Saturday, July 30, 2005

Burst bubbles

I miss bubblebaths.

There was a time, in my pre-committed-relationship days, where I enjoyed a weekly date with myself. It wasn't something I scheduled — it just naturally etched its own space into my life. Me time. Away from work, an evening without family or friends, not thinking about who's out at the pub, no boys. Something I obviously needed and loved.

Some shopping, usually a trip to the market, a nice meal at home with wine, a bubblebath, a book or a movie. More wine, and chocolate or potato chips, depending which best complemented the supper.

(I would only ever venture to indulge in such a special evening if the apartment was spotless. Otherwise I wouldn't enjoy it. A reward of sorts for having spent the morning cleaning.)

I always had a healthy supply of bath additives. Nothing too fancy. Just a step up from regular soap was enough to make me feel special. I think I treated myself well.

(I remember a coworker, mother of a small child, once telling me she wished she had time for such luxuries as bubblebaths. I didn't understand.)

When J-F and I shacked up, I simply fell out of the habit. It didn't seem right to not be spending every waking moment with each other. Now we shared trips to market, romantic dinners, and cuddling and chatting while watching a movie or listening to music.

The tub was too small and uncomfortable for sharing baths. They weren't essential, after all. Besides, now the bathroom was rarely even clean or tidy enough for me to want to spend so much time there. Soon after, we moved to an apartment that had no bathtub. Showers only. Bubblebaths dropped out of my life.

In our new home, the bathtub is wide and deep, comfortable. The bathroom is spacious, well-lit. It's a calm space. Clean like only new homes can be — how beautiful the knowledge that no stranger has sat in this tub or vomited in that toilet, ours are the first steps across this floor.

Yesterday afternoon, I had my first bath, for my own personal enjoyment. Not because a toddler persuaded me to join her and I was already drenched from all her splashing I may as well, or because the shower stall drain was clogged or the hot water tank was disconnected and a cold shower would be too devastating. Because I was tired, resltess, sore, and wanted to read a magazine.

It was all right.

No candles this time, though there are plenty of nooks and ledges. No glass of champagne within reach. But an adequate if slightly stale assortment of salts and oils.

I'm going to try again next week.
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