Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
The night my husband and I moved into our Brooklyn apartment, our realtor suggested we relax by taking a bath in the apartment's large clawfoot tub. By my reaction, you'd think she had suggested that we spend our evening performing a DIY circumcision on a baby we'd kidnapped. Because god, no, lady, I will not be taking a bath tonight, or any night.
Baths are the absolute worst. They are not relaxing. They are not cleansing, or spiritual, or sexy. How do you people not see that the image of a serene bath, starring a slender white women and her perfectly imperfect French twist, was invented by Big Bath in an effort to make more money? Perhaps because your eyes are half-closed in an attempt to look as calm and happy as she does. Well, that ends here.
First, baths are simply disgusting. I see nothing appealing about sitting in human broth, which is effectively what a bath is making.
I see nothing appealing about sitting in human broth.
But honestly, much of my hatred of baths comes from my deep dislike of water. Look, water is fine, in theory — I like being alive, having clean clothes, and putting tap water into a pretty glass carafe so I can feel smug when I have house guests — but make no mistake: Water ruins things. It has the potential to both destroy your hair and your favorite technology. Where some might look at a bathtub full of water and feel relaxed, I look at it and feel the terror invoked by the trailers of both Jaws and Swimfan. This bath could destroy me.
Further, humans were not made to be covered in water for extended periods of time. « Moist » is more than just everyone's least-favorite word; it's also a terrible state of being. Sodden, soggy, sopping, clammy, drippy, muggy…situations described with synonyms for « wet » are typically situations where there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Aside from one obvious example, I struggle to think of an instance where wetness is a symptom of a good thing.
Baths are, ultimately, just really boring. You climb in and…that's it. It's just you and your boobs or balls floating awkwardly in this way-too-clear water that has a suspiciously similar effect to dressing room mirrors in terms of how weird it makes your body look. What do you DO in there?
Lovers of baths say they are a place of relaxation, inspiration, and creativity, but where does the inspiration come from? And how might it be captured if one can't read or write things down? I guess I could read a physical book, but holding a Kindle or a library book over a tub of water seems incredibly irresponsible. It's not that I don't like to be alone with my own thoughts; I very much believe in spending time alone, in unplugging, in stepping away from screens and distractions and enjoying my surroundings. But, I want, like, pretty surroundings, the kind I could Instagram if I wanted to (but I'm not going to because we just agreed I wouldn't). Not the pubes-and-mildew kind of surroundings.
A relaxing bath is as mythical as the Sirens; I've been hooked by their beauty and their promise too many times, only to crash on the rocks and end up soaked and filled with regret like every other damn fool before me who thought, maybe, perhaps, this would be the time it was actually special.