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Over 60…And Getting Younger: October 1, 2010

Showers Versus Baths

People who love showers always demean us people who prefer baths in this manner: “How can you lie there in your own filth?”

People who love baths answer, “Don’t be silly, a bath is so much more relaxing. You wash leisurely and carefully but you are rested and less stressed.”

There is no doubt that a shower is faster. If you are going to work or time is a factor, a shower is much more practical. Actually both are used to wash your body and rinse your hair. I prefer to shave in the shower as all that rushing water affords a better and closer trim.

Temperature of the water is another element worth considering. It is easier to regulate the heat in a bath. Placing your toe into the bath water will let you know if it is to your liking. Bubble bath solution should also be placed while the tub is filling. Nothing is as soothing as lolling in warm water filled with tiny bubbles.

The Romans made a whole ceremony about their baths. When they were conquerors in Britain, they established Roman Baths for their own comfort. The city of Bath has intricate mosaics and plumbing. Japan is also noted for its bathing rituals.

As a boy, my father took me to the Turkish Baths, or the “schvitz” as it was called. There were saunas (dry heat), steam rooms (wet heat), and a rubdown with hot leaves, followed by a dip in a cold pool. Very bracing!

Heat and cold are harder to regulate in a shower. You have to immerse yourself completely while the water is pouring on you. Adjusting the heat is not that easy. Woody Allen said that, “If I am taking a shower and anybody in North America turns on the water anywhere, I will get a blast of frigid ice water all over me.”

The problem I have described here is not as serious as I have outlined. It is the choice of all who enter a shower or a bath with a bar of soap.

The bath or shower should be a time of comfort, ease, enjoyment and unwinding.

Just relax!