When I was a little girl, I loved Little House on the Prairie. It was not just entertainment to me, it was gospel. Sacrilege, I know. But at 8, I was much more concerned with what Laura Ingalls would do than Jesus. And for a time, I was exceedingly interested in what she would not do—particularly in the realm of personal hygiene.
I would sit in the bathroom, running the water in the tub and sink at the same time. I’d drench a washcloth, then wring it out and move the shampoo bottle a couple of inches so even the world’s best detective (at the time I believed that to be Jessica Fletcher, aptly played by Angela Lansbury) could only conclude that a shower had in fact been taken. It was all part of an elaborate plan to avoiding bathing and brushing my teeth. It took effort. More effort than the actual act of bathing would have required, but that wasn’t the point. I was exercising control…and justifying my actions by reference to Little House on the Prairie. Continue reading