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Baths are underrated.

Yup, I said it. And I don’t want to hear your old defenses of “But you’re sitting in a pit of your own filth!” or “I get so bored just laying there!” or “Baths are for children!”

Now don’t get all defensive on me, Showers are also good. I don’t want to argue against the value of a shower. Even a quick, “I-woke-up-15-minutes-after-my-alarm-went-off-but-I-didn’t-wash-my-hair-after-soccer-and-need-to-get-to-work-on-time” shower is worthy and helpful. Showers are daily, they’re efficient, and they still rule. I’m not here to shit-talk showers, I’m here to sing the praises of the bath.

Baths are good.

They are refreshing. They are relaxing. They do the same task as a shower does, but in a chill, sitting way. Baths give you time to think. They are a great place to get book reading done. (Author’s note: Books only, please. No Kindles or other e-readers. The tub is no place for electronics.)

The idea of a bath is so decadent.

I sit in the tub and wonder, “Gallons and gallons of water, all for me and no one else? Slathering myself in soap and salts and maybe even oils? Is this what the 1 percent feels like? (Author’s note: please conserve water any way you can.)

Baths are fun, too.

There are so many different fun products to entertain yourself with in a bath! You can use a bath bomb, bath salts (not in a drug way, in a rosemary or lemon-scented variety), and bath toys. You could even throw on a face mask or get some sort of exfoliating scrub.

You deserve a treat. You deserve a rest. You deserve a bath. Lean into the decadence and treat yo’ self!

Do you ever feel like you’ve eaten too much? Gotten too dirty? Or you’re too tired to stand in the shower? Take a sit. Take a bath.

You can even bathe with friends!

Because don’t forget, baths used to be a social place. You could even say Roman baths were the original Soho House. Elites gathered to discuss academic and cultural issues at the Roman baths. The Romans saw the value in the bath for its intellectual replenishment, and as a place to check out other naked people. I’m not saying that I personally want to take a bath with strangers and talk about Russia, but the bath nowadays is a good place to think about our impending doom, the erosion of our democracy, and what you can do to take action.

Baths are weirdly old-timey in a way I dig.

Since showers are a fairly recent invention (whatup running water!), old movies showcase a lot of broody bathing, beautiful bathtubs, and a good reminder that taking a bath used to be completely normal and routine. Since the ol’ shower has become queen, we now experience shower scenes, which are just a barrage of angst. These simply don’t cut it. They don’t get the tone across well enough. The water’s moving too fast. You need the stillness of the bath to totally soak up a character’s mood, to swallow them whole, or to freak them out psychologically, like in Black Swan.

In summation, the next time you’re feeling down, and you don’t know how to pull yourself out of it, take a bath. It’ll clear your head, pores, and soul. You’ll get clean and you’ll get a minute to yourself. Don’t think about the mess you’ve made, or the dirt coming off your body, or the water you’re wasting. It’s OK! You deserve a few minutes of luxury.

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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