Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wine for the Long, Hot Shower

There are few things in like I enjoy more than a long hot shower. Put me under the steady stream with some lavender body wash and soft lighting and I am in relaxation heaven.

I am not kidding when I say long shower, unfortunately for our water bill. I have been known to stay in there for 25 minutes, and when I was growing up, in a house with 4 other individuals, it was a bad morning when anyone in my family let me take a shower first, because invariably by the time i was finished there was little hot water remaining. This might explain why no one in my family liked me until i moved out of the house.

In my opinion, a good shower requires good water pressure, and so it should be no surprise when I tell you that I believe the low-flow shower head represents one of the lower points in our existence.

I am all for being conscientious, but how can one have a truly great shower when the water is more like a mist than a rain. Especially when it's really cold out, it's just cruel, to have a small trickle of warm water touching one part of your shivering body while the rest goosebumps in the cold air.

And forget about ever really washing shampoo or conditioner out of your hair. Low water pressure means an ever-present slick of hair products always clinging to my locks.

My most recent shower head was more than a trickle but less than powerful, and I was distressed when suddenly the water pressure seemed to ebb to the point where I could barely get my hair wet.

I called the plumber out in case there was something suddenly wrong with the pipes, and imagine my surprise when he informed me that the problem lay in the shower head itself. He removed it from its arm, and showed me the inside filter that had flipped on its side, blocking water flow, and also showed me the green restrictor, which has tiny holes which restrict the water flow. It is this little piece of plastic that makes it a "low-flow" shower head. The plumber told me that these teeny holes can easily become blocked by as little as a grain if sand, making water flow even less forceful.

Imagine my joy when he further informed me that this restrictor could be removed, thereby giving me a shower head with unimpeded water flow! Finally, I thought, a proper shower with some oomph to it!

But, I questioned, wouldn't this make our water bills skyrocket? You probably won't even notice the difference, he assured me, because the stronger water pressure usually equals shorter showers.

Well, I thought, we'll see about that.

It was with great anticipation and excitement that I got into my shower the next morning. So imagine my surprise when I found I had entered a chamber of terror rather than my peaceful shower.

To say that I now had increased water pressure would be an understatement. The force of this shower blew me halfway across my bathroom the first time I turned it on. I had to fight my way back against it while covering vital organs.

The noise of it obliterated all other sounds including those of my shocked and agonized screams; the drain couldn't handle the amount of water and within 15 seconds I was standing in a foot and a half of it; and within about 6 minutes, all the hot water was gone.

It's true that the force of the water rinsed out all of the hair products i used since the 5th grade, unfortunately it also removed large clumps of hair. I sometimes shave in the shower, but now I don't need to, since the needles of water ripped most of it out by the roots. I used to wash my face in the shower, but I stopped since I was afraid that I might lose a nostril.

The plumber was certainly right about me taking shorter showers. I'm in and out of there as quickly as I can be because I'm now terrified of it. I approach it like a lion tamer, complete with stool and whip. Or like a boxer, bob and weave, baby, bob and weave.

Sadly, it is back to the low-flow for me. I may emerge from it with hair that is greasier than it was when I got in, but at least I leave with all my body parts accounted for, and that is no small matter.

My Wine for the Long, Hot Shower is a little concoction I whipped up myself at brunch with Steve a few weeks ago.

We were at Presidio Social Club in the Presidio, one of my favorite spots. For those of you in the Bay Area it is worth a visit for the ambiance and the mac & cheese alone.

I have become enamored of rose champagnes and sparkling wines lately, and am on a mission to try as many as I can and find the best ones. At this brunch, i decided to try and add a little something to the California bubbly I had ordered by adding a shot of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur to it.

Success! It was absolutely delicious. The elderflower added a slight sweetness and floral quality to the lightly berried bubbly. Yum, yum and yum. Try it with your favorite rose sparkler and let me know what you think.

Also, if you have a rose Champagne you think I should try, please let me know!