We all have ways to escape a long day: a martini, a good book, a “Hoarders” marathon, a horse tranquilizer. For me, it’s always been a bath.
I love my bathroom. I’ve thought about installing a toaster, a microwave and a coffee pot in there just so I never have to leave, but I’ve heard electrical items near the tub is risky.
I say it’s worth the threat of expiration.
Each evening after the dirty dishes are loaded (but not me, sadly), and the pretend mashed potatoes pried from the bottom of my flip flop, I prep for bath time. As some of you sit down to watch the news or escape to a swinging happy hour somewhere (lucky), I’m readying my bubbles and my People magazine and settling myself in for an hour of Maria Time, encapsulated in a cocoon of cast iron and porcelain.
I sink below my surface of suds and hold my serious reading material above my head because someone at the library has figured out it’s me who disfigured Justin Bieber’s face and Kim Kardashian’s rear end with watermarks in the July 18 issue. And, as I begin to relax while reading about poor Jennifer Garner and that cad, Ben Affleck and the nanny, the parade of knocking commences.
Now, I hear people put locks on bathroom doors. A novel idea, but not one we employ. As you recall, the word “modesty” in our home is just a seven tile bonus word in a game of Scrabble. It means nothing much else here at the Sanitarium.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Apparently, to my kids, the query: “Who is it?” loosely translates to: “Come on in and bring a snack. Pull-up a commode and let’s chat!”
“No you aren’t. You’re taking another bath.” (What? I have a weekly allocation now?!)
“Mom! We didn’t get the right notebook for calculus this year!”
” We? You’re 18 years old! You shave! You cut up your own meat! You can certainly drive to CVS and grab a stinking notebook!”
“But..but…don’t you have to go to CVS for something?”
“I’m. In. The. Tub.”
“Remove yourself from that doorframe right now or I’ll hurl my exfoliator at your cranium.”
As I turned the page, engrossed in yet another Duggar debacle, I hear:
“Old lady you in there?”
“I need to go. Fast! I can’t hold it!”
“There are two other bathrooms in this house.”
He dismisses me. “I know! But this one has the warmest seat.”
While I’m yelling at him to either find another bathroom or go in the garage, my visiting daughter swishes past him and plants herself on the coveted throne.
Cell phone imbedded in her ear, and doing her business, she actually instructs me to stop eavesdropping.
She’s sitting 17 inches from my head. The only way to not eavesdrop is to submerge. Unbelievable.
What’s the use? There’s no escape.
My oasis of tranquility has popped like my paltry bubbles and spiraled down the drain with the now-tepid water.
Tomorrow, I’m buying a lock, a waterproof toaster and a coffee pot. I’m dragging in an air mattress and this computer.
No one comes in, no one goes out.
Think of the needy conversations I’ll miss, the endless interruptions, the demands that won’t take place: Epic Paradise.
Remember when a bath was just a place to get clean? Me neither.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three, a librarian and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life.