The most recent book club pick for the Chicago Moms Blog Book Club was Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky by Chris Greenhalgh. When I read the back cover I thought the perfect place to start a book about an illicit affair in Paris, luxury, glamour, romance, art, and seduction was in a bubble bath. I haven’t taken a bath since the little one came around and one of my New Year’s plans has been to do nice things for myself, so this was the perfect opportunity. As soon as nap time started, I ran to the bathroom and started the bath. After adding a ton of delicious shea butter bubble bath, I climbed in with my book in hand.
Ahhh, I thought. Relaxation. The tub was a little cold against my back and the bathroom fan (necessary to ensure nap time lasts) was louder than I’d ever realized. I opened the book, trusting that entering a world of drama would make all of these things fade into the background, and forced myself to concentrate. After a few pages I realized the water level was still rather low, but it was my first bath in this tub, so who knows… Back to the book…. A few more pages and I looked around. Wow, we really need to re-grout the bath tub. Coco Chanel would never stand for a shower in this state. Back to the book… I made it through a few more pages and realized the water still wasn’t rising after about 20 minutes. This is when I learned that there is something seriously wrong with our drain. (Yes, our child gets baths, but we still use the infant/toddler tub, because he loves it and I feel it’s *green* to not fill a bath tub for a toddler, so this was the first time we’ve actually used the tub.) Bath is over.
Still in the mood for pampering, I decided to take a shower using all my best products. Within minutes, the hot water was fading. All that time running a bath into a half open drain had killed our hot water reserves. Ugh. The rest of the shower was a frantic attempt to take advantage of what lukewarm water was left.
Out of the shower and into bed to continue reading. This could still be luxurious, I told myself. I tried to ignore the dog hair on the bed spread, the laundry in the corner, and the pile of books, pacifiers, hair bands, and dust on my bed side table and focused on the book. Soon enough I’m sleeping. A warm, deep nap ensued until I was awoken by the sound of “come get me cries.”
I didn’t get too far in my reading that day and the first nine pages of the book are crinkly from wet bath hands. It’s the closest I could get to luxury these days and it paled in comparison to what I was hoping for, but isn’t that always the way it goes?
As I devoured the book on the train to and from work and snuck in a few pages every night before bed, I realized how much I enjoyed learning more about Coco Chanel. The affair was a fictional account of their relationship, maybe they had one. Who knows? I didn't really care about those details, that's not the story line I enjoyed in the book. I enjoyed reading and learning about a woman who rose above her roots and created so much from nothing. Her life, moxie, business savvy, and talents made me envious. Here I sat on a badly lit, kinda smelly commuter train on the coldest winter days, yet her world seemed so glamorous... But, then again, she doesn’t get to wake up every morning to a smiling William. And, really, I’ve never found a bath to be that relaxing anyway.