Scrub a Dub Dub, There's an Ex in Your Tub

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Divorce brings up all sorts of emotions, and sometimes people find themselves acting a little crazy. Those who have ended marriages have their own personal divorce story -- some are sad, some are scary and some are just plain funny.

This somewhat twisted divorce tale starts when I had been separated for about a year. Hiking in a local park, I took a fall, landing hard on my backside. When I woke up the next morning, everything hurt.

I took some over-the-counter pain meds and then a long, hot shower, but the shower simply didn't cut it. Don't get me wrong -- showers are great, but sometimes you just need a nice hot soak to help relieve those achy muscles.

So here’s the rub (sorry, but you had to know it was coming): my rented townhouse didn't have a bathtub in the master bathroom. Yes, there was a tub in the guest bathroom, but it was one of those weird, plastic, molded, all-in-one shower and tub combos that are as ugly as they are cramped. I'd tried taking baths in the guest tub and always end up disappointed.

It so happens I had to meet with my former husband (hereafter known as FH) at his home office to discuss financial aid applications for our soon-to-be-college-bound daughter.

You might recall FH kept the family home when we separated and eventually divorced.

By the time I arrived, my back was really hurting and all I could think of was the master bedroom just down the hall, with the attached master bath, where a huge, amazing, oval bathtub sat waiting. I longed for that tub.


Photo by Witches Falls Cottages. (Flickr)

As luck would have it, after an hour or so, FH had to dash off to a meeting, while I stayed behind to finish up my share of the paperwork. Suddenly, it dawned on me: I was alone in the house with the tub. This was my chance.

Could I really cross that line? I asked myself. Who would know? Was this going to far….even for me?

Before I knew what I was doing, I was sitting on the side of the tub, stroking the pristine porcelain and imagining how good it would feel to sink down into a nice hot bath.

My conscience castigated me: "Stop, right there. This isn't your house anymore." I knew my conscience was right.

Dejected, I packed up my papers and slunk home. Tossing and turning that night, unable to sleep because of the pain in my back, all I could think of was that gleaming tub.

By morning, I'd made up my mind.

Dammit. That bathtub was mine for 16 years. I needed it now and by God I was going to have it.

Learning that FH told would be out for the afternoon, I dug out the spare key to my old house and packed a small duffle bag. Towel. Check. Bath salts. Check. Candles. Check, Check.

So how was it? It was pretty much a slice of heaven -- wonderful, relaxing and better than I remembered. The water was hot and possibly (if I am being totally honest) tinged with the sweetness of revenge. Before that afternoon, I hadn't stopped to think how much I had missed that house and resented moving from our family home when I separated from FH. In a sense, that sneaky bath was both healing to my back and my psyche.

The moral of my story is you can't throw the divorce out with the bathwater -- or is it throw out the bath with the divorce water? I don't know, but after it was over, I gathered up my things, wiped down the bathtub and quietly left the house, closing the door feeling clean, relaxed and ready to move on.

Recent Posts by Nancy Wurtzel

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