Day 186: Cleanliness day.

Two hundred years ago, I’d have been a pretty clean guy. Suspiciously clean, perhaps. But by our current mysophobic and anti-dirt standards, I’m not particularly clean.

I don’t shower daily. I come close to it during the summer, but I average three showers a week during the winter. I don’t wear deodorant.

You’re probably all squirming a bit; tell people you don’t shower every day and don’t wear deodorant, and this is what they picture:

I’m not that dirty. I’m not anywhere close to that dirty. When I get that dirty — which happens, on occasion — I take a fucking shower.

I wash my hands regularly. I wash my face in the morning, and after certain meals (those meals during which I get food in my beard). I brush my damned teeth.

I took a shower today, of course, because it’s cleanliness day. I’d vaguely intended to get excessively dirty beforehand, but the most difficult thing I did all day was read Clarissa, and that didn’t make me dirty — not physically dirty, anyway. I did some jumping-jacks before showering, in an attempt to work up a sweat, but it was only sort of successful.

I cleaned myself more thoroughly than I have in a while. I washed everywhere at least twice, and with Dr Bronner’s Liquid Peppermint Soap — I came out of the shower smelling like a candy cane, and tingling like … uh, something tingly.

I’m certainly not going to start cleaning myself this thoroughly all the time — I’m just going to get dirty again, and I can’t tell any difference between today’s super-clean and my normal sort-of-clean. I guess the problem is that I wasn’t dirty enough to start with, because my normal clean always feel amazingly clean if I get into the shower caked in mud and grass and feces, which happens more than you might expect.

The secret to happiness is, after all, being really miserable before and after, so the brief moment of happiness seems that much better in comparison.

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