As a Seventies little one, I have fond memories of the catchphrase of summer season 1976: ‘Save water, bath with a friend’. So, like Viv, I hate the concept of wasting water resources unnecessarily.
Moreover, I have a suspicion that the new relentless drive to shower day and night stems a lot more from our developing insecurities fuelled by a material world which is always locating new techniques to promote us stuff – from scented shower gel to rainbow-coloured ‘bales’ of towels to, these days, the very water itself – than from real need to have.
Soon after all, speaking frankly, I do not think I ever get terribly dirty. Ironically, our antecedents possibly required to wash a great deal a lot more than us – digging coal, sweating above stoves, gutting fish, or soaking up the pollution belched out of the Northern mills and factories. However they couldn’t depend on armoires full of clean breathable cotton and box-fresh day-to-day undies, perfumes distilled into gels, lotions, soaps, leaves, oils, or countless sizzling water spouting from monsoon shower heads. They had to share the tin bath as soon as a week in front of the fire and be glad.
Meanwhile, anti-perspirants weren’t invented until finally 1941 moveable air con the following year and even in the 60s, office wear was nylon based mostly, and tended to preserve sweat trapped to the skin, in which bacteria could breed, and odours flourish.
So here are we – just a handful of decades on – with our overwhelmingly ‘clean’ office jobs, in pollution-managed cities, climate-managed buildings, and nevertheless we act as though there could be a human hygiene meltdown at any stage. We want two bathrooms per house minimum, and additional hours in the day to indulge our need to have to cleanse.
Oh, yes, I lived the madness for a although. For about two many years, I ran a 12-stage morning programme of cleanliness which concerned hot water, exfoliation, hair removal, masques, gel, moisturiser, fake tan, shampoo, conditioner, and serums a variety of. I need to have spent about 20 per cent of any one particular day seeking like a wizened prune.
But there was something somewhat sad about becoming so pristine. Females who spend hrs preening are the identical ones who only nibble lettuce and do not keep up late or have adventures. Whisper it: you do not get dirty if you really don’t get dirty.
The madness broke for me following possessing my youngster. Warned against bathing her too often, due to the fact of her eczema, I found myself being a minor sloppier with myself, also. The 12-measures rapidly reduced to a as soon as-over with some noxious coal tar soap. I wasn’t cleansing out pigs or operating at the Tip so dirt did not accumulate behind my ears. And yes, readers, my pals nevertheless stored dropping by. It was a watershed.
Now, I nonetheless think baths and showers in their location are fine. Indeed, I had a lovely scorching bath this morning to soothe a sore back. And of program I’ll shower if I’ve been gardening or am going out for lunch. I promise.
But wasting time and water every day? Like Viv, I’ve thrown in the towel.