Before we talk showers, here’s how I ran across a trend that I find troubling.
When Eu2Be recently set out on a classic cross-country road trip, we wanted to connect with other American-made creative types, in towns large and small, from indie maker shops to farm-to-table restaurants.
Because our lives rarely extend beyond a 30-mile radius from our homes, the road trip is a mythical journey that is not just physical, but emotional and sensual.
I highly recommend taking the trip—it's a dive into unfamiliar landscapes, cultures, customs and people, all within America's far-flung borders
As we crossed the country from Boston to San Francisco, checking in and out of hotels—Eu2Be lotion, oil and soap in tow—a troubling trend surfaced. Namely, what happened to the hotel bathtub?
Are bathtubs becoming an endangered species?
While longer, warmer showers can encourage new ideas, history shows the bath nonetheless holds its own as a powerful place that gifts you time in return for treating yourself:
- Cleopatra started soaking in milk and honey
- Greek inventor Archimedes kick-started the eureka effect from his tub
- Budapest is on the map for being the “city of baths,” with its culture captured in nothing less than a Wes Anderson movie
- England's city of Bath attracts 6.6 million visitors yearly
- But sorry, showers, no tourism dollars for you—waterfalls excluded
Baths are for ruminating and soaking. Showers are for dashing off to do something else.
Since summer is a season of relaxing and exploring, may we suggest taking a luxurious soak in the tub—whether in your own space or at a hotel that still believes in the importance of the ritual? We're talking about you, Grand Budapest Hotel. .
Here are three reasons to go with a good soak over the ephemeral shower:
Reason #1: A bath is for well-being.
There is a belief that bathing is strictly hygienic. So as long as we do it and we’re clean, we can check that off our list. Bathing, however, is contemplative, meditative and introspective. When standing, it’s hard to invite any of this into your space.
Reason #2: Showers aren't always more efficient.
Unless you have a low-flow head and you're in and out in under five minutes, a long shower is in fact more wasteful—and you’re not getting the full-body benefits of a bath, like improved circulation, stress relief, muscle relaxation and of course softer, well-hydrated skin. That said, given natural resource issues, particularly in California, use your bathing time wisely and maybe fill your tub halfway.
Reason #3: Seriously, you are not wasting time.
We know, you have somewhere to be and something to do—but ask yourself, why are you in a hurry? The shortcut of a shower may save time but it steals something invisible in the name of convenience.
Instead, you can be more efficient by getting the most out of your bath time—reflecting on your day, centering your mind, drifting toward your own eureka moments, and simply relaxing in the universe known as You (or in our parlance, Eu).
Tub time is your time to listen to your body, to take time to learn who you are and who you can be:
- Sprinkle in some bath crystals and revel in the healing powers of Dead Sea salts
- Spend a few minutes with a good moisturizing body scrub that exfoliates without being harsh
- Then finish off with simple, pure soap—whether a classic liquid soaking soap, a luxuriously emollient glycerine soap or a creamy Castile bar soap, handmade with extra virgin olive oil
And take a cue from the long lineage of Turks, Hungarians, Italians and Japanese who covet their baths. It is not considered a luxury in those countries but a necessity.
Our road trip showed me that—much like the roadside diner and the bookstore—the bathtub is an endangered species. It’s up to us to save the species or at the very least, avail ourselves to the benefits behind the big soak.
Let’s not see another ritual go down the drain.
Are you a shower person? A bath person? Or do you take both? And if you have a bathtub, what’s the last thing you used it for? Share your stories.The lovely bath photo is a derivative of a Flickr image by Dennis Wong used under Creative Commons license.