I stood in front of the mirror, my flop of a bangs section done up in a hair tie so I could take a shower without getting my hair wet. Getting home early from a professional development-instead-of-teaching day left me with this luxurious feeling of time. “I’ll take an afternoon shower,” I thought, appreciating this afternoon home arrival. Looking at my face, I felt a surprising and unfamiliar thought, “My eyes actually look kind of cute.” This new makeup stuff I bought from that random Facebook ad that kept popping up turns out to be ok. I had even used blush, which I’d never done in my life, and had the same peachy shade across my eyelids.
I looked down at the counter, noticing the small jar of vanilla bath salts that came in the lotion and soap basket Christmas present from my mother-in-law. I’ve used bath salts about as often as I’ve worn blush. Next to never. My main thought with bath salts is that they’re the dangerous drugs that teenagers were doing a few years back. I wonder if that’s still a thing? I’ll have to ask my 19 year old. He keeps me as up to date as my questions of him allow, I suppose.
“Oo, a bath. I could take a bath instead.” After all, I had just scrubbed the tub last weekend. Baths are more frequent that blush and bath salts, but it has been, literally, years.
“Should I go pour a glass of wine to take into the tub?”
“No, Rebecca it’s only 3:30.”
“I don’t need it,” I tell myself and am proud to find that I actually mean it for a change. Many a time have I said that to myself with utterly no conviction.
Bath it is. I switch the water from shower to faucet and dig the plug out from the cabinet. As the tub fills, I open the salts and sniff. Vanilla. Too old lady-ish? No, just cookie-like vanilla. I dump the whole jar into the hot tub and sink myself in. Ah, ah, ah. Five deep sighs later, I felt like I was wonderfully melting. Funny, sinking into the water feels healing, yet earlier I was feeling as though I were trapped under water trying to come up for air. Fighting depression I am. Thinking that makes me hear it again as Yoda and I laugh. Ok, I am not too far down if I’m laughing.
Another big, bath soaking sigh. Another technique. Think of reasons why you’re lucky. Hot water. Nice tub. Bath salts. My body being healthy, even this giggly pouch of a belly I look down at. This works a bit. I soak for a while, wash my face and rinse off.
Getting out of the shower I glance again at the mirror. My hair is still swooped up in that mini front ponytail and my face is now bare and red cheeked from the heat instead of a tube of watercolor blush. I look deep into my own eyes and am happy to find that they smile at me, still kind of cute.
Hopefully, I smile back at myself.