Scrub a Dub Dub, There's an Ex in Your Tub
By Nancy Wurtzel on April 30, 2012
Featured Member Post
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.