You know, I’m not even going to call this a guilty pleasure. I have no feelings of remorse about it, because after a long day – and there have been a few of those lately – the only fool-proof way of setting my mood straight when I get home is a long, hot bath. And I’m talking loooong. Like, soaking long enough to get my fingers and toes all pruny and then adding more hot water.
Some days I’ll drink hot tea during, sometimes wine, sometimes a cocktail. Sometimes I’ll burn a candle, or add bubbles, or salts, or oils. Or maybe all of them.
Some days I’ll listen to music during, and sometimes all I want to hear is the rushing of the water. When I like accompaniment, it’s usually something light-hearted and girlie, like Life by the Cardigans or Youth Novels by Lykke Li (a new favorite).
And sometimes – embarrassing though it may sound – it’s the soundtrack to Something’s Gotta Give. Sounds horribly campy, and maybe it is, but it’s a fantastic mix of late 50s/early 60s pop and old French standards. And honestly, does it get any better than Louis Armstrong singing La Vie En Rose?
(There’s an unfortunate cover of the same song by Jack Nicholson at the end of the album. I generally try to forget that one).
For the most part I read during baths – my books and magazines are notoriously crinkly and water-marked as a result. But sometimes all I want to do is completely submerge my head in the hot water and hide from everything.
I’m not sure what it is that makes baths so comforting. Is it the sounds? The smells? All sensations combined? Enveloping oneself in such warmth is rather womb-like, I suppose.
But no matter the combination of accessories or additives, a long bath is an instant cureall to whatever ails me. Maybe that’s why the boy doesn’t complain when I disappear for hours at a time …