On Friday night, most guys like to go out on the town. Round up the dudes, hit the bars, go cruising for ladies. You’ve seen Axe Body Spray commercials, you know what I’m talking about. If they don’t have Ed Hardy on their backs, they have him in their hearts, and the evening is filled with high fives, shots, and awkward passes at women who are trying to find the least intolerable of the bunch. Or, perhaps, the bros will stay at home, watch the game, and knock back a few brews. I like doing those things, too. Well, not the beer, because I’m allergic, and not the Ed Hardy because I’m sane, but I can dude it up with the best of them. The only problem is, the whole time I’m doing it, I’m wishing I was lying in the tub.
Months ago, I took to these pages to admit the greatest of male secrets: that I was, in fact, a cat person. Because of your widespread support, and only minor amounts of giggling, I am here to step out of an even more controversial closet. My name is Brian Donovan, and I am a bath person.
You never see men in the bath. When commercials for Calgon, Aveeno, or L’Occitane appear, it’s always a voluptuous lady or an overworked Mom lounging in the tub–never a goofy jackass like myself. But I like to lounge! In fact, I LOVE it. I take several baths a week, and I assure you, they are totally masculine affairs. Sitting in the tub doesn’t have to be all scented candles and feverish readings from The Notebook. Sometimes I lie there and listen to football! Or think about boobs! Or mentally rebuild the engine of a ‘64 Mustang! I mean, I don’t, because I have no idea how to do that, but if I did, the bath would be the perfect place to mull it all over.
Just as I grew tired of my cat-loving shame, I am no longer willing to quietly live in today’s shower-normative culture. These are my confessions, I know there are many of you who will stand with me. Please?
1. That ^ is the greatest gift I have ever received. It costs $6, and keeps water from leaking into your drain, so you can fill the tub all the way and remain there for the rest of your life. Some people remember their first kiss, or the day they graduated high school, I remember the time a wonderful woman gave me the Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain Cover. I would buy them by the thousands and hand them out to strangers in the street, if I didn’t think it would lead to my immediate arrest or commitment to an insane asylum.
2. When I hear stories about people going crazy on bath salts, I think “what a waste of perfectly soothing bath product!” And yes, I know they’re a drug and not the same as actual bath salts, but it hurts nonetheless.
3. Sometimes, when I’m in the bath too long, my cat walks in and meows at me until I get out. And yes, I realize that is the least masculine sentence ever written.
4. When I was in high school, I used to prop a small black and white TV on the counter next to the bath, so I could watch Jeffersons reruns in the tub. (Why yes, I was the coolest kid in my high school, why do you ask?) After a while, the TV scratched up the counter, and my parents held a bath intervention. They felt I was doing the damage on purpose, as a quiet expression of seething rage, and sent me to a shrink. Which means that I loved baths so much, I actually required therapy.
5. I currently own two bath bombs, four foams, a bath lotion, three different bubble baths, a bath powder, and God knows how many kinds of bath salts. What is the difference between them? I have absolutely no idea.
6. All activities are separated into two categories: Bath Possible (BP), and Bath Impossible (BI). For example, paying your bills online? Totally BP. However, calling your parents is a surprising BI. You shouldn’t be naked while talking to your mom. It just doesn’t feel right.
7. I once said these words to a Target employee: “Which of these bathroom trash bins do you think would best support to weight of a 13” laptop? I like to watch Hulu in the tub.“
8. I never use the bath to get clean. That base responsibility belongs to the lowly showerhead. A bar of soap would be an insult to the bathing Gods.
So, who else will join the bath pride movement?