Monday, December 27, 2010

Splish, Splash, He Was Taking a Bath

Here's the second of my Twelve* Bloggers of Christmas bonanza! Sure, Christmas is over now, but wasn't it all a great disappointment anyway?! SURE IT WAS!

This is Erin from I'm Gonna Kill Him. She is one of the funniest women I read online (Or, in general. Books? What?) In fact, I'm mostly convinced many of my readers will leave me for her promptly after reading this blog. Please at least leave me a Dear Van letter in the comments before you go.

*****

I'm not convinced I was ever given a bath as a baby. Most baby books are filled with photos of infants with their legs splayed open, happily urinating in a pool of tepid sink water. I don't have those photos. While I like to think I was too dignified to excrete waste products and my bodily filtration system was as ornamental as a set of augmented lips on a Beverly Hills housewife, surely I must have required a wipe down from time to time. I never contracted lice or a staph infection although my mother would know - based on the neurotic adult I've become - to have that information stricken from my medical files and placed in lock-down at Area 51, wedged between the cryogenically frozen aliens and a still rapping Tupac. I grew into a pre-teen consumed by personal hygiene. I had bathroom cabinets filled with cherished potions that I inventoried like a pervert collecting women in an underground lair from a Morgan Freeman movie. One product you would notice missing from my collection, however, was bubble bath.

Because I never took a bath.

From as far back as I can remember I took showers. I imagine it as those posters depicting evolution as the knuckle-dragging monkey morphs into the scoliotic Cro-Magnon man who changes again into the most evolved species as we know it, Eric Bana. If bathing modes followed a similar trajectory, I skipped the early millennia of sitting, ass on porcelain, in favor of a bipedal and upright shower. And, man, do I love a good shower even if Eric Bana is absent from the stall. If the average human spends a third of their life sleeping, I have already ticked off another third in a scalding hot shower. I used to spend every summer with relatives in a small beach town in California. My uncle tired quickly of his escalating utility bills and the Governor's pleas that the state's drought could be ended if I were extradited. Being a handyman he installed a quarter machine to manage the flow of my water.

When I moved in with my now husband shortly after our engagement, learning to share rights to the shower was a major obstacle in our cohabitation. G had an idea that cohabitation meant co-showering. The first time he entered the shower while I was in there, I reacted as though the Zodiac killer had handed me a washcloth and a bar of Dove soap. What the hell are you doing here?  This is my zone. My space. My pumice stone. That is your combination shampoo-conditioner-shower gel, which you may use during your turn. Separately showering wasn't a vast improvement since our cramped NYC apartment allowed for all the male acoustics to reverberate through the common space. Throat clearing, spitting, snot blowing, all orifice-emptying noises that I believe females, with exception to those living in really remote areas of Alaska or the Smoky Mountains, biologically incapable of.

Once we had children, baths had to become a part of my everyday routine. For nearly three years now, I can be found on my knees at 8pm, hunched over a tub, scrubbing grime off little body parts. I emerge looking like those assholes at Niagara Falls who decided against wearing the slicker.

Because our bathtub resembles a Beijing toy warehouse and I've seen far too many anal explosions from toddlers occur there, I could never imagine finding a moment of respite within it. So you can imagine my surprise, when I stumbled into the bathroom early one morning for the only private urination I would have all day, to see my husband in the tub.

It was like I'd walked in on that freakishly awkward boy who exists in every grade school, head and shoulders above all the other kids. The one that parents first believed was a teacher until they glimpsed him on the monkey bars with Spiderman underwear peeking out above his 32 inch waist jeans. There were knees in the air, feet hanging off the side, and a head and neck that seemed giraffe-like above the water surface. There were bubbles. He was using a washcloth. He had frothy shampoo in his hair. Recall the old Saturday Night Live clips in which Mike Meyers played the British boy, Simon, who loved to do 'drawerings' and interview celebrities whilst in tub?  The only thing missing was Joe Pesci washing his back with a scrub brush and calling him a 'fuckin' cheeky monkey.'

We've been married long enough that we don't need to articulate the horror the other induces on occasion. I merely projected a telekinetic bridge of confusion and disgust, across which he returned a disinterested look that said loudly and clearly, "Yeah, I take baths. Fuck off." I stood above him, straining to defy the habit to drop to my knees to scrub genitals and marker stains. "Why?" I stammered. "I find it relaxing," he countered defiantly. But it was the morning.  Aren't adult baths, for those who indulge in them, supposed to be taken at night, with dim lighting and Hare Krishna mood music while Ricky Martin pours hot wax on his hairless chest in the corner?

I staggered out of the steamy bathroom as an epiphany took occupancy in my brain. I married that boy with the Spiderman underwear. He may have normalized in high school and gone on to wear plain Fruit of the Looms, play college baseball, and earn a bunch of advanced degrees, but look a little closer, and the man splashing contentedly in bubbles is still that boy.

Or Eloise with a very convincing gender reassignment.

__________

Find Erin at I'm Gonna Kill Him
and on The Twitter: @gonnakillhim

PS: She *just* had a baby like three five days ago. FIVE. Go over and say something nice about her cervix.

*We're using the number twelve loosely, remember.

21 comments:

  1. Ha.. great post. while I have not experiences the toddler bath as of yet, I am one dude who can appreciate the relaxation of a bath.

    But I agree.. morning? That's a little odd. In the AM I stumble into the shower to sleepily wash off the stink of the previous day. I doubt I could even stay awake in a bath.

    SD
    simpledudecomplexworld.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Toddler baths are similar to Splash Mountain. Giving one 5 days after birth is just painful to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WE are REALLY bad parents- we never even introduced our second kid to baths-- we just THREW him in the shower (okay not literally threw him in, but as a wee bitty infant I would take a shower and hold him with me) just couldn't handle those bath time presents my first-born would so lovingly bequeath us with on nearly every bath time occasion:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ohhh, am so glad I'm not alone on the not understanding baths train! I mean, when you're little they're lots of fun because a tub is like a giant swimming pool, and there are toys! But as you get older, unless you're fortunate enough to HAVE a giant tub that's like a swimming pool for adults... no, thank you. : )

    And on an unrelated note - stop by & check out my giveaway! You just might win! : )

    http://carriesrandommusings2.blogspot.com/2010/12/whod-like-to-win-45-to-csn.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post! I still remember my first shower. I felt like such a grown-up. Now as a "grown-up" I would like to find the time to take a relaxing bath.

    Epic Tales of a Professional Freakshow in Heels
    http://freakshowinheals.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. It;s hard to beat a shower. I've also had a problem washing my face with the same water my ass is sitting in, so no baths here for me. ;)

    Great guest post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Morning baths by an adult man? Very strange. And I too hate it when my husband thinks he can just jump into the shower with me. DUDE- get out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So much fun! This post made my day! Thanks for the laughs!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, dear god. I can't decide which of you is funniest. I'm going to take a shower. I hope I don't run into anyone wearing Spiderman underwear ....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Holy crap...too funny. My hubby likes to takes baths too. What the heck is that about?? Eww...just the tought of their man-parts floating in the water...makes me shudder!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I took a bath once as an adult but the buoyancy of my man-parts was strange and disturbing and I haven't had another since.

    ReplyDelete
  12. OH MY GAWD! Babies pooping in the bath is G-ROSS... and I too am all too familiar.

    And I love that G is the real life Simon who likes to do "Drawrings".... Ahh SNL, they don't do skits like that any more.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Erin! If she lived in Texas (and not in MAINE!!), I'd insist that she tell me stories every day while I listened and ate milk and cookies. This post was hilarious, as usual! If I had never read her before, she wouldn've won my heart given that she mentioned Tupac (loooooove me some Tupac), Mike Meyers (I have Simon's picture in one of my earliest posts) AND Eloise!! Eloise is my favorite cartoon character EVER! Loved this post about your Spiderman, Erin.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For some reason I'm left with visuals of floating man-parts...I think I may need several drinks after work to wash my mind out!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome post! I'm a new follower, I'd love for you to stop by & check out my blog sometime! http://thenilsensnest.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Loved it! I am totally going straight to her blog right now!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hmmm, I wouldn't leave you for her, but we're going to be involved in a pretty kinky threesome! I love her blog, and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was bathed in the sink as a kid. You know, where chicken guts get washed and permanents get rinsed out of hair. Yah. Awesome.

    This made me laugh LOUDLY though because my husband takes baths. With wine. He's such a girl.

    ReplyDelete