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!

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