OP-EDS

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January 23, 2004

Leila's shower adventures revealed

I find showering in my public, coed dorm bathroom to be a real trial. I mean, it is somewhat better than showering at sleep-away camp, where people's idea of a good time was stealing your towel—every single day—and then giggling madly while you shrieked about how you COULDN'T walk back to the dorm naked because there might be BOYS out there, and if a boy saw you naked you would be branded either a loser or a slut or both.

So, showering at college is clearly a step up, but I still encounter a problem. This problem is with shaving and how I have to turn off the water while I'm shaving my legs. This is because I have to conserve water. See, I don't recycle, and I waste 80-zillion watts of energy every day when I straighten my hair, so this means I have to conserve water with totally disproportionate vigor. Dripping faucets send me to the brink of hysteria in a way that, say, dripping gas pumps never do.

The problem with turning off the water while shaving my legs is that then, if someone walks into the bathroom, they have no way of knowing that there is someone in the shower. It is my recurring fear that some unsuspecting dorm mate will fling open the shower curtain, only to find me covered in shaving cream and looking sheepish.

To lessen the chance of this happening, I have a few options for action.

MAKE A LOT OF NOISE: As soon as someone comes into the bathroom, I cough really loudly, or I knock over my shampoo bottle and scream, "Shit! My shampoo!" While this is very effective for alerting people to my presence in the shower, it also makes it likely that they'll open the shower curtain anyway, just to make sure that I'm not, like, having an asthma attack or getting murdered by my renegade shampoo bottle.

TURN ON THE WATER REALLY FAST: The problem with this approach is that all my shaving cream gets washed away and I have to use more to finish shaving my legs. And I try to conserve shaving cream, too. You know, like, aerosol cans? They're bad for the environment. If I truly cared, I would just not shave my legs and thus make a statement about the ozone layer, but I feel like it's a nice compromise just to use miniscule amounts of shaving cream and risk getting razor burn.

SHOUT SOMETHING LIKE, "HELLO! I'M IN HERE!": But this just makes you sound like you have a disorder. It's not a good conversation starter. What are they supposed to say? "Oh. Good to know?" Or the more lascivious, "Can I join you?" I don't really want to give anyone the opportunity to be lascivious. Or what if they respond sarcastically, "Oh, REALLY. You're IN there. I had NO idea"? The last thing I need while showering is more sarcasm. It might make me cry.

The solution, clearly, is to start a campus-wide initiative in which, whenever someone walks into the bathroom not to use the shower, he or she must loudly announce, "I am not here to use the shower! Haha!" Then, if there's someone in the shower, that person won't get all anxious and flustered. If there's no one in the shower, then, whatever, at least we'll have more people talking aloud to themselves. That's the first step to creative enlightenment, I think.

This plan is perfect in every way, except for the fact that it's incredibly stupid. Also, it will do nothing whatsoever for the environment. But don't worry about that. I'm on top of it. Or whatever.