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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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My friend Irene was here last week, visiting from her exotic homeland of London, England. We were at lunch, and then I confessed something, Something horrible.

Me: I have to say, I feel a little gross. I didn't shower for a few days, and then this morning I went to the gym and when I got back home, the water was shut off because they're doing some kind of plumbing work.

Irene: [Horrified stare]

Me: So then there wasn’t enough time to go back to the gym and shower and still meet you for lunch, but we have this kind of large Brita container, which holds a lot of water, but it was in the refrigerator, so I basically gave myself an icy sponge-bath. And then dumped the rest of the water over my head. Which was bracing, to say the least. It was like an ice-cream headache, only more so.

[Irene stares at me as if I had told her that I like to poop in the sink.]

Irene: But…why didn't you shower in—how many days, did you say?

Me: Um. A few? Maybe a couple. I kind of can't remember.

Irene: You can't remember the last time you showered?

Me: I can't say my showers are all that memorable. Don't look at me like that. You live in Europe! You should be comfortable with the unwashed!

Irene: You used to shower every day, in college!

Me: Are you saying you still shower every day?

Irene: …

Me: !

Then we agreed never to talk again.

Or rather, we made fun of each other for a while, then changed the topic. I may have made her smell me, at some point. (For the record, I smelled fine. Ice water and baby wipes can accomplish quite a bit.)

It should be said that Irene does not have kids. (And no disparaging Irene, please; she's one of my best friends and I will have to come to your house and give you a noogie if you do.) (Don't think I won't.) So I could say that she has all the time in the world to take daily showers. But my son is six. It's not like he's an infant. I have time. And yet I find myself forgetting to shower. Forgetting, or deciding there are better things to do, like, I don't know, read? You can't read in the shower, after all. Someone needs to fix that.

I ran into my other friend (I have more than one!) Jennifer today, and we were talking about this not-showering habit of the children-having. Jennifer has two kids, so she has more reason to not shower. "Not only do I not shower, but I forget to brush my hair," she said.

"I don't own a brush," I countered.

"I never look in the mirror," she said. "One day I got my hair wet in the outdoor sprinkler, and my hair was all plastered down on one side and it was like that all day. And I had no idea."

"Oh, I have to look in the mirror," I said, "because I usually have something crazy stuck in my hair. Like a cat toy, or a pack of gum. Seriously. Did I tell you about the time I walked around with a hanger hanging from the back of my coat? I never leave home without giving myself a once-over."

"I'm going to shower now," Jennifer said, "Since I just went to the gym. So that’s good, right?"

"I hope your water is on, but if it's not, may I recommend ice water and baby wipes?"

Somewhere in England, a glamorous, freshly showered woman wept for all of us.

Reader Comments (138)

Baby Wipes are amazing. They clean everything. From dirt to grease to removing the flooring glue that came up between the floorboards as we put in new wood floors (I wish I was kidding - the installation guys bought a CASE of baby wipes after seeing how well it works). And they are very moisturizing !

And that ice cold water ? Excellent for your hair (I'll bet it was VERY shiny !) Bonus - tightens the pores.

So basically, you just recreated the beauty regimen of the stars.

In conclusion, I have no idea what I did B.W. (before wipes). I must have been very dirty, with a lot of sticky stuff sticking. And I am jealous of your shiny hair.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaffodil Campbell
Showers are the only thing that I DO get done, but man my hair will go unbrushed for days and days it is horrible

how do you have such fantastic hair and you say sometimes you don't even brush it or shower??

just not fair
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
Reading in the shower, as many others have pointed out already, is perfectly doable. Back in college I used to study while taking a shower, with my papers slid in plastic covers and pressed against the wall (the water makes them stick there, so you don't even need your hands). It may require some preparation, but it's totally worth it.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
and some* people wonder why mothers don't feel like having wild sex every ten minutes. It is because we are unwashed with tangly hair.

* my husband.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
My son i 6-weeks old. I am covered in poo and spit up and that STILL doesn't motivate me to find the time to bathe.

Don't feel bad.

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Thank you, thank you. I feel so much less like a gross frat boy. Other people don't shower everyday. I used to at one point but then my daughter came along and now. . . I just don't. What else is there to say?

Is it bad that I also don't bathe Maggie (my 10 month old) everday? Cos the doctor told me it was ok to only do it when she is smelly but still. It's usually at least once a week. That's ok, right???
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
I bath every other day weather I need it or not if I didn't my very clean husband would throw me in the shower. If I wasn't married It would probably be If I am offending myself its time to shower. I'm a nanny for twins so by the end of the day I think about taking a shower which I prob need but I don't have the energy
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercoolnanny
Not only do I read in the shower, I actually commented on Smart Bitches today that that was exactly the reason you don't see me buying an e-reader. Now I am a grown up, (and don't commute in slow traffic to NYC:), I no longer read while driving.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterG
I'm one of the "weird night-showering" people.

But I do believe not showering is the reason God invented pony tails.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen at IslandRoar
I have an almost 4 year old, and a 2 1/2 month old, and the only time I haven't showered at least daily was when I was deathly ill. I have very oily skin, and get stinky quickly. The hair gets washed every 2-3 days, combed, and dries pulled back into a ponytail (or, doesn't dry, whatever).

I, however, work from home, as does my hubby, so most of the time there is that extra adult around to handle things for a while, and hubby takes like AN HOUR to shower and shave, so I feel like my 10 minute shower is pretty OK.

Also, I read while driving, but only if I'm the only person in the car. Never thought about reading while showering, because the shower head is so high that I have to stand with my feet against the shower seat to not have it blast on my head constantly.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Oh, bless you. My friend (a mom of one) and I (a mom of three) were just discussing this the other day - she showers AT LEAST every day, I'm more like every third day. Ish. But what's worse is, there are days I manage to forget to brush my teeth. Some role model I am!

The day they make a laptop I can bring in the shower with me (or maybe a waterproof Kindle?) will be the day I become a paragon of personal hygiene.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterabi
Showered or not, I occasionally get a glimpse of myself in a mirror in the evening and think "Good Lord! Have I been walking around like this all day?!" It could be anything from scary hair to seriously unmatched clothing, to, once, chocolate smeared on my cheek. It's way worse than spinach in the teeth, so why doesn't anyone tell me? My friends and family might claim that they don't want to make me feel self conscious, but I think they just want me to be a laughingstock. Little do they know, I keep a list of everyone I've seen during each day just for the purpose of someday wreaking revenge on all who left me to sway in the wind in clothes that don't match. mwahahaaaaah...
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfeefifoto
I only shower ever second or third day unless I'm really disgusting. And I only pop my 7-year-old in the shower once or twice a week.

We do wash hands thoroughly and brush teeth religiously, though.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterliz
I used to run during my lunch hour, then do the baby wipe thing before heading back to my desk. I stopped after it got hot and I ended up using half a box of baby wipes a day without any sort of result that would make me even half-way presentable.

That and the fact that I dropped my underwear out of my gym bag onto the hallway floor and didn't notice for a good 20 minutes.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoph
I used to read in the shower when I was a kid (around 12 or so). The shower had glass doors so I'd wedge the book behind the towel rack and read through the door as I washed. Then I'd dry my hands for page turning. Those must've been some long showers.I always thought showers were annoying and time consuming, what with the undressing, washing, drying, dressing, blow dryer, straight iron, blah blah blah blah. Once my son was born I probably cut my average showers in half.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen
for awhile there i would wake up dreading the shower...and then i realized that i may be a little depressed. may not be your case, i'm just sayin...
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Everyday showerer here. BUT... and a big BUT it is, I haven't washed my hair in 2 1/2 months! I went completely no-poo and it changed my life. Ok, maybe that's going a little far, but it's pretty much the best personal decision I've ever made. That, and getting a divorce.

I try and throw my 8 year old in the bath atleast once a week, more if he's been playing outside a bunch. That kid doesn't sweat. It's weird.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasie VanGesen
I'm with abi! They have to invent the waterproof Kindle (with shower wall mount of course, it has to be hands free)! That would completely change my life!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
In Australia, with our climate, if you don't shower every day, then everyone knows it. Nothing like the sweet aroma of B.O to waft around....
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrogdancer
Just last week I walked around all day with a panty liner sticking out of my back pocket.....ALL DAY!! Sweeeet!

You rock, Alice!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeeAnn
I was blessed, er, cursed with very oily skin and hair. I do not skip showers. Period. I tend to get itchy and cranky and generally miserable to be with otherwise.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersteph
I don't have kids, so I have no excuse, but there are still PLENTY of days when showering just seems like way too much effort.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Play audiobooks while you are in the shower (very loudly).

And I have to say that I'm one of the people w/o kids who has gone a couple days without showering myself. However, in those situations, I will do a wet-wipe rub down if I have to go outside.
pardon me while i one up y'all. a mom friend of mine walked around for a half day of errands with a PANTILINER STUCK TO HER BACK. booyah.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMilla
My youngest is 16, and I still forget to shower!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJerri

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