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.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh...the bubble bath, a time-honored tradition to "eliminate stress, pamper one's self..."

etc. etc.

My mom used to crab on me for taking baths because she said that they led to vaginal infections...


I now take a bath every other day, approximately (showering when I want to wash my hair). I shave my legs, I languish in the water, dipping down to my chin (that's BEFORE I shave my legs...) I love 'em! I just use the cheapy Rainbath stuff; I never have liked the super expensive stuff, for a variety of reasons...

(mostly because they offend my Puritanical sensibilities, okay?)

But it's funny. R teases me about my leisurely life that includes bubble baths. I've tried to tell him that taking a bath takes only a little longer than taking a shower, but there's something about the connotation...

Well, you know...

As for the alone oh man, that's a rare commodity, but you know what? I think it's worth carving out even IN a relationship (perhaps more necessary, actually.)

Suzanne said...

I'm glad you have found time to reconnect with something so calming and peaceful. I've never been a bubble bath person (somehow I can never get the temperature such that it's hot enough to sustain an extended bath but not too hot at the outset that it boils my skin), but I support them whole-heartedly for others!

I also can empathize with the couple time-versus-alone time dilemma, which just gets more complicated and guilt-fraught when kids are introduced to the equation.

Anonymous said...

I remember candles! They're one of the first things to go when the babies come along, aren't they? Sounds like you're blessing your new house with wonderful vibes, good housewarming!

Anonymous said...

Remember Mr. Bubble? That bubblegum-pink powder, that candy smell? That's my idea of a bubble bath!