March 18th, 2014 / 9:00 am
Behind the Scenes

WTF Is Happening in My Shower?

Inspired by the riveting journeys already undertaken by Adam R., Melissa, and Brooks, I thought I’d take you on a tour of my own humble shower …


OK so obviously I’ve got a lot of hygiene products; I’ll admit I’m a little obsessive. There’s a special story behind each and every one of them (à la Daniel Spoerri’s classic conceptual text An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), but I don’t know if you want to hear all of them. So I’ll stick to just the highlights …


Although now that I take a closer look at these many bottles and tubes, I can’t say I know what all of them are, or why I even have them. I think I’m afraid to throw anything out, for fear that I might someday need it. Also, I like to go through my neighbors’ trash, scavenging any beauty products they’re discarding.

That said, I am rather fond of St. Ives’s Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. I don’t actually scrub my skin with it, but from time to time, I open the tube, and smell its contents. Fresh apricots might be my favorite fragrance ever. Also, it’s “100%,” just like Sonic Youth! The members of which all have beautiful skin, especially Steve Shelley, whom I touched once, briefly, after a show in Urbana-Champaign …


The same holds true for my tube of Crest’s Pro-Health Whitening Toothpaste—I smell it more than I use it, and think it the nicest smelling toothpaste on the market. Also, it’s Pro-Health, and who’s gonna argue against that, amirite?

The funny-looking beige thing sitting beside that tube is a natural sponge. I won it in a raffle. And I think that it’s alive; I need to google that. Obviously I can’t just put it in the trash.


Yes, even more hygiene products. I know—I have something of a problem!

That Trader Joe’s Nourish shampoo (in the clear bottle) is the only one I ever use, although I rarely wash my hair any more. I used to wash it every day, just like my parents instructed, but that just made it frizzy and dry and difficult to manage. So one day, I stopped washing it, ever since which it’s been wavy and thick and lustrous. Which makes sense—the body knows what it wants, I think, and can take care of itself. I do rinse water through my hair every day, sometimes twice a day, but I wash it only once every few weeks or so, whenever my scalp starts itching. I go with the Trader Joe’s shampoo because I like having an excuse to visit their store and look for the hidden stuffed monkey.

And yes, I keep my Centrum vitamins in the shower. It’s the only way I remember to take them, and I want to stay an Ultra Man.


I will say this—even if I don’t use all of them, I’m very particular about how all my washes and lotions and creams are arranged. It may not be immediately obvious, but there’s a very particular order to them. And believe me—I can tell if they’ve been moved, even the slightest bit!

That bottle of Listerine Freshburst has been nearly empty for over a year now, but I haven’t had the heart to throw it out. I keep it there as a reminder that I should get back into the habit of using it, since it provides a deeper clean than brushing alone.


I have a funny story about that Dove Cream Oil Intensive Body Lotion: I thought for the longest time that it said “Dream Oil”! In fact, that’s why I bought it in the first place. I used it for a month, expecting it to improve my dreams, which are decidedly lackluster. But then one day I realized what the label actually said, and since then the dispenser has just been sitting there. (If you want it, email me!)


This is the corner where I keep all my face-care products. I’m afraid I’m rather fussy about always having a few tubes of Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser on hand—I guess I’ve been branded, LOL! And I don’t know if the stuff really works, but I don’t like to let a day pass without scrubbing my face with at least one of those products. I have a lot more tubes besides these two, stockpiled in my closet, since every time I travel, I forget to bring them with me, and have to buy more. But I find they’re almost always on sale at Target.

Before I discovered Clean & Clear, I used to use Noxzema. That particular container has been sitting there unopened for several years, and by now its contents are probably hard as a rock. I’m afraid to unscrew the lid and take a look …


You’ll probably disagree, but I think it makes sense to keep my toothbrush in this section of the shower. My logic is: this is my face-care corner, and my mouth is part of my face, haha. For a while I kept my toothbrush next to my toothpaste, as I imagine most people do, but I found I kept forgetting to brush my teeth. A few cavities later, I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change, and—voilà! Its current position. Please don’t move it on me.

… Well, that’s about it! I know it’s not as exciting as the other entries in this series, but I hope this has nonetheless been an entertaining diversion through the serpentine corridors of cleanliness!


  1. xtx

      hahaha! yes!

  2. Adam Robinson

      I tip my hat to you.

  3. Amy McDaniel


  4. Sarah Jean Alexander

      I won it in a raffle. And I think that it’s a live;

  5. spencermadsen


  6. A D Jameson

      Oops! Thanks:)

  7. Sarah Jean Alexander

      wasn’t trying 2 point out typo, was just spotlighting my favorite part! :) anyway very great article thank u

  8. Melissa

      i think this would be more violent without the photographs.

  9. deadgod

      grout issues can lead to structural damage

      on the plus side, they provide an opportunity to stump your allergist

  10. bartleby_taco

      best thing on htmlg in probably like 2 years

  11. mimi

      there’s a hidden stuffed monkey at tj’s? every tj’s?
      if so, how did i not know this?

  12. Cassandra Troyan

      glad you finally did this.

  13. A D Jameson


  14. A D Jameson