Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Under Siege

Part I
I've spent the last two evenings watching the news about the West Coast fires and talking with California relatives, all of whom are safe, thank goodness. As much as my heart aches for so many people who have lost everything, my spirits have been lifted by the strength, determination and acceptance displayed by those I've seen interviewed. There was sadness, for sure, but I didn't see even one person who appeared to feel defeated. I'd like to believe I could show that kind of grace and dignity under such circumstances, but I'm not so sure I could. God bless 'em.

Part II
The reason I'm having doubts about my own strength of character is that I've been reflecting on my overreaction to a situation that occurs in my life almost every morning, one that changes my mood from good to bad in a matter of seconds. I am attacked on a daily basis, and I respond each and every time with anger and curses, despite the fact that I'm entirely alone when the attacks occur. I need to get a grip on it.

I step into the shower each morning feeling relatively calm, then I turn the water on, and before I'm even wet all over, the plastic shower curtain liner has become this massive, moving, suffocating beast that wants to swallow me whole -- or at least to get close enough to know me in a Biblical sense -- and I find myself struggling to stand upright. While I'm washing my left leg, the shower curtain wraps itself around my right one. While I'm shampooing my hair, the curtain drapes itself against my shoulders, clinging, copping feels like a movie version of a creepy drunk. I feel as if I'm about to be drowned -- or maybe shrink-wrapped.

And so I fight. And I swear. And I fight some more, until I can call myself clean, then I turn off the water to tame the monster and escape, exhausted. Oddly, by the time my hair is dry, the anger is gone and I forget about it.

The next morning when the alarm goes off, I stumble through the house to let the dogs out, get that first and most important Diet Coke and some toast or cereal, turn on the "Today Show." Everything in my world seems lovely as I sit quietly and have breakfast, but slowly, inevitably, the brain-fog lifts, and I'm ready to take a shower. It's time to do battle again.

There is neither grace nor dignity in the way I handle this daily dose of adversity, but at least I'm aware of it. I'll try to do better tomorrow.


  1. Velvet, I have that same issue in my Mom's shower. I'm grateful that all the California houses have had glass enclosures...they are worth it!

    There are two different things that work for me at Mom's. One curtain is lighter weight so while I'm waiting for warm water, I splash a little on the sides of the tub. When I close the curtain, it sticks to wall of the tub leaving me alone.

    The heavier curtain is more fussy. For that one, I take about six bottle of shampoo with me. I fold the curtain so it sits on the side of the tub and place the heavy bottles all along the tub wall on top of the curtain...gosh, it sounds like so much work but I can't stand to have that thing moving around while I'm in there.

    Hope your shower is more enjoyable tomorrow.

  2. We have a shower door, but I had a curtain in the apartment I lived in and I hated it with a passion. It was always cold and slimy, no matter how warm a shower I was taking.

    There are curved shower curtain rods that give you more space, or this, which doesn't need a new rod:

    Or you can Google "curved shower rods".

  3. Holly, I've considered glass shower doors, but I'm not as agile as I once was, and I'm afraid glass doors would make it harder for me to lean in and clean the tub.

    I do appreciate the idea of sprinkling water on the tub so the curtain will stick to it, and I'll try that tomorrow.

    Janet, "cold and slimy" is a perfect description of how that plastic feels against my skin. I like the ShowerBow thing -- especially the part of the ad that asks, "Is your curtain psycho?" Thanks for the tip; I may have to order one of those.

  4. I found your site through Bill's this morning. Beautiful writing--from the heart, which I enjoy so much. I know the shower curtain thing. My husband has the exact same reaction. I hear him in there talking to it. I ended up removing the liner and using only the curtain. It seems to help, although not entirely removing the problem. I just wash the curtain occasionally.

  5. Glass doors do make it difficult to clean the tub-especially if you live in a hard-water area like I do and have to deal with lime deposits as well as soap scum- and I've always been afraid I'd fall through the glass, but so far so good (now I've said it, I'll probably fall through them now.) And I sometimes bang my elbow on them in the shower, but you get used to them. I'm just glad I don't have to deal with a curtain anymore.

  6. Hi Velvet Sacks,

    I just came over from Bill's Prairie Point Blog in Texas, and know just what you mean about the cold slimy plastic.

    We ditched our vinyl for a fabric kind like some hotels use. They're really a liner, but we use our offwhite one as the only shower curtain. You can find them in places like Linens and Things - I think I found mine at Marshall's. Using a shower squeegee to swoop the drops off the curtain before exiting makes sure the curtain will dry quickly.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    [I'm an Austin, Texas garden blogger, but as an amateur genealogist, also hang out at Ruth Campbell's Diary.]

  7. Looks like you got some great suggestions for how to make your shower a much more pleasant start-to-the-day, Velvet. Lucky you to be so flexible that you can forget about "monster" before your hair is dry. I think I'd stew about it and let it ruin my day or decide to just take a bath from here on out.

  8. Linda, thanks for dropping by and reassuring me that I'm not the only person who speaks disparagingly to the shower curtain. I hadn't thought about skipping the liner altogether.

    Janet, I would have mentioned fear of falling through the glass shower door, too, but I was embarrassed to admit I'm that clumsy.

    Annie in Austin, I like the heavy-duty fabric shower curtains hotels use, so that might be just what I need. Also, I've been "digging up bones" about my family for 19 years now. I have a great-aunt's diaries that I love to read, but her entries weren't usually as detailed as Ruth Campbell's. Thanks for visiting.

    Annie (in Little Rock), I was mostly venting, not expecting solutions, so I'm quite happy to get so many good ideas. And you don't strike me as someone who would stew about anything; you seem to be one who could find a positive point of view about a pit of vipers. I've always admired that about you.

  9. Julie Gadzook10/28/2007 2:34 AM

    Ah.. the dreaded shower curtain! Oh how I hated my shower curtain. Mine wasn't in a tub, but hung straight down (or not, as it came to greet me)so I can't quite see if it would work in a tub... but I got a whole bunch of those little tablecloth weights - and clipped em to the bottom of the curtain. Once I figured out that painting the metal bits with nailpolish stopped them from going rusty - it got me through a couple of years without having morning shower angst too badly!

  10. Julie, welcome! I didn't even know there were such things as tablecloth weights, so I appreciate your sharing both the information and the idea. Thanks for visiting.

  11. the point is you do handle the daily excursion into the shower and you are aware of it and you are finding new ways to help handle it, how awesome is that?? a lot we think!! way to go!

    peace and blessings



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