“My Happy Place” The Marvelous, Magical, Mystical Powers of a Bath

tub

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

Sylvia Plath

I am a slave to hot water. It began in my childhood, at what age I cannot say for certain. I can envision myself and my two sisters bobbing around in our bathtub, a simple no frills fixture unlike the whirlpool spas of today. My mother, who instilled this love of baths in us, laid peacefully center.  It was those calming waters which somehow righted every wrong and made life at the end of the day oh so much more delightful.  “Can you start the tub?” we would call to my mother nightly and upon hearing the rumble of the water racing through the faucet, would immediately feel comforted.

As I grew into older childhood my nightly baths and love of, continued.  I remember bringing into the tub different props for amusement. My fondest memory involve the Barbie dolls which I would plunge into the water, their perfect bodies and pointed toes gracefully leaping from the soap holder which I would use as a makeshift diving board.

When I left for college I realized with some dismay, that my nightly baths ritual would become a thing no more. Bathing in a dorm bathroom shared by who knows how many others was something I did not find appealing – not to mention the cleanliness factor. Yes sadly, my nightly baths ceased upon entering freshman year in college and were promptly replaced by a shower.

Yet one night, the old urge struck. Returning from a night out and perhaps one Tequila Sunrise too many, I made my way to the dorm bathroom.  Perfect! At 3AM on a weekday there was not a soul in sight. I undressed and proceeded to the sink, my towel tightly wrapped around me. As I began to brush my teeth I felt the towel slipping. As it fell to the floor I was faced with two choices: pick it up immediately or finish brushing and then retrieve the towel.  Given the late hour and the desolateness of the dorm, I opted for the latter – my fatal mistake. As if in a dream I watched the bathroom door swing open to reveal a tall sleepy male, no doubt someone’s boyfriend as my dorm was all women. His eyes, which only moments before were half slits were now golf balls as he gaped at me standing before him, stark nude, tooth-brush still in hand.  I shrieked, tore past him and jumped on my roommate’s bed. Babbling and breathless I attempted to explain to her what still rates as one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.  Oh bath, how could you have forsaken me?

When I became engaged and began staying overnight at my fiance’s apartment I learned the meaning of true love.  Craving my bath one night, I mentioned that his tub did not seem well, completely clean.  I asked where I could find his cleaning supplies. “Do you have to have a bath every night?” he asked with some annoyance as he disappeared into the kitchen. Returning with a can of Comet and scrub brush he for the next 15 minutes, painstakingly cleaned the tub for me. And with that gesture, I knew I was marrying the right man.

I have two sons who have inherited their mother and grandmother’s love of baths.  I can hear the water running nightly and I have caught them filling up the tub to play their own Barbie doll type of diving game but instead they use pencils.  They catapult the pencils off the side of the tub in their own game of acrobatics.  At any hour, morning or night, at the slightest hint of a stomach ache or joint discomfort from sports, a tub is running.  Aqua therapy of sort.  I realize this is a luxury in our society and lecture them on the number and length of time spent in the bath.  But it often falls on deaf ears as my son races in from school, drops his back pack in the corner and heads up to the bathroom to turn on the bath.  He too understands the healing of the waters.

My adult bath ritual has changed only slightly since childhood.  I still take one every single night, but instead of the Barbies I bring one guilty pleasure which I lay on the side of the tub; four Hershey Chocolate kisses.  My second favorite comfort in life.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/happy-place/

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34 thoughts on ““My Happy Place” The Marvelous, Magical, Mystical Powers of a Bath

    1. Diana, funny you should mention that. I neglected to include in article, the fact that after running the bath and blissfully sinking down into the steaming waters, the temperature would be so hot that I could only last no more than ten minutes! Somehow adding colder water ruined the whole thing as I could never get the temp quite right. A close friend who stayed with me and my sister in our Stuyvesant Town NYC apartment for several days always found this amusing. “You two take baths every single night, but literally stay in the water for five minutes!” Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays as well.

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  1. I adore a warm bath! As a seasoned meditator I was discusssing with another member at my center my meditation ritual and how it is usually done it the tub. She is a shrink and just could not understand. After a line of questioning I got to the bottom of it…She wondered why so many of her patients felt like the only place they could ever meditate was naked in a tub of water…this shrink happened to NOT be a mother! Isnt it about the only place we can truly escape to during the wonder years for a lil guilt free R&R?

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    1. You are so right Erin and the most hilarious thing about your comment is that my older sister said to me just yesterday…”I can’t even take my bath anymore in peace!!! Alaina (her fifteen year old daughter) has recently taken to sitting tub-side to discuss her day’s events with me.” So funny. My sister doesn’t want to be bad mother but it drives her crazy when she hears the bathroom door opening as she is lounging.” One other thing… you already know how I feel about baths…though I had one experience I will pass on to you at a spa visit, that was almost as fabulous. Not sure where you are located, haven’t had chance to review your blog closely but there is a spa here in New York in a town called Montauk on Eastern Long Island called “Gurney’s” A very beautiful spot right on the ocean. As a Christmas gift two years ago, my husband and three brother in laws gave myself and my three sisters, a gift certificate for a weekend at Gurney’s. Part of the treat is their wonderful spa. I am not really a spa person as I have very sensitive skin so often forego facials and massages. However, there was one simple experience at Gurney’s that was truly blissful. The Eucalyptus Steam Room! A steam room that is infused with real eucalyptus which I happen to find clean and lovely. I still recall dashing from the hot tub to the eucalyptus steam room, skin aflame but I didn’t care! It was wonderful!!!! I look forward to a return visit. I will visit your site later as it looks wonderful. Thank you for comment.

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      1. You darling, most definitly are a spa girl! You just need to book the right treatments…the bath soaks!!! I have that spa you mentioned on my bucket list on Pinterst along with a board dedicated just to spa bath tubs! lol

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  2. You did a great job of TRYING to convert this shower lover but, alas, stewing in a hot bath never did much for me! Maybe if I had a perfect one in a perfect setting and lots of time, I’d try it again. I enjoyed your post anyway! 🙂

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  3. A a fellow bath soul sister! I too, find that I need my bath at the end of the day. My husband teases me about it, saying it’s just 15 minutes of sitting in my own filth. I prefer to think of it as my time to unwind, to day dream, to let go of the ills of the day.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog – I look forward to reading more of yours!

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  4. That was a great story, I never run across anyone where running bathwater was music to their ears.
    My ancestors loved to take hot sauna baths followed by a naked plunge into a cold lake. I haven’t tried it yet.

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  5. Me, too. I have to bathe each night, even if it’s a 10 min bath. Showers are not calming, and they don’t get in crevices like bathwater. I think people who shower never truly have clean feet; they just cross their fingers that soap hits them. My son also must have baths, and he can linger for 45 min, which I’ve never done. The only times I don’t take baths are when we are on vacation because ew. Never clean. And the jets? Those are scary dirty. Probably some Hep C up in those jets. The Hershey kisses? Nice touch.

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    1. I love this comment Kerbey! and love too that your son also enjoys the tub. Was recently in hotel room this past weekend and longed for my soak but alas, in agreement with you and didn’t dare step foot in for fear of the unknown lurking…Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  6. No more baths for me for the time being. My new apartment has only a large shower with slime water (over-softened well water). Looking to find a fixer upper soon with an old claw foot tub still in it. There are a number of these in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Good post, God bless!

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    1. During our childhood holidays, I always though the chocolate tasted so much fresher than here in the states, perhaps due to the milk? Cadbury flakes were an addiction though could you imagine having one of them in the tub? Disaster :)))) Thanks for reading!

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