Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Performing one's ablutions

I took a long, hot bath at my parents' house yesterday afternoon. I had sore muscles from working out, so I dumped in some Epsom salts and set myself up with a book I got for Christmas - The Late Bloomer's Revolution - an easy and delightful read.

I tend to think that you can divide people into two broad categories - bath people and shower people. I mean, the people in the world who have access to both baths and showers and have the choice.

I would characterize myself as a shower person. I rarely have the patience for baths. I am never one to be all, I'm going to light a candle and lounge in hot water till my fingers and toes prune up and fall off. Generally speaking, I move fast, and am rarely in the mood to just sit.

Plus I detest breathing all that warm, moist air.

There's something about the really hot, humid air that throws me into a panic. I realized yesterday that it's not just the sitting still that I generally dislike about baths. It's also the steamy air. It's all fine fine fine, and then all of a sudden I just can't take it anymore.

It's like, you know when you're kissing someone, or maybe even just lying face to face with them? And you are breathing their breath? For an extended period of time?

Some people have a very high tolerance for the breathing of someone else's warm breath. Me, I hate it. I can do it for a bit, but when I stop being able to take it, that's that.

I'll be fine and all happy and kissy, and then suddenly will be all too close! too close! too warm! holy crap! can't breathe! And if I have to take one more warm, moist breath I am going to Lose! My! Shit!

At which point I have a visceral reaction, and physically push back. So as not to look like a complete freak, I tend to leap up and say I'm getting some water or I have to pee or something. Much better to let the person think that you have sudden thirst or a nascent urinary tract issue than that the sharing of warm breath makes you twitch violently.

There is something about the thickness of the air, the heat, the moisture that just stresses me out. Yesterday I was soaking in the tub, feeling my muscles relax with the Epsom salts, giggling at moments with the book.

And then suddenly, without provocation, the air was overwhelming. I went from la la la warm soak in a relaxing tub to naked whirling dervish woman, flinging the book, splashing water about the room, lunging to throw the window wide open.

It's not a big bathroom, so it's not like I had to go very far. But I yanked at the window and felt the rush of cold air swirl in, and panted against the screen. I felt very thankful to have gotten there in the nick of time.

WTF? I don't know.

All this to say, I really am more of a shower person.


  1. I have a bathtub shower, and sometimes I lay down while the shower is running. Does this make me an in between person?

  2. Hmm. I believe it does make you an in betweener. Or at any rate, hard to categorize. Doesn't the water get up your nose? I wonder if that would make me feel like I was drowning?

  3. I am very obviously doing something wrong as my bath water does not stay hot long enough to make the air wet, heavy and moist. I'm a shower person anyway though, I just don't have the patience to sit in the tub.

    And wait, a window in the bathroom?? I am freakishly terrified of that. Forget the air, I am boarding up the window.

  4. LOL! I have a friend who refuses to take baths because he says it's like sitting in a hot stew of your own filth.

    I thought you'd like that for the gross out factor, Lis! Because I know it grosses me out. I have to be deeply sore (like the first days of gardening each year) before I'll sit in bath water.

  5. I'm not really big on baths either. Don't get me wrong, I love to sit. It just doesn't seem worth all the trouble. I also don't like being naked other than getting clean and having sex.

  6. Oh you prudish americans with your inhibitions and hangups! Get naked, let it all flop around!

    Living in the outer-suburbs as I do, I don't have time to loll around during the week, I shower and am out of the bathroom in around 8 minutes. Then comes the commute - but that's a whole other story.

    On the weekends, however - ah, this is my time. I have a 3 seater corner spa in my bathroom, and come saturday or sunday morning I will grind some espresso beans, percolate a pot (5 mugs) of strong coffee, and take to the hot water with a week's newspapers. It may take me 3 hours to read them - and then hey presto, it's lunch-time!

    Yum - Bacon!


  7. Hmmm, before it seems like I am ignoring the plight of those who find humid air opressive... I have the same feeling in a warm bed. My last girl was the sort who would end up with the comforter (we call it a doona) wrapped around her, while I was content with a sheet and my arms and legs poking out into the fresh air. When I was a child I could never cope with the pillow being over my head, or the blankets covering my face, even when I was supposed to be 'hiding' I'd rather take my chance with the monsters


Tell me about it.