iShower

I took a shower!!!

Confetti-cannons fire. Balloons drop from the ceiling. Strobe lights flash and sirens scream. The crowd erupts in cheers and applause.

Conversation:

Nephew: I shower twice a day. In the morning and after I work out.
Me: You Americans shower too often.

I used to be an American. I started each day with a shower and a shave. Sometimes I’d shower again after chores or gardening or a fix-it project. And always after my run. Climb into bed with sticky, sweaty or dirty skin? Never.

Then came shutdown. Remember the pandemic? I saw the movie Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery yesterday. In one of the opening scenes, people gather wearing masks. Three years ago, that sentence would evoke images of a costume party. Now we all know I’m talking about surgical masks. I could even pinpoint at what point during the pandemic the action took place because the masks were decorative sewn cloth masks from that period when manufactured paper masks were still reserved for medical personnel.

Aside (and a super mild spoiler): Glass Onion was fun and worth watching, but certainly flawed. Also, in the sub-sub-sub-plot, the character who strikes me as most on-the-ball in the movie prostitutes themselves for personal gain. It left me feeling cringey.

(Shutdown) Like everyone else, I stopped showering. When you never leave the clean confines of your home, what do you need to wash off? I began to skip a day. Because my hair is short and my skin is dry, it’s hard to tell if I’ve had a shower. The giveaway is my beard. I only shave after a shower. A two-day growth means no shower today. When the world reopened after shutdown, I continued my every other day shower schedule. I worried that my boss would comment on my scruff. She never did. She’s a true librarian. She doesn’t censor, and she doesn’t correct. Or maybe she just never noticed. Or doesn’t care.

Sometimes I skip a second day too.

Another conversation:

Person: I read your blog. I know you exercise every day. Don’t you need to shower after that?
Me: I don’t get body odor.

Conversation at last night’s New Year’s Day dinner with my father-in-law:

Eli: I haven’t showered this year.
Sophie: Me neither.
Me: Same. In fact, I haven’t showered in days.

How many days?

Four.

Oh, for God’s sake. Really?

Said by me six times on New Year’s Day:

Man, I really need a shower.

But I never took one. I began to wonder about my motivation… lack of motivation. The only two reasons I could come up with were laziness or depression. I don’t think I’m depressed.

When I woke today, the itching caused by my five-day stubble drove me to distraction. It drove me, finally, into the shower. I soaped and shampooed twice. Afterwards, I carefully shaved my thriving beard with a new razor blade found in my Christmas stocking. I finished off my primping with a nose strip—an adhesive strip of cloth made to adhere over a wet nose. When it fully dried, I ripped it off like a band-aid. With it came the contents of each of my nose pores. I took off my glasses and examined the strip close-up, shocked by the result. It resembled a tiny forest with dozens of vertical oil clumps posing as trees.

I’m treating today, January 2, as my New Year’s Day. I feel renewed, ready to face the world.

May your new year be filled with peace, joy and unending cleanliness.

Photo by Kevin Baquerizo on Unsplash

11 thoughts on “iShower

  1. Yeah. I rarely leave the house, even now. I’ve gone… sheesh more than two weeks without a shower may times. It’s never been an issue on a 3day camping trip, why would it be an issue in my home?

    I gave up shaving years ago. I’m a relatively hairless mammal🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m not even growing any post-menopausal facial hair😂😂

    You’re really going for it with these honest, open posts! Good for you!🥳🎊😎🤙

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m sure if Eli read this he’d say TMI. I mostly kept my mouth shut during our family discussion about showers. Everyone who spoke took one or two showers every single day. Susan and I caught each other’s attention and winked a couple of times. *Almost* nothing too personal to blog about. Of course there are a couple of topics I keep to myself.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m not a morning person, but I find a morning shower brushes away the sleep cobwebs and invigorates me for the day. It’s a routine that I started in my early teens, and I miss it if for some reason I must forego it.

    However, I do shower every day in consideration of other people, especially the wife, as I do tend to produce a body odour that becomes noticeable after more than a day without showering. I cannot use deodorants or antiperspirants as they all cause severe skin irritation – even the so called natural/non-irritant products. Soaps and most shampoos and body washes do the same. Believe me, I’ve tried them all. This is the reason why I might also shower after any time I’ve worked up a sweat. Not for myself, but for others.

    My favourite is a long hot soak in a bath. The wife introduced me to Japanese style baths a little over fifty years ago and a western style bath is at best a poor compromise. We’ve always promised ourselves, that someday we’d install a Japanese bath. We had the opportunity to do so when we renovated our bathroom two years ago, but the cost and practicalities of installing one and keeping it heated ruled against our desires. Instead, we installed a large two-person western style bath that when filled completely, covers the wife’s shoulders when she’s sitting upright (but not mine – I have to recline slightly). Due to the amount of water it requires (375 litres / 100 US gallons when filled to “normal” level, around 500 litres / 130 US gallons when filled completely), it’s not something that we do more than once a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My cobweb clearer, is my daily overdose of caffeine. And then I sit tied to the sofa way too long reading news, reading blogs, writing. I’m extremely fortunate to infrequently have an odor. It does happen, but rarely. I always take action when I realize I smell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get where you’re coming from, Jeff. I think when we had lockdown during Covid, a lot of regular habits slipped. There seemed no point in some of them when we weren’t going to even leave the house. Some of them have never returned.

    I find morning showers too brutal when I’ve just reluctantly crawled out of bed. I’m fortunate not to sweat much, either, and I’m also not very physically active, which helps. I don’t shower every day (horror of horrors!), and when I do, I have a very quick shower before going to bed. It helps to relax me, and it’s far easier slipping into my PJs than having to faff about with bras (you don’t have that problem) and layers of clothes!

    As I said in my last post, I’m not following many blogs at the moment as I’m taking a bit of a break. However, I am still reading my favourite ones – yours is one of them because I thoroughly enjoy your honest writing. I love your humour, too. Hope you have a great weekend, Jeff. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • For perfectly selfish reasons, I’m glad I’m still on your ‘read list’. I’m not really sure why my showering has fallen off so much. There really isn’t any effort to it. I don’t need to fuss with my hair at all (although I do shave). I’ll need to pay attention to what I’m feeling next time I’m putting off a shower (that will probably in an hour or so when I go for a run.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I actually only get razor blades for Christmas. 10 of them, and then I make them last a year. It annoys me how expensive they are. Now that I only shave half as often, I think it’s a little easier to make the razor blades last.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s