FROM THE STOOL

SHOWERS

Little in life is more satisfying than a world-class shower. Considering most people take at least one every day, there are a surprising number of variables, whether showering at home or using the unfamiliar shower in a motel, hotel, athletic club, or friend's home.

The time of day, time allotted, and purpose condition of the shower, availability of hot water, water pressure, ventilation, size and quality of towel quality of exhaust fan, heat lamp all have a direct bearing on the level of enjoyment.

Some showers are long and lazy so relaxed, so conducive to contemplation, self-analysis, out-of-the-box thinking, that they produce results rarely achieved by professional therapists. Other showers are rushed, with no benefit beyond hygiene leaving the user little more than damp for the using.

Showerhead design and performance ranges from the Hampton Inn plastic, single pulse drizzler, to the Ritz Carlton multi-speed marvel, which can produce multiple drop formations high and low density patterns and massage. Resort hotels often design their baths to include outside showers with steam making capability and adjacent whirlpools or Jacuzzis.

The co-ed shower really falls under the heading of recreation, creating a soapy bridge between cleanliness and intimacy. In my experience, this bridge produces greater and longer lasting benefits than a session with the most skilled marriage counselor.

Unfortunately, most showers are taken under the relentless pressure of the having to get up and get to work imperatives. In many households there are more people in need of a shower than there are showers, making it necessary to rush and to conserve hot water a priority, with the last in line often getting one of life's most intolerable experiences the cold shower. Every bit of joy and therapeutic benefit derived from the long and lazy, warm and soapy shower, is eradicated completed by the teeth-chattering misery of the cold.

It is almost impossible to be hostile after a great shower. There is no better way to patch up a problem with a spouse than to wash it away under a gentle stream of water. There is no better place to strategize the solutions to a thorny issue than in the euphoric mist of the shower.

As we began life in a warm moist environment, without clothes, wouldn't the world be better if we all allowed more time and attached more importance to the daily ritual which gets us closer to our roots?