"Calmative" My Ass

did you know that i don't own a digital camera? i don't. it's sad.
(hi, someone's birthday is coming. hint, hint.)

if i did own one, i would take a bazillion pictures.

in particular, i would take a picture of this line from my jar of "calmative" sugar scrub from bath & body works:
caution: may make tub slippery

and i would post the picture at the beginning of this entry, and you would know right away where i'm headed.

so anyway, just pretend it's there. 'k? and here we go...

i don't take a lot of baths even though i think it's required of girlie-girls who are single and have cats and candles and own movies like when harry met sally and are water signs. i'm trying to get better at it.

and i mean, i do like them, i just think they're kind of a hassle. between cleaning the tub and deciding what i'll do while i'm in it (read a book? a magazine? what if i get it wet? do i have a book i wouldn't get upset about dropping in the water with me? 'cuz i will. maybe i should just listen to music? do i have to move the cd player into the bathroom or can i just turn the stereo up loudly from the other room? where is the power cord for my cd player anyway? fuck it, i'll use the stereo. wait, is that too loud for my neighbors? hey, do i have a water-resistant neck pillow?) and picking which of the nine million bath-related products i own i should actually dust off and, you know, use.

anyway, after a long weekend i decided i would finally use the fancy eucalyptus-and-spearmint-oil / brown-sugar-body-scrub my sister got me for christmas. (that's as in 5+ months ago. whatever.)

thankfully, it provided directions, too, because i get a bit overwhelmed by the various things bathstuffs do. like, whether you are to put them in before you fill the tub. or after. or during. and how much you're supposed to use. (like i still hesitate before using an entire vial of bath salts because it just seems wrong; when i was a kid and we used to take bubble baths, we weren't allowed to use more than ONE CAPFUL of anything -- it was alway the Official Bath Rule, you know?)

but in the case of this jar, the stuff said to massage in a circular motion from the ankles up. and that i would then feel the "calmative" powers come over me.

(note: i actually had to look up the word "calmative" because i thought it was a bullshit marketing word -- and you KNOW how those marketing people are.)

but it didn't say whether i was supposed to be in a bath or in the shower to use it. or how much i am supposed to use. (and i hate when the directions say "use generously" because left to my own devices, i'll end up covered in way too much of whatever it is.)


i actually had to stand in my bathroom and really think about it. do you ever have those moments? where you suddenly realize you are expending your otherwise capable mental energy on something you shouldn't be? where you suddenly question how you ever managed to graduate with a fancy college degree. why, yes, i can whip up an impressive honors thesis and um, no, i'm not quite sure how to bathe myself properly. russian formalists? fascinating subject matter. oily sugar scrub? confounding.

but i digress.

after giving serious consideration to what a "scrub" must be, i determined that using it in a bath (i.e. submerged) might not be so useful. in fact, i wondered if i even needed to be in the tub at all to use the stuff...

...but then i remembered the clever clue the jar gave me. (do you? because i feel like i started this post like nine years ago.) right!

caution: may make tub slippery


not underwater + in the tub = use in the shower!

and thus, once in the shower i opened the jar, smelled the calmative smell, and grabbed a "generous" handful of oily scrub and started applying it in circles at my ankles.

oooooOOOOOoooooo. feels good!

(hmmm. smells tasty, too. i wonder if its edible. not that i would eat carbs by the handful, but still.)

i continued upward toward my knee.

and then with my whole lower left leg covered in brown sugar and oil, i rinsed.

which is where i discovered what bath & body works means when it says may make tub slippery. it means that if you allow for the oil to touch anything inside the tub, you can no longer move one inch because if you do you will slip and die.

and hi, if anyone is capable of slipping and dying in the tub, it's me.

and knowing this, i did the only reasonable thing there was to do. i slooooooowly lowered myself, gripped the sides of the tub, and sat my ass down in that shower. oh yes i did.

and so while sitting there, i had to ponder a question i never saw coming (college totally does not prepare you for this shit, i swear*): my god, that sugar scrub feels good, but gosh i'd like to not kill myself using it. what can i do to make the tub bottom unslippery enough to be able to use the scrub and SHOWER like a normal human?

and after some consideration and lengthy discussion with my cat, who loves to hang out in the bathroom with me when i shower to watch me not be afraid of water, it occurred to me (yay!) that a washcloth would probably do the trick. yes! a washcloth! i could lay a washcloth on the bottom of the tub and could stand safely on it and could then hopefully return to feeling the calmative effects of scrubbing death-defyingly slick sugar on my extremities. phew!

um, but then it also occurred to me that the washcloth was hanging from the shower curtain. definitely not within reach.

not wanting to give up, i tried throwing soap at the washcloth to knock it down, but all that did was scare the cat.

so eventually i had to turn the water off (from the sitting position), and then carefully CAREFULLY lift myself out of the bath. whereupon i got the washcloth, put it in position, and re-turned on the water. and i then took my place on the washcloth...and...it worked! i was able to finish scrubbing myself completely, which gave me great pleasure.

i definitely felt the calmative effects then, but perhaps only because i do not like to leave things unfinished (even in the face of a potentially fatal bathroom injury) and i was pleased that i had successfully conquered a most complex bath product.

*neither does algebra, which i'm still totally bitter about having to learn.


  1. I thought this was really funny because I actually work at Bath and Body Works. And I also find some of our products slippery...but well worth the slipperiness. I am glad that you enjoyed the scrub, even if it was a little challenging to use. Our big sale starts on Monday...so check that out too (yes, shameless plug there)!

  2. every time i check your blog, i think to myself, "she's gotta run out of ideas, she can't keep this up" and evry single time, it's like you go *snap* at me...not that I even know what, exactly, *snap* means, but it seems to fit...

  3. I am glad you pulled through okay. That would be a hell of a way to go.

  4. i think i just peed myself from reading that. that shit's happened to me, too. how is bathing so dangerous??? excuse me, i have to clean the pee up now.

  5. The cat comment made me laugh out loud and woke up my cat, who was napping on my lap. She likes to watch me get in the shower too, but she leaves immediately afterwards, because she's been in there herself a few too many times.

  6. I have actually slipped in the bathtub and landed (with a loud thud that alarmed EVERYONE in the house to come and check on me) on my ass.
    I'd taken a long bath with some scented bath oils the night before and didnt think about the potential for there being residual oil left in the tub - next shower I took? THUD right on my ass.

  7. OH, and the illustrations are MUCH more entertaining than photos!

  8. Possibly your funniest EVER! Literally laugh out loud funny, and my husband had to ask, "Is there something you'd like to share with the rest of the class?" But how could I explain?! He would just have to read it...

  9. I enjoy your blog so much, this post was especially hilarious! I once had a shaving cream incident that caused me to slip in the shower, grab the curtain which was on one of those rods that just wedge in between the shower walls, and pulled the whole damn thing down with me! And who knows how, but I managed to land on the edge of the tub - with my breastbone - ouch! (I have no idea how I'd even begin to draw that!) Also, is this thing with cats and showers a phenomenon? My cat insists on sitting on the bathmat while I take a shower and will cry desperately if you try shutting her out of the bathroom!
    Anyways, Kristy - you are wonderful at putting into words these lovely moments that we all can appreciate!

  10. OMG, k, I damn near pee'd my pants. Mostly because I can sooooo see that happening to me, or a freind. But most likely me! So many times I've nerarly killed myself in the shower, I've started to thing maybe I should just get the condo gardeners to hose me off.

  11. I can't laugh out loud cause I'm at work.
    You're clumsy...that's dangerous...Maybe you should start your own FEAR FACTOR...ya know...for us IIF regualr people.
    Oh by the way...if that happened to me I would get combat pay.

  12. Omigod, I'm waking my husband up, as I sit up in bed with my laptop, blogstalking my favorites and snickering at your blog. The killer part for me was when you talked about throwing the soap at the washrag, to your cat's alarm. I love the realistic little details you throw in. There are many "Me too!" moments in your blog.

  13. You need a digital camera.

  14. I know the terror of a slippy shower! I used to have a creepy older male roommate who used baby oil in the shower. (I don't know WHAT he did with it, I was afraid to ask.) But every time I got in there, it was slicker than eel snot! My cat also showers "with me", she sits on the edge of the tub between the clear liner and regular curtain, and tries to bite the water when I spray it at her. But then she also plays fetch and makes out with my feet while I cook, so she's kind of a freak.

  15. having taken a bath myself last night (for the first time in ages) and used a very slippery (but "submergible") salt scrub myself... I can empathise with a virtual high-five as only one klutz can to another. I didn't die either. Whohoooo. PS/love your blog found via craigslist; illustrations are priceless.

  16. Another intrepid cat-assisted bathtime mission acomplished!

    I often do that thing with the stereo. The neighbours must know when I'm in the bath because of the loud Jean Michelle Jarre or GLC blaring out. I just know that if I took an iPod (if I had one) in there it would only end up getting plunged into the murky depths. Hard disks and soap suds aren't a good combination.

  17. and this is why men by their girlfriends/wives slippery bath products in the first place. You slipping in shower + me coming to the rescue = me not getting yelled at (at least for a few hours...)

  18. the best part for me was the part about your college education! I mean, sure, I have a BA and on my way to a master's degree, but sometimes the functions of daily living can be taxing.

    Like the other day, you'd think I'd never used an ATM before. It was Memorial Day at 9:05 AM. Normally, the bank would be open on a Monday and I could just walk right in. I pull the door, and feel like an idiot because it's locked. Now I have to pull out my ATM card from the card sleeve (to protect the magnetic strip from getting messed up) from my wallet from my purse (without everything from my purse spilling onto the sidewalk because I have one of those tiny purses that JUST fits my wallet, cellphone, keys, and lipstick) to open the door. Then, instead of typing my PIN code, I just pressed OK, like it would know who I was psychically. Start over, enter PIN. Then when I went to press the dollar amount I wanted to withdraw, I pressed a 7 instead of a 1. Start over. OK, try to get $15 from an ATM (I knew this wouldn't work! ATMs don't give $5's, DUH!) Start over. I'll just take $10, thanks! YAY, that worked! I can resume acting like a normal person.

  19. Stop! You are killing me, You are hilarious!

  20. K- Great job on staying upright! Love the story!

    A cautionary tale for all:
    I slipped stepping into my shower. My right foot went to the right, the rest of my body somehow managed to go left, I fell on the edge of the tub on the bridge of my nose/left eye socket and knocked myself unconscious.
    Luckily at the time I did not live alone, and my sister came in and turned off the water to keep me from drowning. As my right foot had managed to fully cover the drain somehow, she said the tub was starting to fill up.
    I remember little about everything after the feeling of falling, until we got to the ER and the cute doc that stitched up the same eyelid and checked out my broomball-induced concussion started asking questons about me being abused... sadly only by my clumsiness.
    Be careful out there... bathtubs/showers cn be dangerous.

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  22. ohhh Kristy girl. I used to think was the QUEEN of all that is Klutzdom but I may have a challenger to the throne. Of course, I'm still the only person I know who can just casually (LOVE the term "breezy elegance" btw!) ram the side of her face into the door jamb as she walks thru it. But I too have known the terrors of the bath/shower. Try shaving your legs in one of those separate shower stalls. You have to kinda hike your leg up and brace it against the wall as if you were a ballerina with a barre, otherwise the water washes away all the showergel. And where does it wash it to? Right to the bottom of the shower where your other leg is supporting your full, off balance, klutz weight. So then you're sliding, inch by inch, with razor sharp shaving accessories in hand. So there you are, forming a human letter K in tribute to the klutzes of the world (back against one wall, half shaved leg propped against the opposite walk and second, traitor leg slid out from under you at a 45degree angle) trying to figure out if you have any clean slacks for work instead of the capris you were going to wear.

    Kristy, I salute you. Here's your tiara.

  23. You are the funniest girl on the face of the planet - I'm very happy your survived the bath.

  24. All this talk reminds me of something that happened when I was 17.

    My best friend and I were staying at my brother's house (he lived in Knoxville. great parties.) and we were getting ready to go out.

    He only had one bathroom, so I was drying my hair while she was taking a shower.

    All of a sudden, I hear a big THUNK!

    She somehow fell (and this was a regular tub/shower, not the stall like I have).

    While falling, she cut her nipple with the razor. If freakin' bleed for FOREVER.

    She is the epitomy of "breezy elegance."

  25. Laugh out loud funny - and so so true.

    When I first moved to Seattle, my boyfriend's employer put us up in corporate housing. I don't know if the tub was just super slippery or what, but in the first shower I took I lost my balance, grabbed the rail and took it down to the floor with me. To this day I'm not sure what hurt worse - my bruised thighs or my pride when I had to have my guy help me replace the hotel's shower bar.

  26. K, you are so funny. Lorien sent me to your blog and I need to thank her again :) Not only can I relate, but its nice to find someone else who can laugh at themselves, often. :)

  27. The same thing has happened to me! I have a huge collection of crap from Bath & Body b/c up until a week ago I used to work there - for 6 years so you can imagine how extensive my collection is! And it only took the one time of me falling on my slippery wet ass to learn that I will always sit down when I'm exfoliating/shaving my body! I'm glad you came out of it unharmed!

  28. Please remember NOT to run on tile after getting out of the shower. A...ahem...friend of mine once jumped out of the shower to run for the phone and nearly broke her neck on the kitchen floor. She had to lay there for a few moments just to laugh and check for broken bones. She didn't break any bones. She now lets the answering machine do its job when she showers.

  29. Congratulations on your bath-time conquest! Look out kitchen, here she comes!

  30. < snort > Funny post! Much enjoyed.

    But this:

    "i don't take a lot of baths even though i think it's required of girlie-girls who are single and have cats and candles and own movies like when harry met sally and are water signs. i'm trying to get better at it."

    Crap, I thought I was an original! LOL


  31. OMG.. Too funny!!!!!!!!! I didn't realize you could fit in a bathtub!!!!!!! From your picture and drawings and descriptions of yourself it seems unlikely. Maybe you can squeeze in but don't need much water?


    I, too, can't laugh out loud at work. (Why do I do this to myself? Do I enjoy bursting ribs?) And to uglygerbil, ewwwwwwwwwwwww. I can't believe you ever used that shower without pouring bleach on it first.

    And my own story: just a few short weeks ago, I came back from kickboxing exhausted and not fully in control of my leg muscles, and my parents shower is always kind of slidy, so when I stepped into the shower with my right leg first (because I'm right-handed) it slid out from under me immediately, and because I had no reaction time whatsoever (since my muscles resembled jelly) I forgoed anything like flailing or grabbing the shower curtain rail, and simply sat down, very hard, on both the edge of the tub AND the washcloth rack IN the tub. You know how you get a bump on your head when you hit it? I actually had a bump on my ASS. (You couldn't see it, thanks to fat, but you could feel it, as my boyfriend discovered.) The bruise was less like a bruise and looked more like a blue flesh-eating virus had attacked my entire left ass cheek, with concentrations of black and red in the center. Once again, thank God for fat--I would have cracked my tailbone.

  33. And what the hell is lajulie's problem? She makes me feel very, very violent.

  34. hi lajulie...

    um, well, i definitely have weight to lose, but (thankfully) i'm not too big for a tub.

    for reference, i'm currently a size 14.

  35. Honey, you're the Incredible Shrinking Woman. You totally rock. I can't decide is lajulie was trying to be funny or not, but I'm going by your rule of thumb: "If the f-word is mentioned (fat) then it's no longer a joke."

  36. aarwenn,

    i'm with you. no idea if that was meant in good spirit or not, but whatever.

    it actually doesn't bother me if IIFs think i'm heavier than i am -- i just figure it'll be a nice surprise should we ever meet...

    ooh, speaking of which, the blog party is this week. i have to write a reminder!

  37. Kristy girl - you are too funny. Was laughing out loud to your blog - but also to the other IIF's responses citing their own klutziness. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

  38. Thank you so much!!! I was crying I was laughing so hard! I am not sure if it was because of the very cat like behaviors I know so well, or you are just a damn funny writer. I am gonna go with the latter. Phew! Just caught my breath.

  39. I can tell you're not really serious about losing weight yet. And that's cool. You can't do it til you're really ready.

    When you do get serious though, you're going to need a more considered eating plan. Starbucks coffees (unless it's the plain kind without chocolate and all that garbage) probably won't be on it except for maybe once every three or four months considering they have probably a third or more of what your calorie consumption should be for the day.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Atkins or South Beach or plain old counting calories or whatever you do, there's no magic bullet. You do the exercise, you watch your food intake, you pick something that will work FOR LIFE and you stick with it or the weight won't come off. Period.

  40. anonymous,

    i'm afraid i have to disagree with your assessment of my weight-loss endeavors.

    first of all, i have a considerable background in nutrition and weight loss, so despite having *ignored* it in recent years, i do actually know what i'm doing.

    SBD is not a magic bullet, it is a reasonable eating plan for life. you seem unfamiliar with it, yes?

    additionally, i do excercise regularly.

    and for the record? my everyday starbucks order is a grande drip, which i drink black and always have.

  41. Hello, my name is Aarwenn, and I'll be your blogstalker for the day...

    Maybe anonymous was confusing you with me. MY Starbucks order is a triple grande extra-almond two-pump mocha nonfat (natch) with whip mocha. Which, as far as I know, does not appear on any diet plan, anywhere. But I'm overcoming my addiction! Really! I have another totally different addiction now!

    I decided I'd just switch to crack. Go directly to the source, I always say.

  42. Congrats on not killing yourself in the tub - but just think if you would have fallen you could have had cute firemen rescue you!!! BTW... I had cute firemen come into my work on Friday and I think one of them was flirting with me.. What do I do? Send a thank you note for fixing the water leak and my biz card??? Send cookies? Help Kristy! You'll know what to do!

  43. I have to say to anonymous, coming from someone who has lost over 40 lbs since January 2nd, I believe you were kinda off base in your comments about the weight loss issue. You are certianly correct, you can't do it until your ready BUT because someone chooses to have a coffee or even a piece of cake for that fact, does not mean they are not serious or ready. I was VERY strict for the first two months on my (are you ready for this......ATKINS diet that you so professed was not a magic bullet)but after a while you need to give in to those things you can't live without. If you completley deprieve yourself from those little pleasures you will eventually give up. I believe she is not only ready but doing a damn good job at achieving her goal. It's not the same for everyone and what worked for you or me doesn't always work for everyone. Keep up the hard work, it will pay off. I was a size 18 January 2nd and two weeks ago I walked in a store grabbed a size 10 pair of shorts off the rack without even trying them (which I should have because they were a little on the big side) What works for you - works for you - so go for it............................

  44. Kristy, really…too…funny. My cubicle mate here must be ready to strangle me because it appears she actually has a lot of work to do, and my poorly-suppressed snickering can’t be helping her concentration. I am very glad you survived your bathing/exfoliating adventure unscathed.

    I am not exactly the world most graceful person, but I can’t at the moment recall any incidents of serious injury or loss of consciousness while bathing. And miraculously I’ve never broken a bone. But I do remember the worst bruising I’ve ever had in my life. I was skiing with my host brother and sister in Finland about eight years ago (this is also the last time I’ve attempted downhill skiing, exactly why will be evident soon), and thought I was doing relatively well. I hadn’t run over any children or fallen off any ski lifts that day. So I took the plunge and went down an “intermediate” slope. I was slowly plowing my way down the hill just fine until I came to the very bottom, and saw that the incline increased dramatically. I panicked as I approached the drop off, and concentrated solely on not falling down, instead of keeping the speed minimal as well. To my surprise I did in fact make it to the bottom of the hill without falling, but was so distracted by this victory that I must not have noticed that I was doing 60mph (OK, well maybe not really, but very fast) and there was a fence quickly approaching. By the time I decided there was no way to stop gracefully and I’d better fall down, it was too late. I broke that fence with my ass. There I was, on my back, feet up in the air resting against what remained of the fence, missing one ski. Naturally everyone in the vicinity rushed to my aid, but I really wished they would have pretended they didn’t see it. My pride hurt almost as much as my backside. As you can imagine, on both cheeks and all the way down the back of my thighs I developed deep black bruises, and I couldn’t war most of the pants I owned for a couple weeks due to the swelling. Sitting was not so pleasant either.

    Sorry about the super long comment! It’s been a long time since I though about that incident. Clumsy is as clumsy does.

  45. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  46. Maybe the cute firemen that watch your *ASS* can come by for your concussion?
    Just a thought....

  47. see, I would interpret "make may tub slippery" to mean it's better for a bath. if you're already sitting, you can't fall down.

    (just make sure to use soap to clean out the tub afterwards)

  48. "i tried throwing soap at the washcloth "

    I know I'm 400 years late on commenting, but I'm reading your back archives, and this post made me belly-laugh helplessly. awesome.

  49. Say hello to your newest stalker!! lol.... i'm TOTALLY new to this whole blogging thing... (i'm canadian... i hibernate for half the year, what can i say!!??) and I followed a link from another blog... and now that i'm babbling like a damn moron, I'll continue to your regularly scheduled comment:

    I LOVE this post!!! I'm currently sitting here, still in giggle fits, with the most HILARIOUS mental image of a woman throwing soap at a cloth on the shower rod while SITTING in the shower. (this woman could SOOOO be me... except i'd probably first attempt to GRAB the cloth, while clinging desperately to the shower curtain, thus ripping the shower curtain off the rod completely and landing flat back on my ass... and wrapped up in said shower curtain with the cloth not moved an inch!!)<- this has never happened to me!! i SWEAR!!... lol... either way, I love your writing, it's funny, poignant, and suits me to a T!! Thanks!!


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