Although I’ve long since passed my Unwashed glory days of bathing once every moon cycle, my daily routine still averages only half a shower. For the most part, this works well, any untoward odors can quickly be covered up by a statement about spotting a dead skunk in the vicinity, or passing the blame onto a slovenly coworker, preferably the one who sports a perpetual mustard stain on their shirt. However, in the summer, two days often stretches to three or four, until I’ve become a ripe dirt-squirrel.
This summer, out of deference to my hosts I’ve kept to my usual routine of showering once every two days. That is until yesterday. I had decided in advance that I would have a leisurely Unwashed style weekend; lots of cooking, quiet activities and of course no bathing. It was delightful, exquisite even, I luxuriated in my own grime. Then came the evening, and with it the moment of critical dirt mass.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of critical dirt mass, it is the point when it becomes just as easy to remain filthy as it is to bathe. Choosing to ignore this moment and remain in an unwashed state can lead to living in the forest, growing a beard and being mistaken for a sasquatch. In essence this dirty path is my life’s dream. If left to my own devices I’d likely be sporting a Duck Dynasty style beard and eating roasted mice in the wilds of Canada.
When I stay at with my parents my mother seems to be able to sense this moment, as well as my desire to remain in my disgusting, filthy state. The morning before the critical dirt mass, my mother will make statements like “Think about bathing today, Unwashed”, or “The shower has been reserved just for you”. As the critical dirt mass moment approaches and I begin holding up the cat at funny angles in front of my face to imagine what I’d look like with a beard, my mother gets serious. Standing outside the bathroom she will threaten to get out the hose if I don’t bathe. Sitting coated in grime yesterday evening, I realized that there was no one here to spray me with water for my own good.
At the beginning of the program, one of the directors made a speech about how the students were to make our beds, never be openly smashed in our hosts’ homes and that we were absolutely not allowed to have members of the opposite sex in our bedrooms. As much as I was delighting in my unwashed state, I didn’t want to be the reason why “You must adhere to a basic standard of hygiene” was added to the list of rules at the beginning of the program. Hence, I bathed. It wasn’t pretty, I didn’t enjoy it, but it had to be done.