Though the idea of pouring a nice bath is lovely, the truth is, it’s been years since I’ve lived in a place that actually had a proper bathtub. My mind immediately leapt back to when I was a kid, and had “bath time.” I almost sketched a rubber duck, but I’ve already done that previously. Bath time as a kid was a time to play with toys, or at least that was what parents everywhere encouraged, just to get kids into the bathtub in the first place. It’s true, without toys, it held little interest for me. By the time I was an adult, a relaxing time in a tub filled with soap suds, and perhaps candles on the edge, was something that was perfectly lovely. But, waiting for the tub to fill sort of killed my interest and I would get distracted before the bath was even ready. Currently in my home, you’ll find two showers and in the master bedroom, inexplicably, a Japanese soaking tub. This is a bizarre porcelain barrel that was installed by the first owner of our row home. You can’t lay back and relax in it, but must simply squat in a crouched position while jets on the side squirt bubbles at you. The entire effect is a bit like being boiled as a human soup and not particularly appealing, so I never use it. Made worse, it’s positioned between the two sinks, so it’s a perfectly ridiculous reminder of something interesting that only seemed like a good idea at the time.
I’ve often dreamed of owning one of those claw-footed tubs I’ve seen in bed and breakfasts I’ve stayed in when I used to travel more for work. Even though they were there, I never managed to indulge. For some reason the entire ritual required to create a proper bath was just too much effort. That, and the fact that I’m 6′ 3″ and those types of tubs were made back when people were far shorter. In fact, I’ve rarely stayed at a hotel that had a tub long enough to properly stretch out in, which indeed, is the entire point if the end goal is relaxation. Back when I used to stay at my grandmother’s during the summer as a kid, baths were the only option. I remember the basin being a sort of pinkish mauve, but I’m not sure if that was the case or a side effect of the red dirt I was always washing off of me. Weirdly, I still remember the smell of the soap. I’m not sure where she purchased it, but it had a vaguely floral scent. Thinking back to it makes me happy. No matter how dirty I ended up getting while spending time on her farm, that evening I would go to bed smelling amazing.
When my dad moved to Texas for work, his first order of business was building an extravagant master suite onto the house he purchased. This included an impossibly large bathroom that was larger than most bedrooms. One of the primary features was a large jacuzzi tub with mirrors on three sides. I’ve only used it once. I quickly realized that mirrors might be incredibly wonderful and perhaps even sexy for those with a perfect physique, but that many at once for the rest of us is just a bit disturbing. I’m not sure if he actually ever used it or simply liked the idea of it being there to suggest a bit of opulence. One day, we’ll move to somewhere a bit more secluded. When that happens, I hope to have a large and amazing bathtub that will accommodate my height and provide a truly fabulous experience. Perhaps, by that time, I’ll have learned to slow down enough to actually enjoy it properly. It’s a dream that I hope to one day experience. A perfectly relaxing evening spent doing nothing more than enjoying a beautiful tub full of soapy water, taking a long hot bath.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.