Bathwater

When I was growing up, we had one full bathroom in our house and one half bathroom. The full bathroom that we had was upstairs and had only a bathtub, so consequently, we all grew up with baths as our primary body cleansing option. We did have a shower in the house, but it was down in the unfinished basement one room over from where my dad kept the Playboys he confiscated from students in his high school science class. The shower was scary. The Playboys were not (not that my brother and I ever sneaked downstairs to look at them when mom and dad were gone.) My parents have since remodeled that bathroom to include a shower – part of their room-by-room redo of the entire house. What we would have given for a shower in an actual bathroom when we were growing up.

The first house I bought had one bathroom. Again, it had only a tub – not even a scary shower in the basement. Having grown up with baths, it didn’t bother me any. It is in that tub that Anna took her first baths. I would frequently take her into the tub with me when she was a newborn. We have photographic evidence of this, but that photo, while only PG-13 rated, will never be seen anywhere on the Internet if I have my way about it. By the time we’d been in the house a few years, we borrowed against the equity in the house to redo the bathroom. We took the neighbors old pedestal tub that they were going to throw away and replaced everything down to the subflooring. It was probably one of the last home improvement jobs that Heidi’s dad helped us with, before years of chronic pain and other health issues made it impossible for him to do that kind of physical labor. When we got done, we had a gorgeous bathroom with a shower and the whole nine yards. Six months after we renovated the bathroom, we moved and despite the improvements, we ended up selling the house for significantly less than we bought it for, something I’m still paying for today. You win some you lose some. Moving from a rural Iowa town is a losing proposition when it comes to selling real estate.

We have plenty of showers in the house we live in now and only one bathtub. I usually take showers, mostly for the sake of expediency. I’m kind if the “fastest shower in the West” – figuring that any shower that lasts for more than 1.5 songs (or five-ish minutes) is overkill. This kind of showering allows me to start getting ready at 6:10AM and be out the door at 6:30AM. But I have to admit, I really do still enjoy baths every now and then. The bathtub is in the upstairs bathroom, which is the domain of my wife and daughter, so taking a bath feels like infringing on their turf. I know that baths are most likely considered “girlie” by many, but I have to admit that I do like sitting in the water sometimes. The bathtub is actually in the upstairs bathroom, which is the domain of my wife and daughter, so taking a bath feels like infringing on their turf.

The very thought of taking a bath grosses some people out. The idea that someone would basically soak in their own filth anathema to them. When he was in college, a friend of mine lived in a small dorm that had a single unit bathroom with a bathtub that also had a shower – similar to what you would find in most homes and apartments. A guy who lived down the hall admitted to taking a bath in the tub and my friend was appalled. He couldn’t imagine someone sitting down in the same tub that he wore flip-flops into to take a shower.

Given my long history with baths, it’s not surprising that they don’t gross me out. I would take a bath every day of the week over showering in the shower from my freshman year of college dorm floor. It was basically nothing more than nozzles sticking out of the walls. No curtains, no stalls, no nothing. It was impossible not to be in someone’s personal space when you were in the shower, which, when you’re naked, is pretty damn uncomfortable. I showered at the oddest hours of the day just to avoid having someone in the shower with me.

So baths? Yay or nay? I’m curious what the peanut gallery has to say.

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4 Responses to Bathwater

  1. Marie Sexton says:

    The thing about baths is that they sound better than they actually are. The idea of just luxuriating in a big tub of fragrant water is fabulous, but it’s never like that. Either you get in and the water is so hot that you have to scorch yourself to sit down, or it’s too cold but then it’s already full and no amount of draining/adding will fix it. Then (unless you have one of those big, fancy tubs) there’s no way to get everything submerged. Knees and, um…, shall we say, ‘buoyant parts’ are always peeking out and getting cold. To get your torso submerged, you have to lie down with your legs in the air, which makes it impossible to reach the shampoo (which is always at shower-level). So although I still go for a bath once a week or so, I’m always disappointed. A shower really is the way to go.

    Or maybe I’m just too picky.

    • Dan says:

      The problem Heidi and I both have is that there are barely any tubs that are long enough for us, which always makes baths less than ideal. The best kind of bathtube would be one that is 3 feet deep and 6 feet long, but imagine all the water that would take…

  2. Jams says:

    “Bathtub” — so so American, makes me smile, always sounds like a cartoon. Here it’s just bath, or just tub, funnily enough, for slang.
    And don’t get started on taps!

    • Dan says:

      haha – slang is such a strange thing, right?

      And your mention of taps just makes me think of that Eddie Izzard bit “will everyone in west London stop running taps!”

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