8818bathing-lady-ii-posters1Is there anything more sublime than sinking your tired body into a deep tub full of hot hot water for about an hour or so?

My friend Francine claims a shower is more exhilarating. She likes to stand under the hot water until there is no hot water. “Baths are disgusting,” she says. “You’re sitting in your own filth.”

“How can you relax standing up?” I ask. “It’s like waiting in line in the rain.” I exaggerate. She exaggerates. We’ve never come to any kind of consensus.

The Japanese have made bathing an art form. You shower first using soap to clean your “filth” and then you submerge yourself in the deepest tub of the hottest water imaginable, which remains hot because the tub is heated from below. So civilized, so perfect. The stress melts away. It’s practically an out-of-body-experience.

Growing up, we had one bathroom for ten people and one bathtub. No shower. Mother was a quick bather. Put in five inches of water, wash yourself, wash your hair and get ut. So disciplined and so wrong.

My father knew what to do with a bath. He got in and stayed. He came home from work wearing his blue collar jumpsuit (he was an electrician), ate dinner and then took a long bath before changing into his suit and going to the ward to do his bishop duties. The trouble was that the toilet was in there with him. I always had to pee when he was bathing. I’d knock loudly on the door and yell, “I have to pee.”

And he would say, “Take the keys and go to the church!”

We have three and a half bathrooms for two people. I only bathe in the MBR tub, which is the deepest of the three. I pee in all the toilets, marking my territory like a wolf. Mine mine mine.

Tom has learned to enjoy bathing, but he can’t tolerate the water as hot as I like it, so he takes “second bath” in my water. What would Francine say to that?