After 17 years in the States, I still haven’t really embraced the great American love of showering. Lest you think I’m some skanky mama with greasy locks, let me rephrase that slightly – I much prefer baths to showers. My husband, gives the typical American response - “Ugh, you’re sitting in your own dirt”. I usually remind him that although I hail from the north east of England, I’m not a miner and I generally don’t get that filthy.
I have never been a morning person and a shower at that time is just too jarring. I find it much easier and calmer to run a two inch bath while I’m picking out something off the floor to wear, and barking at my teenager to get up. Actually I’m lying through my teeth here as I often do the whole morning routine of breakfast and school walk first, and then attend to my toilette when I come back. (I am in fact, sitting here, unshowered, waiting for my shopping delivery before starting my day proper. In fairness to myself, I have my workout clothes on, and there’s a slim chance I might even make it to a treadmill.)
Yesterday morning our 4 year old came into our room at 6am (middle of the night) and woke me up – how come the dads never wake up? After I’d found the blanket that he’d lost (right on top of his pillow) and put him back to bed, I willed myself back to sleep but the mental to-do list was up and running. Suddenly remembering a prolonged appearance at school that day, and an oil slick threatening the tendrils, I leapt, no dragged myself back out of bed and ran the shower. Normally a hair wash on a school morning is impossible but hey – I had an extra hour.
Isn’t it amazing what a well-heated bathroom and draft-proof shower will do to change your mind about showering? My memories of showers in bygone (UK) days include shower curtains that stick to you as soon as the water flows, showers jammed into teeny spaces like under stairs or in bedroom cupboards, electric showers with two options – freezing or scalding, and showers with a non-frosted window included, forcing you to stoop to avoid giving the newspaper boy an eyeful.
Always one to admit an error, I have to confess that the shower left me invigorated, (as much as possible given the time of day), coiffed and verging on yummy mummy-ness. I have to hand it to these Americans – they do showers well; I might have to try it more often!
PS. Any Americans visiting the UK in the near future, - Fair warning - the showers can be a bit “disappointing”.