And it's a good thing too.
Because at around hour 27 passed my last shower, all kinds of things start leaking out of my pores. Things like garlic, onions, full diapers, and wet puppy dogs.
Joann calls it 'Man Smell'
Not, 'Josh Smell'
She'll say it with a smile, but I can clearly see her ear twitching and her left eye filling with water.
At night she'll just roll far away from me and press the bottom of her cold cold feet against my thigh like a battleship firing a warning shot.
Come no closer.
So my rule has pretty much always been 'Shower every day . . . sometimes twice.'
But today's How to Tuesday isn't about how to shower. Showering is easy. It can be done before you've had two cups of coffee. And my rule is if something can be done before you've had coffee than it probably doesn't need an instruction manual.
Actually, I just made that up.
But the logic is sound.
No, today's HTT is about the Bath.
Taking a bath is something that should never be considered before you've had a cup of coffee. That's like trying to play Russian Roulette while naked and covered in soap.
There are a lot of hard surfaces in the bathroom and you need to be aware of their abilities to conspire with both gravity and your lack of grace.
Simply put: Your bathroom is trying to kill you.
But baths aren't just household killers, nor are they just water-wasting, time-wasting, Man-smell irradicators.
No, baths are soothing.
They're calming and relaxing. They open the pores and the sinuses, they wrinkle the fingers and wrinkle the toes. They clear your head and make you sleepy.
The drawback is that they are like cat-nip for serial killers, but if you believe everything you see on screen, they are also a prelude to really hot sex.
I like those odds.
Anyway if you are a beginner or a seasoned bath professional, here are a few tips and tools to make your bathing experience safe and delightful:
First thing: You need a bathtub.
I know that sounds obvious, but this is advice for the people househunting and or apartment shopping. My wife and I didn't have much of a choice when purchasing our first home and we lucked out in sooooo many ways, but the bathtub situation . . . well . . . rather sad.
Our bathtub is a little more than four feet long, and just a bit more two feet wide, and just shy of 18 inches deep.
That's not enough tub.
We obviously make do, but this is not the tub for hard core bath enthusiasts, and there certainly isn't room for serial killers . . . or, you know . . . the other thing.
So make sure when you are house hunting, or even hotel trolling, that you consider the size of the tub.
Next: You're gonna need a book.
To really enjoy a bath, takes time. The water has to fill, the bubbles have to bubble, the steam has to rise. But if your thoughts are anything like mine, you probably don't want to be alone with them for that long.
The book you choose should be a paper-back (hard covers don't like steam), it should be trashy (cause all books should be trashy), and it should be the kind of book that you can read a few chapters and then forget about until your next bath.
Magazines are okay, I guess, but I find them to be unwieldy.
I have an entire shelving unit filled with mass-market paperbacks, all of which I've read two or three times that are perfect for baths because I don't really care if they get wet or if I lose them all together. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and any and all science fiction. Don't overthink it.
Thirdly: Bubbles or Bath salts.
You choose. Doesn't make much difference to me. I prefer the good smelling stuff. Essence of lemon grass or lavender, whatever. If you're a girl it's just gonna make you feel good about your life and if you're a boy, it's perfectly acceptable to be a little gay.
My mom gave me a big tub of bath salts that makes your skin feel all tingly. And as I said, a bath is not just a way to get clean, it should be a heightened experience.
In a pinch you can use dish soap.
Fourthly: Something to drink.
If you bath right (with hot hot water) you're gonna sweat and you're gonna need to replace that salty brine with some kind of fluid.
I go old school and stick with ice water. Juice can be a thing too, but milk is just gross. Now if you're planning on going straight to bed then alcohol is reasonable, but it should be cold and something you feel comfortable drinking out of a plastic cup.
Glass is dangerous.
Chilled white wine is a good choice. You can even bulk it up with several cubes of ice. I won't tell.
Beer is outlawed.
While farting in the tub is both fun and refreshing, burping can make your body unstable and either splash water all over the place or make you drop your book.
Next: Relax and enjoy for a bit.
Let the soft white noise of the falling water lull you. Let the steam fog up your head. This is 'You Time'
Now, when the water reaches it's peak height, turn it off and enjoy the silence. As the water cools you will cool with it. Gravity relaxes it's grip and long before Jack Ryan finds the Red October, you will find yourself at peace.
However, it used to be perfectly fine to let a little water out and add more of the hot stuff, but we are in a drought, so, you know, be a little earth conscience.
Once you are done there are two methods of getting out:
The first, and my favorite, is to put my book away, drain the last drops of my watered down chardonnay, pull the plug, close my eyes, and feel gravity slowly pull my body (soul) back down to earth. If you choose this method, be sure to get up very very slowly cause you're still naked and covered in soap and just a little punch drunk.
The second is to stand slowly, grab your towel and dry yourself off as you exit the tub.
Either way, remember that all kinds of sticky dirt/deadskin/toe-jam/buttbooger stuff is going to pool on the surface of the tub without actually running away with the water. If you love your wife, you will spray it down with the shower head for a few seconds after you've regained your composure.
It's one thing to be earth-conscience, it's another to avoid hours of scrubbing with caustic substances to remove years of ugly rings.
Finally, for Safety:
Remember, your bathroom is trying to kill you. Always move slowly and deliberately and really try to limit yourself to the amount of alcohol you would drink before driving your child and his friends on a class field trip.
Also, remember that your son has no intention of knocking, and doesn't need to see you naked, so lock the door.
Locking the door is also good because . . . well . . . serial killers.
but make sure your wife has a key
because . . . well . . . the other thing.