Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Word of the Year 2022: Disciplines 2: Showers


Space capsule shower, Motel 6, Tucumcari, New Mexico. July 2017.
Space capsule shower, Motel 6, Tucumcari, New Mexico. July 2017.


Beginning some time in December 2021, I implemented a discipline: 

Take a shower every other day. 

 In years past, when I worked in an office, I showered every morning. 

Once I began working remotely, which has now been for some 10 years, I routinely showered every other morning. 

But then COVID came, and I had nowhere to go, much.

So the time lapse between showers stretched to three days, often. Sometimes four

I cleansed my face and lady bits every day, of course, but a full-on shower, no.

A couple of months ago, I determined to move back toward normalcy and to a regimen. 

A couple of times, when shower day fell on a cold and rainy Sunday, I've engaged in lawyerly arguments against showering. Why shower today? You're going to stay home, anyway, right? Stay in your pajamas! Be warm and cozy! Take your shower tomorrow instead!

But thus far, I've responded thusly: 

  1. You wanted a discipline, a regimen. 
  2. Small maintenance routines matter. They are things you can control in an uncontrollable world.
  3. They are a return to normalcy. 
  4. Besides, if you wait til tomorrow, you'll just have to take that shower tomorrow. Instead, you can take it today and have tomorrow off! 

Speaking of showers .... 

August 2017: Missouri Flash Trip, Part 2: The Space Capsule Shower

November 2017: Ferguson, Missouri: My Shower

April 2013: Cuba, New Mexico: Shower Moon

March 2011: Harar, Ethiopia: Camels and Osama in Babile, Harar, Day 7, Thursday

August 2011: An excerpt from Me Ver Gavige [I Don't Understand] about a not-quite-shower in Rustavi, Caucasus Georgia, and the challenges of language: 

I was taking my customary bucket bath this morning, enjoying the pleasure of hot water. I turned on the water, wetted my washcloth, turned off the tap, did my thing, then turned on the tap to soap up the cloth, turned off the tap ... etc. 

Presently Nino [my hostess] starts talking to me outside the bathroom. It was kind of early in the morning, which meant my brain wasn't completely engaged anyway. Nino seemed to require some sort of response from me. I said, "Me ver gavige. (I don't understand)" More talk. I said, "Budishi (I'm sorry), me ver gavige." Nino said more, adding a sound that was similar to a hoarse dog barking. And I'm thinking, "I don't understand what you're saying or what you want. And I'm naked here, OK? Why are you making me talk to you while I'm standing naked in a wash basin with three inches of water in it? What do you want me to do in this moment?" But I say, "Budishi, me ver gavige. I don't understand." Eventually, my brain plucks out the word "gasi" from Nino's statements, which it puts together with the hoarse-dog-barking sound effect, and I realize Nino is talking about the gas water heater, which evidently she wants me to stop engaging when I use the hot water for my bath. So I switch to cold water only, feeling very grumpy indeed.

Once I'm out of the bathroom and getting dressed, we revisit this issue, and I come to understand that Nino didn't want me to turn the water on/off, as it kicked on the gas pilot each time, which might wake up Giorgi. Instead, I can just leave the water run. OK, now I've got it.

Language lesson learned: Sometimes a hoarse-dog-barking sound means gas, and sometimes, as it did a week or so ago, it means the sound of a hoarse dog barking, which kept Nino awake one night. It's all in the context.  

Thank God Nino doesn't seem to hold a grudge.

Bathroom in New Rustavi, Caucasus Georgia. July 2011.
Bathroom in New Rustavi, Caucasus Georgia. July 2011.



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