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Time for a Bath? (standard:non fiction, 406 words)
Author: Michael GatesAdded: Mar 08 2002Views/Reads: 3438/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Some thoughts on the bath vs. shower issue.

I haven't taken a bath in years. No, it's not a lack of hygiene; it's
that I'm a shower man. To me, a bath seems like a luxury, a waste of 
time and water. "Drawing" the bath, carefully lowering myself in, 
feeling around for the soap or sponge like a scavenging fish after some 
smaller sea creature, then washing myself in slow motion, as one tends 
to do underwater--it all seems very leisurely and Victorian. Then, too, 
I don't know how to wash my hair in the bathtub. But my main problem is 
that it feels...delightful. It's like a trip back to the womb, and I'm 
tempted to linger and savor it--not good if I have to be somewhere in 
an hour. 

Baths are for kids, I think, rightly or wrongly. My 11-year-old son
insists on taking a bath before he goes to bed every night--no nagging 
required. I think he is the cleanest 11-year-old in town, but the 
appeal for him isn't about getting clean. The warm water seems to relax 
him, to calm his whirligig of thoughts. Often, I sit on the floor by 
the bathtub while he's in there and we talk about things: Harry Potter, 
space aliens, why his fifth-grade classmates insist that anyone using 
Chapstick is applying lipstick. You know--the burning issues of our 
day. After a few minutes of soaking and unwinding these conversational 
threads, he's ready to sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow (well, 
most of the time). 

My wife likes a leisurely bath, too. For her, it's "therapeutic,"
especially when accompanied by mountains of bubbles, various bath oils 
and salts and, occasionally, aromatherapy candles. I could not take 
such a bath with a straight face, but I admire those who can. 

I do like to sit in a hot tub, whenever I stay in a hotel or motel that
has one--which is perhaps once a year, while on vacation. But such a 
soak is a special occasion. It doesn't elicit any feelings of Puritan 
guilt, unless I stay in longer than, say, 20 minutes. But by then I'm 
ready to get out anyway, since I'm starting to feel like a boiled 

Maybe I'll take a bath sometime soon, just to reconnect with my fetal
self and relax a little. As soon as I have an hour in the morning or 
evening to spare, I'll do it. And when will that be, he asks himself. 


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