About a month ago I went on my weekly visit to the grocery store. I had checked the fridge and cupboards before leaving home, and had a full list of my needs filled out. I loaded my basket, helped bag my own goods, and even used a coupon to save a dollar. Quite a success. Or so I thought.
The next morning I had my granola-pineapple-yogurt breakfast, fresh milk and coffee, and even a new carton of coconut water for after my run. The real surprise hit me when I stepped into the shower. My bottle of body wash was on its last leg. I forgot just a day ago, I had inverted it thinking, “Good thing I’m going to the store. This thing has one, maybe two days left at best.” My destiny was set, another trip to the supermarket, for the dreaded one forgotten item.
After exhausting the last of my body wash and drying off, I began to weigh my options. I could try to squeeze in an early visit before work, but that would most certainly make me late. I could swing by during lunch, but I had just purchased the makings of an epic salad that I didn’t want to miss. The only possibility was another post-work shopping trip, with packed parking lots and long lines. Then it hit me. Maybe I didn’t have to go at all. Maybe I could make do with the bar soap I still had under the sink.
Now it wasn’t about avoiding the store, now it was a challenge. Could I make it, not just a week, but an entire month on bar soap alone? The following is a chronicle of my 30 day journey I like to call, The Bar Life.
Day 1: Unwrapped the cellophane and open the box. The bar soap has a sharper smell than the body wash I’m used to. It was hard to build up a lather on my EcoPouf bath sponge, and even harder to rinse it out.
Day 2: Forgot that bar soap gets slimy on the bottom if you just leave it on the side of the tub. Lather was much easier to achieve, but sponge was much harder to rinse. Will have to find makeshift soap tray.
Day 3: Wire speaker-cover served as a soap dish but soap fused to the wire mesh when it dried. Cut finger removing soap, speaker-cover may be too bent to fit back on speaker.
Day 4: Bath sponge used as soap dish, saved time lathering. I don’t see any reason for cleaning the sponge if it’s just going to soak up the soap overnight.
Day 5: I was worried my skin would feel drier on bar soap. It’s still early but I’m feeling no change. I’m still using the same amount of lotion as I did after showering with body wash, no increase needed so far.
Day 6: Need to find a new soap dish. The sponge is getting kinda gross.
Day 7: One week milestone! Threw the sponge away.
Day 8: Washcloth has taken place of the sponge, for cleaning and as soap dish. Psychological effects of my experiment may be setting in. Smelled lime juice and missed my body wash, almost had a tear, too early to give up.
Day 9: Forgot to bring a fresh washcloth into the shower. Used yesterday’s soap dish for cleaning. Prepared for tomorrow by storing several washcloths in a zip-lock baggy. I don’t remember showering ever being this complex.
Day 10: Pulled the shower curtain back and looked down at the bar of soap, resting on a washcloth, resting on a zip-lock bag of washcloths. It’s the weekend, some people don’t even shower on the weekend, I bet that’s because they use bar soap. Close shower curtain.
Day 12: Washcloth/soap dish really stuck to soap this morning. Little blue threads imbedded in the bar after ripping it away.
Day 13: These washcloths are stupid. I’m just going to rub the bar directly on my skin and rinse off. I’m sure that’s good enough. (Realization made after bag of washcloths spilled into tub.)
Day 14: Almost all blue fuzz is off the bar. Now it’s collecting hairs.
Day 15: Half way! I can’t believe this bar is lasting this long. I though it would be a lot smaller by now. Found a legit soap dish, under the kitchen sink.
Day 16: Body wash was never this difficult. Squeeze the bottle into the sponge, wash and rinse. Bar soap is super slippery. It’s always trying to get away, and when it does it shoots around my feet and ends up resting in the drain, collecting hairs.
Day 19: I feel gross. Rubbing a slippery bar on my body doesn’t improve things much. Rinsing off is the highlight of my morning.
Day 20: I cheated and used pump hand soap on a washcloth. It’s was okay at first. I didn’t smell like bar soap, but the perfumie smell of cucumber mellon stuck with me all day.
Day 20.5: Had to wash off the cucumber mellon smell.
Day 21: I’m “washing” myself again.
Day 22: This bar is getting kinda thin. May needs to find another.
Day 23: I feel like people are judging me because I use bar soap. I don’t know how they can tell. It’s soap. It makes you clean. Just because you use body wash makes you better? Try it sometime!
Day 26: Dropped the bar and it broke. Welcome to Monday.
Day 27: Smashed the soap pieces together. I hope this can hold me over for three more day.
Day 28: Showered fine. I’m still not used to bar soap. It’s so small, it keeps slipping out of my hands.
Day 29: Bar broke again, just lifting it out of the soap dish. So fragile.
Day 30: Yay, it’s over! Not much lather left, but that doesn’t matter now. Feel like I just finished the last .2 mile of a marathon!
When I started this project, I wasn’t sure if I would make it a week. Now that it’s over, I have the overwhelming feeling that I can conquer anything. This is the real feeling of achievement that everyone should feel at least once in their lives.
So I say give it a shot! Go 30 using only tap water. See what 30 days without a car feels like. Only eat meals that you yourself prepare at home for an entire month. See how it changes you. I know I feel stronger, and tomorrow I’ll buy two bottles of body wash, so I never face this kind of obstacle again.