Like lots of things, they start when you're a baby. You have quick dips, which then progress into before-bed rituals. And then, when you're grown up, they become something you treasure. Despite my true feelings, I really do understand why. The barely-there scent of the candles, the warmth of the water, the notion that This Is A Treat, not an everyday occurrence.
But I just can't get into baths. Or, consequently, the tub.
Baths became things of relaxation and enjoyment, as well as means of keeping clean, thanks to the Romans and Greeks. And through time, most people were pretty psyched, man. Little round bath gels became the present du jour among school chums, and before long, Lush bath bombs were, well, da bomb. So what's my problem?
As Chrissie said, don't get me wrong. It's not the thought of having a bath. It's definitely not the thought of having a bath. Candles? Good. Magazines? Good. 'Me-time'? Good. Together, they form a kind of super bath synergy, going pruned-hand in pruned-hand with one another. So in my head, having a soak sounds wonderful. And with encouragement and enthusiasm from my friends and boyfriend (and J-Law, who apparently soaks with Epsom salts before red carpet events), I often forget how much I dislike them.
But the initial stages are as exciting as it gets for me. Once candles are lit, and I'm in, the regret starts to encroach. If the water isn't a perfect temperature - and it never is - my body reacts, either by perspiring (which is weird when you're already wet) or by shivering. In an attempt to quickly salvage my bathing experience, I decide to read a magazine. Only, it turns out, reading anything in the bath, especially magazines, punctures the whole notion of relaxing. After doing some awkward, not-going-to-make-it reaching for a towel to dry your hands before opening the magazine, you're faced with an extended period of time holding said magazine at eye level, above water - a surprisingly strenuous task. Muscles, I am not.
They say regrets are pointless because everything is an experience to be learnt from. Only, I never learn. I step out of the bath (causing an unnervingly deep water wave that makes me look down at my body in both confusion and terror), chiding myself for believing it will be any different this time, and then a few weeks later, guess who's sweating in the bath, all achy arms and soggy magazines? Holla!
Luckily, Waterwise research claims that baths use up to around 28 litres more water than a shower. Of course, this isn't lucky, or good news, but it's the perfect deterrent, saving me from frequent poor bath decisions and inevitable disappointment. Although, I have a feeling that this is precisely the kind of thing that one might ponder...in the bath.