I twist the knob to the left letting hot water pour from the spout. It hits the ceramic and floods the tub, steam rising. Lavender, rose, and eucalyptus notes saturate the air transforming basic bathroom to luxury spa. It’s dark.
My lighter hits the wicks of three votives casting black amber and sandalwood upon the room. Marian Hill’s “Got It” pulses from the speakers.
I reach around my ribcage clutching the edge of my cotton Henley with both hands, and slip it over my head. It drops to the floor, followed closely by my favorite pair of lacy unmentionables. I pinch the clasp of my bra.
It joins the pile. I wind my fingers through my elastic hair tie, tugging it from the crown of my head. My mane cascades down my bare back.
I remember my first post-relationship pity-party.
It was a Friday night, all of my go-tos were preoccupied with weekend plans, and I sat on my couch staring idly at my wall, feeling sorry for myself, and wishing I had a human to treat me to some fro-yo. Once I approached the threshold of feeling utterly pitiful, I dragged my pathetic ass out to the MINI and drove downtown.
“Friday night, I went out for frozen yogurt alone. And I ate it while I walked down Grand River alone. Everyone I’d asked to tag along had already committed to something else.”
—Just Keep Swimming, 10.6.13
I dropped the lever for plain yogurt and smothered it with strawberries and kiwi.
After inhaling my frozen treat, I wandered into a few shops, tried on some glorious dresses, and went home to my couch to delight in some trash TV and a late-night snack (because apparently the fro-yo wasn’t enough).
In retrospect, it wasn’t terrible.
“The point is, there was nothing actually depressing about my Friday spent solo. In reality, I’m fine to enjoy some time alone.”
—Just Keep Swimming, 10.6.13
I think it’s safe to assume that, at some point, everyone wants to feel taken care of. Everyone wants to be treated to something special.
Or maybe not.
Maybe I’m alone here in my daydream of arriving home after a long day to a gin and tonic, a hot meal, and a massage. And since this is my daydream, let’s throw in a pre-drawn bubble bath, patchouli candles, a bouquet of flesh-colored roses, and a raspberry pie for good measure.
The point is it feels good to be spoiled every now and then.
Only after a handful of the aforementioned pity-parties did my AHA! moment kick me straight in the sack. I had the power to treat myself whenever I desired, and I could do it better than anyone else. I was wholly capable of spoiling myself.
So I do.
“After a short nap on the couch, I pampered the shit out of myself—shaved legs, mask, manicure, pedicure, and scrubbed my bod down with homemade coconut-rose scrub. I feel like a damn queen.”
—Just Keep Swimming, 12.29.13
If I want breakfast in bed, I do it. If I want said flesh-colored roses, I buy them. If I want a delicious meal, I don’t hesitate to splurge on the freshest ingredients.
Surprise! I’m equally capable of pouring my own red wine. And bubble baths with sesame oil? I can draw those too.
I no longer need a reason to spritz Chanel perfume and drench myself in delicate lace, other than feeling like doing so.
I treat myself like royalty because, in the most selfish way possible, I deserve it. I choose to be good to me because I can, and I should. Everyone should—it’s incredibly empowering.
I dip my toes into the hot water, palm the side of the tub, and slowly lower my body into my ceramic oasis. I let the water devour me as I tip my head back against the tub, close my eyes, and silently thank myself for this moment of pleasure.