Wednesday, January 31, 2007

O frabjous day!

A slight paraphrase: Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I chortled in my joy!

I did. Indeed I did! No killing of the frumious Bandersnatch, no vorpal blade went snicker-snack. No. I am a peaceful person. I finally knew in my bones -- i.e., my new titanium and chrome hip -- that the day had come when I could get into -- and out of, which was the greater challenge -- my bathtub. As the hot water poured I added a large -- quite a large -- pour of bubble bath and when it was full I sunk down, deep into the lovely water and meringue-y bubbles. Heaven! I have never been a shower person ... showers are utilitarian. Baths are volluptarian. For three months I've been clean enough for the sake of hygiene and utilty but I can't say I've greatly enjoyed it.

For some 35 years I have been blessed with living in homes with old fashioned, BIG bathtubs, the kind I can lie in, my feet on one end, my head and shoulders just above the bubble level at the other end. I even thought of setting the camera on automatic camera -- but really there's nothing at all interesting, except maybe my blissed out expression, in a white expanse of bubbles. Those bubble baths in '40s and '50s movies had great peaked merigues of sparking [even in b lack and white] bubbles, but they had special effects. My real bubbles are luxurious enough but really not that visually aesthetic. So, no picture.

I'm told American home builders have surveys that tell them Americans prefer showers and so they are, at most, putting a mini-tub into a secondary bathroom of new homes -- you know, one of those skimpy little tubs that you find in hotels/motels -- where you have to sit doubled up with youre knees up to your nose and the water can be no more than four inches deep. Okay for bathing a two-year old, or the poodle but hardly for enjoying a real bath. No wonder unsurveyed people are putting jaccuzis in special "spa" rooms. Truth is, Mr. Home Builder, people love to be in hot water up to their chins. It's great for the muscles and for the nerves and just plain makes people happy.

I admit I don't yet have the strength in my hip to gracefully lift my body out of the tub ... but I managed, no matter how ungracefully. After all, no one was watching. I love the handheld shower Leslie installed for me, especially for washing my hair -- and it's been great all these weeks of necessity. But now that I can relax once more amid the snap, crackle and scrunch of the little bubbles a couple inches below my ears, it will be less used. Callooh, Callay! I feel like a beamish boy!

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