How Hollywood Ruined Bathtime Forever

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Sometimes when I've had a bit of a trying week I think to myself "Wouldn't it be so nice to have a bath? Soak those aching bones in a little sudsy water?  Maybe even light a candle and read a book in there?"  Because isn't that what practical people do for a little R & R if they are too squeezed for cash to go to the spa?

All I have to do is imagine that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is stretched out in a massive tub singing along to Prince's "Kiss" (which just so happens to be one of my favorite karaoke songs) to hype myself up.  But here is the problem, I live in the real world.  There is no Richard Gere at the edge of my tub, only my cat staring me down because her litter box happens to also be in the bathroom.  And the thing is,  that's not even the worst of it. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A: The Bathtub from Hell
This is what my bathtub looks like after a vigorous scrubbing with bleach.  Yeah, that's right, I said after.  When you live in an old apartment like I do, you can expect things like ugly tiles and flaky paint jobs.  The fact that there is no visible mold anywhere is a plus.  Still,  you have to be really, really, really eager for a bath to see past those kind of aesthetics.  The rest of my apartment is much cuter.  It's seems like they forgot about the bathroom completely when they renovated the apartment.

But in my case I'm so dead-set on decompressing that I fill my nasty tub with steaming water and mango-scented bath salts and hope for the best.  In about a minute I'm thinking that I should be looking like that hot chick with the broad forehead in American Beauty.  All pouty lips and rose petals.  Remember her?

Credit: Dreamworks
But then it gets too hot in the damn tub, and the window above me is so small that it feels like I'm in a prison cell.  My heart is racing and I'm schvitzing like Rob Ford in a tight wool sweater.  Even if I crack the window open the entire way, I'm at risk of passing out.  I'm panting for air as little flakes of peeling paint float around me like confetti.  At this moment, I look nothing like Mena Suvari, not even in the low light.  Even the beautiful wine-scented candle that I've just lit can't save the ambiance, or lack thereof, as it's obscured from my view because the only sturdy place for it to rest is on the toilet.  See Exhibit B.   My fingers are also too wet to hold onto my book and my skin is turning the color of a ripe tomato.  Did I mention that the tub can only fit one person, and even then, it's a challenge worthy of a contortionist. 

Exhibit B: The Toilet Candle

So what I'm really saying is that bathtime totally SUCKS.  Hollywood once sold me on the promise of perfect bubbles, glistening skin, and messy updos that still somehow worked on film.  The silver screen made me think that I could have my next big epiphany in a pristine tub big enough to fit a giant.  But it's all a lie.  I left that greenish-tinged puddle of water today feeling mugged of all my bathtime dreams.  My bones still ached and I had a sharp pain in my next from leaning back against the grimy wall.  So the next time you think that drawing yourself a hot bath will solve all of your problems, take my advice and opt for a cold shower instead.

And to think I was so optimistic...