In According to Greta, Hilary Duff’s character Greta thinks over her summer and her life’s problems by taking a bath (or, well, a shower, but by sitting down), in Lullaby for Pi, Clemence Poesy’s character, Pi, hides in a bathroom, because she prefers to interact with people that way, Emma Watson’s character Pauline had lovely conversation with her lovely sister who’s last name is Fossil, Julia Roberts likes to sing Prince in hers, and sometimes people like to hide mermaids in their bathtubs. Whatever the case, bathtubs are an essential part to any great movie, really. And if a movie totally sucks, if you’ve got a low-angle shot of someone broodily sitting lifeless in a bathtub with the classic “duck face” on, staring out into nothing, then you’ve got Oscar material (without the rest of whatever makes an Oscar movie an Oscar movie.)
0. Be Safe
I think, to make sure you don’t die, you need to make sure there are no murderers in your bathroom. Everybody I ever know somehow ends up knowing this bit of information about me (and now you do, too, internet!), but before I ever do anything in a bathroom, even walking in to get something, I always dramatically pull back the shower curtain or slam open any doors to make sure there aren’t any axe murderers hiding behind them. A friend recently told me “And, if you do happen to find a murderer in your bathroom, then what’s your plan?” It stumped me for a bit, but then I realized I had a head start. And if not, at least I wasn’t stabbed while taking a shower.
1. You Need Life Problems
To truly fit into a indie movie’s plot, you need to have a problem, a struggle. Whether your love life has shriveled up and been flushed down the toilet, or your parents just don’t get it, you need to have a reason to lock yourself up in your bathroom and take a bath to get rid of all the ugly problems sticking to your skin.
2. Perfect Straight Hair Syndrome
We’ll consider this one optional, but it’s the sad truth—you must apparently have straight hair to get that lovely “bun” look that people think they can just call “messy”, but I always look at those girls with their “messy buns” and think to myself “Golly molly, if only I could get my hair to look as classy that.” I don’t know*, a ponytail is too much effort—arrange your hair into a “““messy””” bun—because it’s important and you don’t want your hair to be sopping wet. Plus, it adds to your own self-image of being “sweet” and whatnot.
3. An Excuse To Use a Pack of Matches
I remember when I first gathered the courage to switch on a lighter for the first time (
a few months ago) and I felt on top of the world. Then I scraped my first match ( just a week after that) and I felt like I had invented the internet. I don’t know*, something about striking a match in the dark… so special. Anyway, I find that to truly feel like your world’s about to cave in so you need to take a bath right now is to have candles burning. And it’s nicer when they’re scented—I like smelling Cake Frosting candles or Mango candles, because I like to eat while I’m not eating. (Maybe not have them smell TOO good, because then you’ll spend too much time leaning over the tub trying to smell these candles over and over again.)
4. Bring a Book
I like to read whilst taking baths, too—but I have to be really careful, because, as a child, I once dropped my Princess Diaries book in the soapy water and it couldn’t be saved—it took weeks to dry and it got disgustingly moldy. I’d show you a picture, but I threw that mother out as soon as it started dotting with green. But do not be discouraged! Recently I’ve been reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Also, I like to lock the doors and read aloud while the tub is still filling up so that the water can block out the sound of my voice. It’s fun! (Just don’t drop your books in the tub.)
5. Sometimes, Ella Fitzgerald is All You Need
This one is, I guess, optional, too (well, they all are [but sometimes you’d rather listen to the sound of the rain through your open window]), but I think listening to Johnny Hartman or Ella Fitzgerald croon about The Wee Small Hours of The Morning or a Blue Moon just makes it all better. I suggest no boombox, unless you’d like to be brutally electrified, and no iPods too close to the water, because you’ll only ruin it. Just imagine yourself in the perfect movie sequence, sitting with your feet dangling from the edge of the tub, listening to old Duke Ellington records, thinking about your complicated love life. Oscar material already.
6. And, Just For The Heck of It
And, if you’ve got no real life problems to invent for yourself and you just want to feel like a woman~ or whatever, just take your bath and feel like a woman—and add bubbles, because I would like to see you testify in court, saying you never had bubbles in your bath as a child and you didn’t make a Santa Claus beard with it. Also, am I the only one who took her Barbies in with her while taking baths? I always made them drown. It was terrible.
*Apparently, I don’t know many things.