actor, my name would not be Channing Bathum or Anne Bathaway. If I were a former US President, my name would not be Bathraham Lincoln.

I am an adult woman, and I do not know how to take a bath.

Before I go on and mislead you into thinking I am grimy… Let me quickly state that I am a very clean devotee of the shower. In fact, it was in the shower just moments ago where I thought up those dreadful name puns. I guess that alone supports the fact that I need an alternative means of cleaning my bod.

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do constantly make resolutions that I would like to stick to. A recurring goal is to learn to relax. In the spirit of relaxation, I wanted to try to take a bath before writing this and I stopped dead in my tracks: I don’t think I have taken a bath in over 15 years. Is this crazy? It could very well be longer than that. I was a varsity swimmer in high school, so I clearly wasn’t looking to soak in water any more than I already had to. After leaving home I shied away from bathing in the dorms (I’m not sure it was even possible) and in apartments (fearing how many people had been in those tubs). In medical school and residency I also felt like I didn’t have the time and I was always just too tired. The shower has always been a quick way to wake up, scrub down, listen to some Beastie Boys and move on.

So here I am now. I have a home, I have some time and I want to relax. Seems like my path to the bath, no? Sure. So how the heck do I go about doing this? Taking a bath is not only a means of relaxation, but also a necessary life skill. I learned this the hard way during a 5-week rotation in the south of France. There were only tubs with hand held spray nozzles, and I sobbed every time I tried to get clean. I shouldn’t have shared that, but this can be about cleansing on other levels too. Yes, I lost it without good showers. It feels good to get that off my chest.

I have so many questions about taking baths. I have tried to look to the movies to learn how cool chic women do it, but I do NOT recommend Googling “Beautiful women taking bath movies”- None are instructional. I do however highly recommend looking at  stock images of “woman in bath”. Wow, do they look happy and relaxed… I mean look at that goofball above! Her everyday is my best day, I am quite certain! Anyway, here are my questions… I am hoping someone can help:

1. Do baths really get you clean, or do you have to shower before or after you bathe?

This troubles me to no end. Talk about me-so soup (oh my gosh I am so sorry). But seriously, how does this work? And when do you wash your hair and face?

2. How hot should you make the water, and how long does it stay hot enough?

I take scalding hot showers. Is this just not going to work out for me?

3. Can you shave your legs in the tub?

The answer has to be no, right? Sitting in your own leg hair seems creepy.

4. Can you sing in the tub?

A bath is so quiet! Without the noise of the shower I feel like every move or sound I make will be transmitted throughout the world!

5. Can you cry in the tub?

Again, I am concerned about the quiet. I have written before about the benefits of a good shower cry. I need this occasional outlet. Is a bath cry as satisfying?

6. Can you really drink wine?

I had a roommate in medical school that would sit in the bathtub with a glass of port (that is a drink I have yet to get my head around). Do people do this? I am terrified of broken glass, falling asleep and drowning, or falling. Let me share that I recently fell getting out of the bathtub bathing my dog and cracked a rib. Stone sober.

7. Can you really read there?

This would have been great for medical school! I tend to need to highlight and write though. And do you have to keep the page turning hand dry? I am terrified of a soggy page.

8. What music do you listen to?

My go to shower music is the Beastie Boys, Fiona Apple (for singing or crying), Bowie, or Led Zeppelin. Would this work for the tub? Or do I need trance music or sensual music or something? Oh man, I am really getting worked up now.

9. Does it take way longer than showering?

How much time do I need to carve out for this? Can I go out afterward, or is it more of a wind down and stay in kind of thing? It seems like a nighttime activity, right? Sorry that was just a bunch of questions. No organization there.

10. Are some people just not suited to baths?

So there you have it. That’s what just went through my mind when I thought “Hey maybe I’ll chill out and take a bath”. While I think I would enjoy wine, keeping my hair dry (and less frizzy), lying down and being able to hear or see murderers entering the bathroom… Maybe I am just a shower person. But please tell me how it’s done! Help! Is there a “gateway bath”?

Featured image via ShutterStock

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