I will fight you over a stark white hand towel.
My best friends, bless them, are forbidden from using the good soap.
I used to chide my old roommate for lighting the nice candle on unceremonious weekdays.
My mom once came to stay with me and I invited her to bring her preferred conditioner.
This is all part of the Fancy Bathroom Farce, a combination of condition and compulsion where two realities exist in the same space that hosts your tub. The first reality is what one sees upon entering:
A collection of neatly folded fluffy towels in dangerous colors, like beige or cream. Possibly monogrammed.
A grouping of premium hair products — all the same brand, all fighting toward the same, inoffensive goal (“for luminous shine” as opposed to “great for itchy scalps”).
Lavender hand soap. The kind that betrays those who don’t use it because the scent stays with those who do.
There’s a natural loofa all fluffy and porous and plucked from the ocean. A wooden brush with ivory-colored bristles. There are lovely jars filled with luxurious creams and two palm-sized vats of imported sea salt. One is for soaking, the other for exfoliating. Body oil relaxes in glass viles.
And you, my friend…and my best friends and my mom and cousin and roommates, you are not allowed to use any of it.
But here comes the second reality — the part that makes this a farce: neither am I. The fancy bathroom is just for show.
We can use the old, dark blue towels. They’re great for concealing those mascara stains.
We can use Head & Shoulders, the on-sale body wash as shaving cream, the standard lotion, the drugstore version of Cetaphil, the q-tips and the light switch.
That’s about it.
No clue who I’m saving The Show for if not my friends or my family or myself. It’s the paradox of the Fancy Bathroom Farce: I mostly buy these things to indulge, to feel cozy, to nest. To appear adult. Actually using them, however, feels like eating pink birthday cake on a Tuesday: a little pointless. Wrong. It’s no different, really, than saving an expensive pair of shoes for grand occasions or a pink lip for a big night out. Don’t you treat certain earrings like treasures and have at least one clutch on display as opposed to in action? It’s the only way to keep something special.
I suppose if Michelle Obama came over and needed to wash up I’d let her use a monogrammed hand towel. At the very least, I’d like her to know I have excellent taste in soap.
Ok but, if you do prefer a fashion splurge…Amuze is giving away a $2,500 gift card.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis at Crosby Street Hotel.