I was well into my 20’s before I heard about this mind boggling practice called shaving your legs in the shower. According to other grown ups I met, it was common and acceptable for women to spend 20-30 minutes in the shower doing everything from sobbing over your lost dreams to using shampoo vigorously on your genitals. This was a fucking epiphany for a human who grew up with a father in the military…a man who could literally shit, shower, and shave before most people could even brush their teeth.
My dad timed our showers. And we didn’t earn the privilege of showering until we were nearly elderly. While my friends were taking vigorous showers, I was bathing with my siblings and having my mother help wash my hair…so my first shower was probably at age 12. Or 18. There were also direct orders on showering procedure.
“Before you even turn on that water, you better have a handful of shampoo ready. You start soaping up as soon as the water turns on, rinse off, and shut off the damn water.”
We rationed a few things (all the things) at our home including phone time, TV time, Nintendo time, the time it took you to “close the god damn door”, and showers. Long showers were a waste of water and there were four other people who needed to shower so we were not allowed to be selfish assholes who took 10-minute showers. Showers were 2-4 minutes and when you pushed the limit, the door pounding began. And believe me…you didn’t want the door pounding, because after the door pounding came the questions. (Also known as shower shaming.)
“Do you think we have an unlimited supply of hot water?”
“Is it that hard to get in and out of a god damn shower?”
And on and on.
These days I pay for my own hot water and currently IT IS hard for me to get in and out of a god damn shower, so I do anything and everything I can fucking think to do while I’m in the shower. Obviously I shave and wash my lady parts (not too vigorously), but I’ve taken it up a notch over the last 12 months. (Cause 2016, you a hateful bitch.) I like to brush my teeth in the shower now. It’s become so common that I keep a toothbrush on the shower caddy next to my Bath & Bodyworks smell gel. I also frequently pee in the shower…I will purposely hold in my pee until the shower is hot enough just so I can urinate in the drain. It’s the little things, donkey cheeks.
This was also the first year that I became aware of shower beers. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS MINI VACATION IN YOUR OWN HOME???? It’s an ice cold beer drank in a hot shower and yes…I have felt guilty. Not about the beer, but about the time it takes to consume said beer while also shaving my pits and letting that dandruff shampoo soak in before I rinse. My dad would never approve of this scathing misuse of the shower. But fuck it, this has been my year of showers.
It’s been a three breaths, one beer, sobbing in the shower kind of year. And I’m grateful there is no one banging on the door and asking me if I’m planning to use all the hot water. Because right now…yes I am. There is a giant metal water heater in my basement that magically (I know it’s not magic) makes more hot water so those guilt trips are currently lost on me. My shower is the only time during the day where I don’t answer to anyone. I don’t have to drive anyone to therapy. I don’t have to talk to teachers about behavior. I don’t have to fold laundry or contemplate my place in the universe. I just stand under the scorching hot water while I burn my skin off, lean my crossed arms against the tile, and take three deep breaths. And drink a semi warm beer that I forgot was sitting in corner of the shower and is now covered in pubes.
My goal next year is to take a 90-minute shower while learning to cross stitch. Fingers crossed. It’s all about the goals, am I right?