Until about three months ago, bathing was among my favorite activities. It was something that I looked forward to, would set time aside for - as to have the optimal bathing experience, a bath - and nothing beats being clean and looking good. It's a luxury to take a hot bath or shower without any interruptions, like people needing to use the bathroom, brush their teeth, etc. Thankfully, my roommate is rarely home, or more appropriately, thanks to her boyfriend.
Bathing has been something that I have always liked to do, except for the times when I didn't want to in rebellion to my father. My entire lifetime, I have enjoyed staying in the shower until I was a prune and then sometime after that. My parents hated this. They complained that I used all the hot water, that I needed to do homework, that I had to practice the piano, that I was going to be late for church. And yet, I'd still bide my time making soap sculptures with the remnants of bars that should have been thrown away long ago. This was my way of being creative, at the time, and they did not appreciate it.
For Christmas one year my sister bought me a canister of "moldable" soap from the "Art" line at Bath and Body Works. It was purple, made my hands purple, and did not hold it's shape the way regular soap did. I used it and smelled like grapes for a couple of weeks before it was gone.
I have not made soap sculptures since elementary school, and now I mostly use a form of liquid soap, but bathtime, when it can be fully experienced, is still among my most valued time.
Except for these last three months.
It's cold in Richmond. Like, it's fucking cold. All the time. Despite our $130 gas bill. Thanks to our drafty doors and windows. Our building is registered with the Historic Society, meaning even if our leasing company wanted to, they aren't allowed to replace the single-pane, drafty, broken windows. And what's better, the pipes take awhile to warm up, so the first five minutes of "hot water" is actually frigid. Thus, my bathing has suffered, and I've relied on visits northward to friends and family that have hot water, for longer than seven minutes at a time.
This isn't to say that I'm dirty, I'm not, I take care of my hygienic needs. I just currently don't enjoy it.