One of the things people accuse us old folks of is, of course, forgetting things (like the the names of your children) and also of, let us call it, a lack of cleanliness like for instance forgetting to bathe. Now I must admit that I have occasionally called one of my cats by the other cat's name in a fit of extreme frustration, but thank heaven I have never really forgotten which is which.. (Besides, I come from a family where one overburdened Mother had so much of said frustration that my father thought his name was "JerryEstherFreddie" for many of his young years).
But, as far as forgetting to bathe is concerned.......nope.......if I fail to bathe it is a matter of choice.
For years I have suspected that I am different from some of my friends who have been known to turn down an invitation to a free gourmet meal and a nite of frivolity with a groan and the inexplicable utterance, "Oh, damn,......I can't.....I have to wash my hair." Not even my most earnest protests that their hair was fine when I saw them several hours earlier could ever prevail. "No, no", they would intone,"I couldn't sleep if I didn't wash my hair......it is filthy." Filthy? How filthy can a person's hair get in one day unless their profession is, let's say, Mud Wrestling? Obviously there is something going on here which I do not understand and must simply accept as normal behavior in everyone but me. (Were I invited out to a free Gourmet meal and were I the said professional Mud Wrestler, I would sooner simply turn the hose on myself fully dressed and go off with damp but clean face, hands and garments than miss an opportunity like that.... ..hmmmm, could that be why I have not had such a classy invitation for quite a while?)
I must admit that I sometimes do choose to not bathe regularly (i.e. every day or twice a day) . I try to blame it on the fact that feeding all the critters, cleaning kitty boxes, washing critter dishes, cooking up batches of hummer nectar and filling hummer feeders takes almost all of my time, except for that which is reserved for eating and sleeping. But that would be a prevarication........the truth is I simply hate to waste time scrubbing my poor dry, saggy skin if I do not consider myself to be overly soiled, grungy or odoriferous and then have to cream, grease and oil it back into bearable, bendable condition thereby immediately rendering me sort of unclean again.
Because of my lack of the Clean Gene I regularly ask anyone forced to spend time in close proximity to me whether I smell bad or offend in any way and they always assure me that I do not. Now, the idea that anyone would lie about this is beyond me so I must assume that they are either aroma masochists or are telling me the truth. So, I assume my slothful condition is not too obvious or too offputting and I can safely continue in my indecent ways..
And yet........I do not have any aversion to water..........take, for example, my wild cavorting in my pool, sans swimming garments because I love the feel of water on my skin. Further, witness the fact that I spent large amounts of capital on redoing my master bathroom in order to install a deep, deep, deep soaking tub that not only enables me to cover my boobs with water, but could easily allow me to drown myself if I were crazy enough to attempt suicide by piling my set of cast iron Wagner skillets on my tummy while soaking in said tub........ with the candles flickering and the incense wafting hither and yon.....(what a scene that would be for CSI - LA!)
I can only attribute these odd behavior deviations to the possible fact that the Pig is one of my favorite creatures and I adore watching them wallowing in their mud baths.....mud and dirt do not terrify me......I have no fear of contamination by nice clean dirt and have even been known to eat a morsel of food that has fallen on the floor AND SURVIVED!
Sometimes I look out my window and watch my neighbor driven to sweeping the Street because she has already beaten into submission every morsel of dirt in her house and on her property. I recognize that there is a huge gulf between us..............as to whether either one of us is closer to heaven in our reaction to dirt I cannot say, being too close to the subject to be objective. All I do know is ..............I'd rather be me.
Here Piggy, piggy, piggy.........
The New Yorker covers: August 18, 1975
9 hours ago