Friday, May 28, 2010

au naturel

A recent Dooce post (I know her name is Heather but I always refer to her as Dooce in my head) got me thinking about personal hygiene- particularly my own bathing habits.

And how you probably think I'm kind of dirty if you're the kind of person who showers a lot.

I've never really been a shower-every-day kind of person. I thought it was weird that my best friend in elementary school took a shower every day before she came to school- I mean, we were eight years old, you know? Pre-puberty, pre-body odor. The time before school was meant for eating breakfast, getting dressed and walking to the bus stop, but only after sleeping as late as possible.

In high school, I lived in an old farmhouse house that did not have a shower. There was a bath tub, but no shower. I took baths because that was my only option, and I hate baths. They are so boring and I feel like I'm sitting in a big pot of Nora Soup. (It was a novelty for me to sleep at a friend's house and use an actual shower. In fact, when I moved out at the age of twenty into my own apartment I once took two showers in one day JUST BECAUSE I COULD.) So in high school, because I would sleep until the very last possible second and because I hated sitting/stewing in the bath tub and because I was not an athlete that produced a lot of sweat, I took a bath every other day or so. Whenevs.

When I reached the end of my early twenties my body had taken great strides in maturing. FINALLY. My skin was less oily, therefore so was my hair. I didn't need to shower every day. Or every other day. So I didn't. I must have been a cat in a past life, or maybe I drowned, because I just don't like being wet unless I am swimming. (Which maybe means I didn't drown in a past life- I don't know. Maybe I was a deep sea diver, dry under my wet suit. Sure, that's it. Deep sea diver.)

Plus, my hair- man, my hair. It is so healthy. It's not actually good for your skin and hair to bathe every day. All that hot water, all that soap. It dries you out. I know it's the norm here in America to shower every day; Gabe cannot even function if he doesn't shower every morning because it helps wake him up and start with a clean slate. Me, I'm a European at heart, or as close to it as I can pretend since I'm only the eleventh person on my mum's side of the family to be born in the States instead of in France. My mum was the first. Oui, oui.

So that's my confession: I'm dirty by most standards. I do not shower every day. Well in the summer I'll have a stretch when I do, when it's the most humid- or when I have sand from the beach stuck in all my cracks and crevices. But when I can get away with it, I let my body do its thing. (Within reason because I do have a husband to share a bed with. You know. No one wants smelly armpits with their lovin'.)

And it's not gross. I have healthy skin and my hair is in pretty great condition. I use deodorant and WILL shower if stinky. Every other day works for me. I know I'm not alone (Hello, Dooce!) and there's been conversation among one of my birth clubs on Babycenter where I learned that many other moms of infants and toddlers skip the daily showers because, well, it's just not necessary.

As long as I'm not offended by the smell of my own body, I'd rather spend time building towers out of blocks, reading story books, going outside OR EVEN HOUSE CLEANING instead of wasting soap and water and feeling like a soaked, pissed-off cat in the rain.

How about you? Are you squeaky clean every day or are you a "dirty hippie"* like me?

*I've actually been called this. No offense to other dirty hippies.

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