It was week eight. I was over the point where I needed to get used to it, I was used to it, it was natural. I didn’t miss it, I felt like I could always live without it.
It was my eighth week without a shower.
And boy was I dirty, considering I hadn’t set foot in a shower for 56 days. I bet you’re thinking, goodness that’s disgusting, how could you ever do that, don’t you like the feeling of being clean? I have to say that I didn’t really notice; after a certain point you stop wanting to take showers. It’s a nice feeling not having to be dependent on being clean every morning. And your body gets used to it, too, the most obvious being that your hair stops looking greasy. When I did finally take a shower after 8 and 1/2 weeks, it was sort of a let down. The teachers who thought I was being ridiculous but didn’t really care that much told me it was going to feel great, so I expected that. But it didn’t, it felt like jumping into the water for a polar bear, except a little bit warmer. And I didn’t feel any different at all, and I didn’t look any different!
I couldn’t tell you why I did it. Every time someone asks it is a different answer. Sometimes I think it was because I was saving so much water, other times I think it was because of all the time that I saved. Taking a shower here is a huge ordeal especially in the winter where the idea of going out into the cold with wet hair makes my skin crawl. I also think that our society has a problem with being dirty, a clean obsession. The best example I can think of is during the power outage, which was a week long, when the water in the showers was probably colder than the ocean, people STILL showered, some people daily. And to top it all off it was snowing outside! The best way I can describe it is to imagine yourself taking a shower in snow-cold water and then rolling around in that snow. If that sounds nice and refreshing to you then you have a problem, to me it just sounds cold.
I think the real reason I did it was because I could. No one told me I had to shower, there were no social pressures, no parents to tell me I was disgusting. Everyone accepted how badly I smelled or how gross I looked, which by the way I didn’t at all. The idea that I had so much freedom and that I was finally responsible for myself was liberating.
Although I only waited three weeks before my next shower, I think that the idea of not taking a shower for such a long time, and being okay with it, will stick with me forever. Regardless of what anyone may think, when I go home I plan on only taking one shower a week at the most. Whats the point in taking more than that? Why can’t I help the environment and be independent at the same time? How convenient.
-Emily Ockert, Syracuse, NY