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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)

I see to it that I shower everyday...
July 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa
Showering is a luxury when you have kids. I have three. But here's something worse than not showering....Since my schedule changes daily I rarely see the same people in a week. But one week I ended working at one place for three days in a row. After the second day I wondered why there were looking at me funny and kind of smirking. Then I realized I hadn't changed my outfit from the previous day and my once clean shirt had peanut butter smeared all over it. Who has time to notice?The GuysPS. From The Guy's Perspective, the "natural" look and smell of the unshowered is not necessarily a bad thing. :)
July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBring Back Pluto
My sister just had a baby and she was SO uncomfortable her last few months that she spent a ton of time the shower.

So, yes, you can do it!

All you need is a shower with nice warm water, a towel over your head and arms, and you sitting away from the shower but letting the spray hit you in the back. Apparently.
July 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersugaredharpy

I have to keep Lady Land cleaned up nightly, but other than that, I'm an every other day-er, at best. Very dry, naturally curly hair. My Fabulous Gay Hairdresser told me to only wash it 2x a week, but I do a little more than that.

As long as The Missus is fresh as a daisy, I'm good to go for a day or so!
July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChrysalis
Oh Alice. I hate showering really. Such a waste of time. I sit here in my dirty, smelly gym clothes...because I DID work out today (!) and I just put both kids down for naps. So I should use this time to shower. But reading funny blogs like yours is far more interesting :)
July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMainline Mom
I like to think of what a great service my not-showing is to the environment.
July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan
I don't usually comment (and I'm like a decade late), but I just have to say--I used to shower with a book when my kids were around 6. I loved to shower because i couldn't hear the two of them fighting, and i loved to read, so I combined the two by putting my book in a big zip-lock and having a towel at the end of the stall to dry my hand enough to reach in and turn the page. In 10 minutes I would read several pages, shampoo and condition, shave my legs and de-stress just enough to towel-up and go pull the boys away from each other again.

But I think the "(sham)poo-free" movement is a sham. A friend was so into that, and she proselytized about it to where she almost had me convinced (I have long, curly hair and in theory not shampooing should be good for me), but she gets this oily hair smell, like middle school-age boys. It isn't a bad odor, but everytime I see her i can't stop sneezing. Is it possible to be allergic to human hair oil? I'd never been allergic to anything else.
July 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercb
I tend to go every couple of days - unless its hot and I've ended up grossed out or that I'm going out somewhere specific. I guess I would bath/shower every day but it's a lot of water and as we are on a meter it makes sense to go every other day or something - I don't think it's gross it's not like there is a rule of how much to shower etc - some people need it everyday others don't its one of those things I guess :)
July 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
You people who manage to read in the shower? My. Heroes. Awesome.I have been known to miss a few days--but I have also mastered the 4 minute shower. It involves getting in before the water is really and truly warm, but yeah, until there's a waterproof e-reader, I'm taking quick showers only.I can only imagine what will happen when we have kids. (My husband regularly showers TWICE a day. Insane man.)
July 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
My son is also 6 and I still skip the showers. I laughed so many times reading your post because I'm right there with ya. I was happy to read that I'm not the only one who has found better things to do with her time than showering every day.
July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGracieh13
omg I don't even have kids and I can't stop reading all of your posts. You are SO hilarious, omg.
August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis
I think you just found your funny. That was great!
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJael Sprinkle

I read in the shower. A lot. It is possible, and I think it has saved my sanity.

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

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