A breakup letter to my bubble bath

Bath feet.jpg

Dear Bubble Bath,

There was a time we were so close, so inseparable. I remember those long wintry evenings of luxuriating in a bubbly tub with a book and a cup of tea nearby, remember them fondly. But, alas, things have changed.

It’s not you, Bubbles. It’s me. I’m not making excuses or discrediting the good times we’ve had, the homemade beauty recipes we’ve tested, the existential conclusions we’ve reached about childhood and the creative process. It’s just I’ve got two small children now. I need to put them to bed and then spend an hour convincing them that monsters don’t eat kittens and that whipped cream is not a bedtime snack, and then there are lunches to pack, work projects to finish and 219 socks to sort. After all that, the last thing I want is to be submerged into hot liquid, with cucumbers and cereal on my face.

Please don’t get frothy like that. Just because it’s been two years, don’t for a moment believe I’ve abandoned hope to one day relax like a grownup again.

Did you know that I’d stocked up on 100 IKEA tealights last year to waft through our zen spa again? That I picked up some sustainably made bath bubbles on sale, in the fancy part of the supermarket, just for you? I even committed a 30-minute spa night to my calendar once, because that’s how it works with parents – if you don’t plan it ahead, it’s ain’t gonna happen. And get this, Bubbs, last Christmas, a friend got me a bath bomb that smelled like the Hawaiian Islands – it’s supposed to dissolve into this hydrotherapy experience, fizzling every care in the world away (I never tried it because my toddler thought it was candy: he peeled the wrapper and tried shredding it into pieces). And those fancy bubbles, I gave them to my kids when their own Mr. Bubble ran out.

We almost rekindled our aqueous affair the last cold season, remember? My daughter had a croup cough, so I ran hot water to fill the tub and read her fairy tales, as she breathed in the steam and felt better. But you’re right, it doesn’t count as spa night.

I hear you, Bubbles, some folks have their priorities in way better shape, moms or not. They schedule regular facials and massages. They remember to detoxify by drinking kombucha on tap in the office break room. Their water has bits of lemon and organic strawberries swimming in it. But just because they are better exfoliated, doesn’t mean they are better at commitment.

Look, Bubbs, one day we’ll try to work out our differences. I’ll invest in essential oils suffused with lavender harvested from the Provence region of France. I’ll layer cucumbers on my eyes – and even lettuce and tomato, just to prove myself. Every Friday night will be pedicure central, with Enya and Sarah McLachlan playing in the background like in the old days.

But we need a break. I must focus on the simple vestiges of self-care right now, like drinking coffee while it’s hot, not stepping on Legos barefoot and remembering where the hell I parked my car. The existence of shredded carrots in a bag and anti-bacterial wipes that come pre-moistened brings me transcendental satisfaction like no snail mask can. They will never replace you. But they nourish my weary soul and save time, and I need this for me, Bubbles. Don’t be mad, okay?

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