Everything was going according to plan. My sometimes boyfriend was busy watching some sort of sports match at his place, and the Instagram I had just posted was doing really well. I had two bottles of $5 Pinot Grigio at the perfect temperature in the fridge, just waiting to turn my lame Friday night into something noteworthy.
My brand new candles were expertly arranged — three or four delicate white ones in varying heights casually rested on each edge of the tub. I had spent 35 minutes organizing them just perfectly so that they captured that ideal mixture of casual yet Pinterest-worthy. The cheap bouquet of roses that I picked up at the drugstore, however, looked sad, crumpled on the floor next to my “You’re like, really pretty” bathroom mat. Their stems still tried to stand tall, even though their buttery, red petals were gone. I had ripped them off unceremoniously and had tossed them in a white, ceramic bowl, just waiting to be carefully scattered over my masterpiece.
I reached for the gleaming handle, admiring how sparkling the silver spout looked, thanks to the hour of intense cleaning I had done (which most likely resulted in the loss of plenty of brain cells, thanks to all the bleach). The warm water gushed out with a puff of steam, and I sat back, relieved that all of my hard work was almost over. It was almost worth it.
As the water slowly filled to the top, I lazily thought about what my caption would be. “Spa day?” “Getting dirty?” “Getting clean so I can get dirty?” None of them seemed quite right. I wanted to capture the fact that I was, of course, luxurious, but that I was also funny. Relatable. A cool girl. But still cooler and more luxurious than everyone else.
Heading into the kitchen, I perused the cabinet for the ideal “I’m so quirky, I’m having a snack in the bathtub” treat. Sure, I could go with chips, but then my hands would be all seasoned and if I dropped one in the bath, it would get real gross, real fast. Cookies could be cute, but if I’m being totally honest? They would look better in a flatlay.
Do I have nothing cute? I pouted, glancing at myself in the reflection of the microwave to see if my pout was cute. It was. Hmmm, maybe something I microwave? Spinning toward the freezer I prayed that my shitty roommates didn’t eat all of my frozen junk food. Sure, Stacey said she’d been “eating healthy” since January, but I was pretty sure I saw her throwing away two pizza boxes last week. Eating healthy my ass. Or her ass, I snickered, pulling open the door and feeling a blast of crisp air sting my cheeks.
And there, right next to Stacey’s Lean Cuisines and Jenna’s Dove Bars, was exactly what I had been looking for. What I had been hoping for. What my Instagram aesthetic needed.
I humorously glanced at the serving size of six before tossing fourteen on a plate and hitting the two-minute button. As the little pockets circled around in the microwave, I set up my bath tray with everything cute I needed. The novel Emma Roberts was currently reading. My small, vintage crystal vase with one singular red rose, saved from the rose massacre I had earlier been a part of. Placing my comically large wine glass in the top right corner, I filled it with golden wine and placed the half empty bottle down just as the pizza rolls beeped at me, ready to join the party.
With my beautiful plate just a little too full of food placed right in the center, I carried my tray to my strenuously created heaven.
Turning off the bathtub water just as it hit the top 1/3 of the tub, I reached for the pink bath bomb I had picked to match my aesthetic. It tumbled in the water so gracefully, I was immediately transfixed. Wurling around, it shot colors off in all directions — purple here, blue over there, lavender down below, and fuschia all throughout. I dipped my toe in the steamy water and a sigh escaped my lips as the warm liquid enveloped my body. This is the fucking life.
My stomach growled as the scent of the pizza rolls wafted my way, and I pulled the tray toward me, admired my handiwork. The candles were setting off a calming glow and my gold tray looked perfect with my swirling pink water. Reaching for a pizza roll, I sunk back into the warmth and finally unwound.
Bliss. It was bliss.
One after another I popped the pizza rolls in my mouth, alternating each bite with hearty sips of wine. The scented water lazily lapped around me with every move, and I could just feel my skin growing softer and more luscious. Minutes, hours, days even, could have gone by and I wouldn’t have noticed. As my buzz grew stronger and my belly grew fuller, I left behind my worries about if my sometimes boyfriend was texting that slutty girl in his class and whether or not I would pass my summer semester of stats. I just, existed.
It wasn’t until my fingers, which had been skimming the water for quite some time, had started to get pruney, that I wondered how much time had passed. The water had started to grow colder and my empty plate and glass looked at me, telling me it was time to get out. My skin was slippery from the bath bomb and my inner-self was zen af — I was the epitome of relaxed and unwound. Putting my hands on either side of the tub, I hoisted myself out of the water and avoided looking in the mirror so I didn’t have to see the 1,000+ calories I had just consumed on my body. I pulled the plug and stared, transfixed, as the water that once looked so colorful but now sort of resembled period blood, swirled down the drain. Stepping out, I reached for the fluffy pink towel waiting for me on the counter, and that’s what I saw it.
The white, ceramic bowl holding the roses I had murdered were still sitting by the sink, just waiting to be sprinkled around the tub. And right next to it, staring at me, mocking me, even, was my phone.
I snatched my phone up and whirled around, hoping some part of my beautiful bath was still photo-worthy. Most of the candles had gone out due to waves I made every time I reached for a pizza roll. My empty dishes stared at me forlornly, reminding me that I had been a pig for no reason. A decent amount of the period water that once looked so stunning had already been sucked down the pipes and away from my dream Instagram post.
With tears in my eyes, I lowered myself onto the floor and glumly opened the bottom drawer. Why did this have to happen? Why did I just sit there like a fucking idiot, enjoying the bath, instead of documenting it for my 1,374 followers? I sifted through eye masks, peels, never-used polishes, a lighter, and some lotion until I found it. My in-case-of-emergencies bath bomb.
I snatched the lighter and the bath bomb and stomped toward the tub, a feeling of urgency inside of me. I pulled the stopper on the tub once again and yanked the gleaming handle until almost-hot water gushed out. Leaning over to light the candles, I went through my list of potential captions again. “Spa day.” “Getting dirty.” “Getting clean so I can get dirty.” Leaving the tub to slowly refill, I grabbed my empty dishes and headed back to the kitchen, debating whether I liked “spa day” or “getting dirty” better.
Placing the dishes on the counter, I reached for the freezer and felt the crisp blast of cold air sting my cheeks once again. I seized the pizza rolls, tossed fourteen onto my plate, and headed to the microwave, in a déjà vu haze the whole time.
Let’s fucking try this again..