I dream of claw-footed iron baths, of teak wood racks reaching from side to side, holding my books and magazines and, dare I say it?, a glass of plum wine. Because in such a salle de bain (bathroom is far too vulgar), the tub would be far enough from the toilet that I'd feel comfortable sipping a sweet drink without the aroma being sullied by the stale smell of porcelain emanating from the general direction of the flusher. Sometimes the tub is large and jetted, encased by glorious stone tile.
As it is now, our bathrooms are the personal hygiene equivalent of efficiencies--not even a foot of space between the tub and the toilet in my bathroom. If I have food in my mouth, even just a square of chocolate, I have to hold my breath when passing the truly innocuous bathroom to stave off the gag reflex.
Baths, to me, are sacred. Baths and books go hand in hand, the double helix in my world of comfort. As do books and beds, but don't let me veer off topic.
I determine the length of my baths by a delicate appraisal of variables, those being water temperature and the word count of the item I am at present reading. As the bathwater cools, I reappraise how much I can read--can I read through the next chapter? Finish this lengthy article?--so as not to linger too long in cool water, drawn into finishing a poorly timed but enthralling read. Because baths? They must be hot. And if the water is cool by the time I get out, the whole thing has been blown and I might as well not have bothered.
Conversely, if I have reached a satisfying end point in my reading, I will vacate the tub, even if the water is still a satisfactory temperature.
So there, I've said it. But I prefer not to think of myself as a high-maintenance bather. To paraphrase Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally, "I just like it the way I like it." Any quirks you'd like to share?