This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Featured community question that will have everyone sniffing their armpits

Today’s featured question comes from user musickatt:

Last week Leta spent a weekend night with my mom, and when we picked her up my mother just snickered like a witch. I’m used to this, and it’s always followed by something like, “I fed her ice cream for breakfast,” or, “I let her stay up until 2AM,” or, “Did you know how much she loves Diet Coke?!” Grandparents are evil and the source of all pain in the world. And they take great pride in this.

Turns out this time Leta had let slip a secret, I guess. My mom had told Leta to go play while she took a shower, and Leta asked why she showered so much. My mom said that everyone showers every day, and Leta was all, what are you talking about? I don’t think I’ve ever seen my parents step foot in the tub! Right. And we pick our noses and wipe our mouths on our shirts and enjoy fondling farm animals.

Now, I don’t shower every day. No. Neither does Jon. I try to make a habit of showering at least every other day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen either. It all depends on my workout schedule, whether or not I need to dress up for something, and Jon’s reaction when I sit very close to him. If he recoils, I estimate I could go at least another day.

Leta doesn’t ever see us take showers because she’s usually at school or in bed when we do so. It’s a byproduct from working at home, I think. I mean, at the beginning of the school year I’d always have my fancy on when dropping her off at school because I wanted to make the best impression I could, but now? All the other parents have seen my bed head and the crust in my eyes. If I showed up with make-up on they would think someone was kidnapping Leta.

And on those rare occasions when I do pick her up after having showered, she gets really excited thinking that Mommy and Daddy are going somewhere for the night, and now someone really cool is going to put her to bed!

So now my showering habits are all about managing expectations. If I show up clean, there had better be a surprise coming! Yes, Leta. The surprise is that your bedtime routine is getting cut short tonight, because Daddy showered, too. If you know what I’m saying. HEY-OOOH!

  • dominiquewynand

    Also, when I did shower obsessively/ocd, (sometimes twice in one day) I noticed that my skin and hair was so dry and crappy…so, I don’t recommend it…

  • BrittanyK

    I’m very routine oriented so I definitely feel weird and “off” if I don’t shower during the week (unless I’m reeeeallly tired one morning and would rather spend those 15 minutes sleeping.)

    Weekends are fair-game, and going swimming totally counts.

  • wilberfan

    Here’s my wrinkle on showering: I shower almost every day (I’ve been known to skip a day on the weekend)–BUT I HAVEN’T SHOWERED USING *SOAP* SINCE JANUARY OF THIS YEAR.

    Now, it’s funny: I’ll bet you read that as “that dude hasn’t showered since January??”. Read it again. Daily showers–just NOT USING SOAP.

    I couldn’t believe it either–but it works. I’m not stinky–even in the slightest–and my skin and hair feels great!

    Here’s the link that got me curious: http://freetheanimal.com/2009/12/paleo-i-dont-care-i-like-no-soap-no-shampoo.html Seems to be working for others, too. I tried it as an experiment–and so far, so good…

  • dominiquewynand

    The weird thing too, is that I have to use hand sanitizer when I am out, and I always wash my feet before I change footwear and I also use odor eaters…every time…

  • reneewvu

    I absolutely love the way I feel after showering. Drying my hair though, ugh. I wish I could air dry it every day. But I’ve taken a shower every day since I was in junior high school.

  • dominiquewynand

    Funnily enough… my boyfriend showers at least once a day, if not twice, which I LOVE!!! because boys…they just get stinky and gross so easily, no one like a sweaty …..

  • Just Jill

    Uh… yeah… ummm… Heather, Armstrong, I just saw you two at the store and I hope, for the love of Chuck, that you both shower today… I would’ve introduced myself as a complete and total stalker fan, however, I didn’t want to embarrass you for looking like you just came from the gym, which you probably did!

  • eastcoaster

    ok..I definitly shower every work day…Ive only just started to skip a day on the weekends once in awhile…and just over the past year Ive started washing my hair every second day at the advice of my hairdresser…better for your hair apparently….I shave my underarms every time I shower…and my legs everyday in the warm weather or Ill wear pants….my husband will shower twice a day when hes working…before and after…he doesnt have an office job..;)…and otherwise he showers once a day on non work days….my kids shower every day too…yeah, Im a fan of clean bodies…;)

  • Bluestalking

    Man, do I ever feel like a SLOB now!!! Most everyone showers daily.

    But I AM showering today, so you know. I just finished planting flowers and I’m filthy/sweaty.

    To: wilberfan – I’ve never heard of the no soap thing. I like the girlie smell of shower gels and such, so I generally use those. And I MUST condition my hair or no comb will go through it. But no soap? Interesting.

  • lady m

    See comment above about showers being motivated by what my hair needs.
    Fantastic!

    Every other day is plenty. Course, sometimes a bath at night. But baths aren’t really the same as a shower.

    So THANKS for the bathing honesty!!!

  • Ranger

    This is a lot of information. i don’t share EVERYthing. Y’all are just going to have to guess about me. Oh, and I am not a relation, FYI. I’m another Ranger. And she was a Chow Chow.

  • TravelSkite

    I hate buying bras, so I shower every morning, and evening too if I’ve got sweaty or dirty. That way I can get away (or so I hope) with wearing the same one for a week. So I’ve only got about four altogether – my daughter on the other hand has a drawerful. Apart from all that expense, that’s just one decision too many in the morning.

    Also, travel tip: when on the move, as long as your body’s clean, you only need fresh knickers every day. All other clothes can be worn 2, 3 times – so fold them neatly! When you’re on the move, no-one’s going to know – and think of all that suitcase space you’ll free up for much more interesting things.

  • LuckIsMyMiddleName

    You’ve all inspired me. I shower every single day because I’m convinced that if I don’t, I’ll be groggy and feel like there’s a film coating my skin. And then there’s crotch itch. Ishy.

    But now that I think about it, the days I can remember skipping showers have not been normal days to begin with: I’ve been sick, camping, or traveling for two days on a train. Of course I felt dirty!

    Now, since I’m always looking for new ways to mitigate my OCD tendencies, and because my husband would be SO relieved if I joined him in only showering a few times a week (as it is, I tend to get a bit–ahem–inhibited if it’s not one of his shower days), I’m going to try this (surprisingly common!) shower-skipping thing. But not until the weekend. Because I don’t want to be trapped at work, feeling like a goober.

  • Deeters

    I shower every other day. I shave every other shower. My kids are dirty little buggers. They get a wash down every night and every morning but only bathed really twice per week.
    My husband is crazy clean and showers daily.
    I like a nice hot bath at night before bed but that happens only when the moons and the planets align and both kids go to bed on time and haven’t gotten up 9 times….so not often.
    =)
    P.s. my mom likes to make chocolate chocolate chip pancakes when they stay over night – that is the closing meal before coming home. Bitch. 😉

  • powellkristy

    This is such a great comment thread! I shower every other day usually, and I only shampoo my (curly) hair probably once every two weeks. The other days I just wet it down and restyle it.

    I also wax my armpits, but even when I shaved, it was like every two weeks. Maybe. I just hate shaving! Same with my legs – I’ve waxed for years, but before that, I could barely bring myself to shave once a month. It’s just too much of a chore!

  • Norabloom

    I take public transportation every day and, out of courtesy to my fellow passengers, I shower every morning. There are plenty of people who don’t and it can get pretty ripe on the train, especially in the summer. Ugh. I might feel differently if I worked from home, although, even then, I imagine there’s that point where you can’t stand your own funk.

  • lilcis

    I’m a freak. I shower at least twice a day. Once at night when I get home from work (a habit I got into from working out every day, which I no longer do) and once every morning to wake me up. I have naturally curly hair, though, so I only wash it every other day otherwise it dries out.

    I had no idea so many people didn’t shower every day! I remember once in college I had an eczema rash on my leg, and my doctor told me it was probably from showering too much (at the time it was only once a day), and that I should cut back. He went on a rant about how bathing every day was totally unnecessary. At minimum I needed to cut back on using soap, the water was enough.

  • mmoxxie

    I haven’t read all of the comments, so forgive me if this has already been said, but I think that men probably shower more often because they naturally sweat more than us. My boyfriend sweats more than me, particularly in his sleep. He’s always warmer than I am. Maybe it makes them feel gross faster!

    I’m so jealous of your armpit situation.

  • amberskie

    I am not alone!!! I shower every other day and in the morning. Mostly because I straighten my hair and it will last for a day. Showering at night just makes my hair a mess then I have to shower in the morning again. But while living in Texas where it is 5 million degrees I showered everyday. Sometimes twice a day if I had to go outside. I however, make my son get a bath every night if possible.

  • jlong0706

    for a long time i did the every other day thing, sometimes letting it go longer (i used to judge when i needed a shower by whether or not my ponytail stayed back without the hairband).
    but when i started struggling more with managing my depression my mom (i come by my depression honestly) gave me some advice that i have stuck with: take care of yourself. get up, get a workout in to get your serotonin levels up, and then take a shower no matter how much you don’t want to or how inconvenient it is.
    let me tell you, it works. i still don’t work out every day, but taking that little bit of time to pay attention to me makes a lot of difference.

  • verbalicon

    Wow! Jon actually showers before … well … you know …

    The hubs showers every morning. Me? Um. Not so much.

  • hoosiergirl1962

    We don’t have any kids at home, so the whole “No time to shower” thing is pretty foreign..
    We are both once-a-day shower people….
    And sometimes a tubby together at night….
    and we play with a dog and fish in our pond, too…
    no farm animals….yet…..
    I want a chicken coop, but alas, it has been vetoed..

  • witchuponastar

    In my marriage “I took a shower” means “you look hot, let’s get naked”

  • doublebuttons

    I shower in the morning before work because of my oily hair and I always feel like I smell like sleep. If I’m home working all day, I’ll try to take a shower sometime before bed. But even if I don’t have a chance to take it until bedtime, I will still get up and shower in the morning if I have to work. It’s just easier to start anew.

    I am totally checking out that hair powder!

    We do only bathe the kids every other day except in the summer when they get really sweaty and smell like sunscreen.

  • LuvsDieter

    ohmigod, you guys make me feel so much better. The trend seems to be that men shower much more frequently than women and our little family fits that. BF showers every day, every morning before work. Me? I try to keep to an every-other day schedule (weekends are hit or miss…depends on what we are doing).

    Reasons:
    – I used to have long THICK hair, that like others have said, took for-evuh to dry in the morning….wasn’t a big deal when I was in college then just starting at my entry level job, but as I’ve moved up the ladder, I can’t quite come to work with wet hair. Double bonus to chopping my hair from below boob length to chin length – it air dries during my commute 🙂

    – When I was washing my hair every day, it would get greasy FAST, like by the end of the day fast. Not nearly the problem it used to be now that my hair is trained to the every other day routine.

    – i take looong showers…so, every other day = better for the environment and i get an extra 20-30 mins of sleep on non-shower mornings.

    – [this was a bigger problem when I lived in the Midwest, not so much now on the west coast] Because we had hard water, my skin would get sooo dry in the winter. It felt like I needed a few days or so to let my skin and hair rehydrate themselves.

    – If I get my hair wet (in the shower or the pool), it MUST be washed. If I don’t, it is so super greasy when it dries. So, if I must shower [like after working out or something] but it’s not a hair wash day, I’ll use a shower cap. We call them “body showers” in my family. Not really sure it’s like that, but the human body is a weird thing.

    – sheer laziness. yeah, I’ll admit it. Some days, dragging my butt up in the morning or staying up late to get in the shower. i’ll do it tomorrow.

    – I can’t take a shower and NOT shave my legs. see equation

    [stubborn dark leg hair + visible follicles]

    x

    [leg hair that grows every time I get chills or sneeze]

    ^ (aka to the power of)

    [irrational hatred of prickly legs on pants or sheets]

    = must shave legs every time in shower

    {caveat-shaving is optional only under these circumstances: weather and outfit permit use of knee socks or tights and/or no plans for BF to …ahem…um, yeah, never mind.}

  • Tracye

    You guys are some nasty so and so’s!!!

    Having said that, I shower every day when I have to work. I’ve been having an affair with perfume my whole life and the skin must be clean to absorb…

    YEAH.

    But, on my days off, it all depends if I’m going anywhere or not.

    You no showering people aren’t having sex with all that unclean funk are ye? Cause that would just send me over the edge…

    Sigh.

    To each his own I suppose.

    This is all so very Medieval to me.

  • Therese

    Laziness and smelliness really are the litmus test here. For the hair (about every three days), the showering (every day that I have to be clean or am starting to add a certain je ne sais quoi to the room), and the shaving (when I gotta).

    When my aunt from Egypt came to visit, she couldn’t help but comment on is how obsessive our Canadian culture seems to be about showering all the time. I think she showers once every week or so when she’s here, maybe. In Egypt, she says, people shower for two reasons: because they’re filthy dusty dirty, or because it will cool you down (for a few minutes).

    Why does this question make me want to jump in and answer so much?

  • Miss Bits

    Working at a Dermatology practice as I do, I know more about skin and proper skin care than most normal civilians could give a flying crap about. I shower daily in hot weather (live in FL), but I typically wash my hair every other day, or every 3rd day. I always wash off my body folds (?!?!?!) (groin, armpits, under breasts) and then, zing!, I’m ready to rock. In colder weather (FL winters Boo-Hoo) I wash my body every other day, cuz I get dry and itchy dammit.

  • Ray1987

    “The surprise is that your bedtime routine is getting cut short tonight, because Daddy showered, too. If you know what I’m saying. HEY-OOOH!”

    ^^LOL! I loved that. You are hilarious. =P

  • Jalima

    Must shower daily or feel grody. Won’t wash hair every day though (too lazy). Hubby can go a day or two and that is the sure fire way to get him in the tub.. promise a lil sugar 😉

    So great to hear you loving this time in your life with your family. Precious times indeed.

  • lisdom

    Dare to be dirty!!!

    I shower about every four days. It saves water and nobody has told me I stink. I didn’t grow up taking showers or baths very often either. Basically, I shower if I feel dirty, but to be honest it takes awhile for me to get to that point. If I’m really stressed out I’ll take a bath in there somewhere, but more for comfort than for cleanliness. And since my hair takes quite awhile to get greasy…well, yeah…I’m with you, that’s all I’m saying. Oh, and I do have a husband.

  • karen ethier

    Shower every day; after working out in the morning.

  • Jojo

    I feel so pathetic now because I love bathing, Y’all.

  • RoseTattoo

    Every day and I naively thought the majority of people did as well. My cat bathes more often than most of you all. Now I’m going to be all ewwww when I’m out in public wondering about the bathing habits of people around me.

  • allison76

    I feel better now! So relieved to know I was not the only one…props to you Heather for putting that out there too:)
    I was beginning to think I had some sort of aversion to water–like some sort of “hydraphobe”…I think I just made that phobia up, but it does sound plausible!

  • iheartharry

    I thought everyone showered everyday…sometimes I shower twice a day.
    [I had a friend at school whose mum didn’t go to work one day because the water was off.]

  • Ethel Poostain

    These people thinking they don’t smell because no-one’s ever told them they do… did it ever occur to you that people are just polite? I can’t believe you wouldn’t smell, not showering for four days. You know when you’re so used to a perfume on yourself that you don’t smell it anymore, though other people do? Same thing with your own stink.

    My father-in-law doesn’t shower when he comes to stay with us (generally three nights). He’s very whiffy, but I wouldn’t dream of pointing it out to him.

  • janthony

    You guys. Ugh. This is way too much information. Showering takes only *minutes* of your day. I shower every day, usually twice.

  • aslapintheface

    I don’t take showers at all. I hate hate hate showers (almost as much as I hate clowns). I am a bather. I read in the tub. I talk on the phone in the tub. I would live in the tub if I could. I have been known to take two baths a day on the weekends. No, I don’t actually need two baths a day (not working in the coal mines or anything like that), but I do like to just sit in there and soak while reading a good book.

  • nyrican67

    ummmm….ok…this is very very interesting. or maybe i missed something…this is a joke right? i think i have showered every single day of my life since i was 5 (i have no memory before that) So ya’ll determine whether you need a shower depending on whether you can smell yourself or not or how dirty your hair feels? We shower everyday even if we did absolutely nothing all day long. i wash my hair every other day. After you have been out in the polluted, dirty, germy world, sweating, shedding, secreting out of every pore out of every region all day, 2 dogs, 2 kids a home, a business to tend to and you bring it into your kitchen, you sofa, and your bed? yuck if you can smell yourself then you have already waiting too long. please school me..why? even a 5 minute shower to knock off the chunks is better than none. i had no idea that people dont shower everyday. well actually when i lived in Germany i learned that Germans didnt shower every day, but i really really thought Americans did.

  • Sully

    I am a shower/bath at least TWO TIMES A DAY kinda gal. I sweat and stink and get oily. My hair grows fast pits, legs, etc. I feel nasty and sweaty all day if I don’t get a shower first thing in the morning.

    That is my coffee.

  • Sully

    Oh, the kids only get a batch 3-4 times a week (more if needed-baseball season).

  • nyrican67

    oh and bathing after the age of 3 is a no-no…and even then it depends on how dirty you are.
    unless the bath is purely for fun, i cant imagine sitting and stewing in your own (or someone elses)crud..imagine it..your body is sitting in dirt, skin, oil, sweat, food crumbs, dog hair, pollen, germs, pee, and a kid that cant wipe his behind very well…no way. SHOWER, WASHCLOTH, SOAP FOR SENSITIVE SKIN and if your skin is prone to dryness? lots and lots of vaseline. Our daily schedule ALWAYS includes showers. Its not something you try to fit in.

  • janmccutcheon

    I’m a germ-a-phob, so my lack of showering is mainly out of laziness:

    I swim 3 times per week and shower after I swim. I usually wash my hair the same day, but some days not.

    I HATE to dry my hair, but I’ve come up with a new simplified system (which won’t work very well in the summer) I get in my car, turn the heat up full blast and point the vents at my face. By the time I get to my destination, my hair is dry! Using your car heater as a hairdryer is probably not very “green” but I figure it balances out by the fact that I rarely shower or wash my hair.

    I haven’t used body soap in years. Or deodorant. I do still use shampoo (although I’m considering stopping) The less often I was my hair, the less greasy it gets and now I can go 3-4 days without washing it.

    I do wash my hands with soap. I’m not sure we can get away from that one. (germs!)

  • la_bacque

    I can’t shower everyday, it makes my scalp dry and itchy. Even with really gentle shampoos, if I clean it everyday I get a rash on my head. It sucks.

    I am pretty much every-other-day. I do ride my horse a lot, though, and if I ride in the afternoon and come home with sweaty nasty helmet head, I don’t feel right laying my head on the pillow to sleep.

    If I don’t shower in the morning before work, I spray (my short hair) with some lavender scented water to tame bedhead.

  • windowlicker

    YESSSS! So glad I (and my husband) aren’t alone. I, too, *try* to shower everyday, but most of the time it ends up being every third day. I usually shower on the days I run, which is 3-4 times/week.

    Showing every day isn’t necessary for most people, and a complete waste of water and shampoo…as well as bad if you have dry skin like myself.

  • Brea

    This post and subsequent comments were a relief to read. I have harbored these terrible fears that when people learned that I bathe 2-3 times weekly, they’d be totally grossed out.

    Similar to one responder, showers were my caffiene forever – until I had kids. I couldn’t agree with Heather more that it is about managing my expectations. It is also a time management issue as well – I live so back-to-back that the 45-minute shower and hair styling seems like a luxury I don’t have.

    One thing that I’ve noticed, particularly if I am swimming and then showering daily, is how dry my skin and hair get. My skin is unbelieveably soft, and I attribute that to not bathing as frequently as before.

    And when I do get cleaned up and dressed up – look out! Both my kids are all, “Mom! You look so pretty!”

  • NatW

    Dude, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who showers every day. Obviously, if I’m doing hard labor or just sweating a shit-ton because I live in the South and that’s what we do, then yes, I’ll shower. But otherwise? I’m all about that every other day thing.

  • Stenar

    I’ve always loved your blog, but I love you even more knowing you don’t shower every day. 😉 hehe

    I also work from home and shower less frequently than daily as well.

  • AureliaTiong

    Bathe and wash hair every alternate day, but in the summer time, it’s everyday. Having long hair is a chore sometimes.