Friday, November 5, 2010

Splish, splash - I was taking a bath ...

Have you noticed a slight pungent odour off the person sitting next to you lately? Could be that she or he has decided to join “the great unwashed”. No joke. An article in the New York Times says that more and more people are opting to shower only once or twice a week, sometimes even less than that. In part, it’s because they’re concerned about skin care products such as deodorants and soaps; in part, it’s because they just don’t think it’s important. Katherine Ashenburg who wrote “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History” says that since we moved away from hard physical labour “we have never needed to wash less, and we have never done it more.”

It would appear that the urge rests in the olfactory senses – we don’t want to smell too ripe. Heck, even some of those 500,000 music fans who converged on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York back in 1969 jumped into Filippini Pond in an attempt to get rid of some of the stinky. For most of us, having a sense of being clean is important, but for some, that appears to be changing. Just don’t put them next to me in the cinema!

I remember my parents talking about the once-a-week bath routine on Saturday nights. Now, the only time I skip a daily shower is if I’m going to be puttering around the house on Saturdays or taking a few days of solo vacation which I did recently. Having that shower not only makes me feel clean but it invigorates me. How about you? Are you a one-a-dayer or a once-a-weeker?

Time to go. My shower awaits.

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