These days, a shower for me is a brief affair (not even an affair really - more of a quickie behind the photocopier) which allows me to wash myself, or shampoo, or condition my hair, but never all these things at once.
The shower ends when a small brown toddler appears on the other side of the shower door and shrieks for me to give him breakfast/milk/Charlie and Lola dvd/books.
Sometimes, as a variation, the father of the small brown toddler will also appear and try to drag the toddler away and this will result in tears. Mostly I try to put my head under the shower to block the noise but this is not always successful and then usually the hot water runs out.
Still, if the father has already taken the small brown toddler and his cousins to school/childcare then I may have a slightly larger window for showering.
And that's how I read this on the back of our new shampoo bottle:
Wildly Exciting Is Our Normal
I quickly checked that my husband hadn't made a mistake while shopping and accidently selected the shampoo made with real Bourbon or fragranced with crystal meth. But no, it was the same old chamomile and passion flower combination that we usually get - out of laziness rather than any real herbal preference.
I felt a wave of concern. Why did my shampoo need to be Exciting? Let alone Wildly?
I wanted to warn my shampoo that it was playing a dangerous game, that it was ok for Normal to be well...normal. Sometimes, Wildly Exciting is just another term for 'irritating discharge'.
Because time was not pressing and my shower was still hot, I read on, intrigued, to find I also had a rather coy invitation to "enter a world of botannical bliss."
There was nothing on the bottle about whether I had to snort, inject or simply meditate on my shampoo to achieve such bliss but once there I would find my shampoo "embracing like a meadow of fresh flowers.."
At first this freaked me out a little bit, the thought of that embracing meadow with all those tiny green stalky hands but then I thought: I'm never going to go to one of those swinger clubs - apart from anything else I find it hard to stay awake past ten o'clock- so this could be a good substitute.
And, then, as if all this were not Wildly Exciting enough, the shampoo would also take my hair "to a place it's never been before."
What have I got to lose, I thought. Bring on the bliss. The whole experience, the bottle promised, would leave me "deeply quenched".
I think truthfully my quenching of late has been feeling a bit, well, shallow.
I had put this down to an unpleasant but inevitable side effect of childbirth but now I realise it must have been the old shampoo.
The old shampoo was neither Wild nor Exciting and the bottle said nothing about orgies in flowery fields but it did ask me: "Does your hair have a mind of its own?"
My original answer to this was 'no', until I started getting emails from my server saying I had been downloading too much over the month and would I like to pay more for a 'top up.'
I then realised my hair had been surfing the net while everyone was asleep and downloading pictures of naked scalps and rom-com screenplays from Drew's Script-o-rama.
The shallowly quenching shampoo also claimed to be able to tame "rebellious" hair.
I had only just that day had a slapping fight with my ponytail over Saturday night curfews which ended with me uttering a few sharp words and my ponytail telling me to go fuck myself.
It had been the promise of discipline but the scent of real fruit that sucked me in that time. Half a bottle of old shampoo still remained on the shelf in the shower.
Etiquette says that one uses up the old bottle before scrabbling for the new but surely in this case I could make an exception. After all, it wasn't about whether I was going to have clean hair or not, it was a choice between botannical bliss and mentally autonomous hair follicles.
I watched, vaguely aware that the shower was rapidly going cold, as my slender fingers wavered hesitantly, this way and that, over the top of each lid.
Not unlike an embracing meadow of wildly exciting camomile stalks, I decided.
The metamorphosis norton critical edition 1996 pdf
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