rub a dub dub

There was a Daily Mail article in our weekend newspaper that reported that researchers from Yale University have suggested that “warm water acts as a substitute for company”. Their findings showed a link between feelings of isolation and the number of baths or showers that an individual may take.

The greater the sense of isolation, the longer people stay in the water and also the hotter the water temperature.

The article suggested taking a hot bath if you were feeling lonely, though the research statement suggested that loneliness leads to hot bathing.  I guess the view is that the warm is relaxing and comforting – and it fills your time!

I love my hot showers. Hotter the better in winter. I day dream about taking long, deep, soothing baths, but rarely do. Somehow it just seems like more work. The bath in out house is in the main family bathroom, which these days is only used by Son. He also showers, so the bath is usually just filled with dust and toe nail clippings (eeewwwww!) By the time, I clean the tub to the level where I would be happy to allow my bare bottom to make contact with it, I have lost all inclination…. and discovered the mould in his shower recess and cleaned that, and let’s not get started on his toilet bowl!

The once or twice a year that I do bathe, I like perfumed oils and a scented candle. I turn all the lights off, which is not only soothing, but also means I am not confronted my any surprising sights in the mirror opposite as I rise, not always so elegantly, from my bath.

When the children were teenagers, I could almost bet copious amounts of money on the fact that World War 32 would break out the minute I disappeared behind the bathroom door. When they were even younger, it was nothing to find one sitting outside the toilet door as I reappeared due to some issue that had arose in my two minute absence. We even had a cat that would place one little white paw under the door when I was otherwise occupied! Not sure what his motivation was but I guess it is nice to be needed…I think.

I remember one of FIL’s biggest sorrows was when the care staff who visited them at home, told him he needed to cease taking a daily bath as he was becoming too fragile to get in and out of the bath. Long after they said “no more” he was still risking life and limb to take his daily soak. I think it was his English upbringing, it seems the English prefer baths to showers, well at least that post Edwardian generation! Eventually the door was removed from the shower and a chair placed inside for his assisted bathing. Another little freedom lost.

Now that I have read the article, I can just sense that every time I linger a little longer in the shower, I will have to convince myself that I am not a lonely loser, but merely have tired muscles or need to destress. I have rarely been lonely since childhood, when I often was lonely, but that is a whole different need for therapy.

And now I have the memory of Matthew McConaughey. I think on the Oprah Show, saying how he never uses any form of deodorant as his Mom and his sister told him his “natural scent” was so wonderful he didn’t need any! In fact I can never watch old Matt in a movie without that memory coming to the fore. Amazing how such trivia, and he may or may not have been joking, though I strongly suspect he was very very serious, and old Matt may have read way too much of his own publicity, well, how such minor facts can over ride anything else one knows about a person.

In the meantime, if I was lonely, or even if I just wanted to take a bath, I wouldn’t mind doing it in a few of the following places. I can be pretty sure that no toil nail clippings lurk in these tubs!

5 thoughts on “rub a dub dub

  1. I love to bathe! I wonder if it is because I am lonely? I am a huge fan of the epsom salt bath for sore muscles. I have to limit myself to a few times a week due to environmental concerns.

    When I was in college, it was often cold (as Upstate NY is usually like that.) We didn’t seem to have much heat in our apartments, so I would sometimes fill a tub with hot water, and put a panel over the tub, much like in your one picture, and read there for hours…I think it meant I was cold, not lonely.

    Now, I might feel isolated….but getting in the tub by myself seems to do nothing to staunch those feelings!!! Ha!


    • I wouldn’t really read too much into the “lonely” tag. I also think a bath is a wonderful way to care for yourself, and is so relaxing! The magnesium in the epsom salts is not only good for your muscles but also for headaches and stress. Add a little lavender oil and you are on an all round winner.

      I also think that cold weather sends us all to warm water. If I was faced with a snowy winter I would be in a bath for hours too!

      In Brisbane we are allowed about 240 litres of water a day for living, once we use up an annual allocation we start paying extra for water. 4 minute showers most of the time!


  2. Thank you for ruining my mental picture of Matthew McConaughey!!!

    Personally I barely take a bath because I always get the association of being sick. As a kid and a teenager that’s when I would take baths. So even if I try today, I never last longer then 10 -15 min.
    Though I can agree with that study. Maybe not necessarily on the loneliness-part but warm water is soothing to the soul. When I was struggling with depression in my late teens a hot shower always managed to get me somewhat back on track again.


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