Rinse, Rinse, and Repeat

Besides devising evil plots and cunning schemes, used extra conditioner and oil treatment after swimming.


You have to shower.”




You have to shower.”


But I don't want to shower.”


That doesn't make sense.” (cue plate throwing)


     I have considered contextual remarks like the former to signify some inherent, regrettable flaw of character. Something along the lines of Richard III, but less terminal. Prompting reactions along the lines of, “you, you... get out of my house right now, right this instant!” or on certain barometrically challenged days, large plate and champagne glass throwing, the perpetrator ducking frantically behind an armoire with a look of shock and confusion.

Fine, fine - in reality, such outbursts are often simply treated with a concerned (though significant, I assure you) shake of the head and sympathetic pat on the shoulder. 

But back to the matters at hand - the ocean is salty, or it breathes salty, or something to that effect, and nine out of ten scientists, migrant workers, and late night talk show hosts would agree, the ocean is worlds different than your local pond. Its bigger, sure, sure, and has sharks that will eat your face, but its also much saltier. The implications of this, beyond the grand scientific/biological, paradigmatic ones that many of us fell asleep during biology class learning about in high school, are that after swimming, surfing, snorkeling, water polo, diving like a wild porpoise, etc etc – and once one dries off – you are left with a caking of salt over your body, on your feet, in your hair.


Likely to only dip his toes in the water(while still wearing his flip flops), and you can guarantee a prolonged and extra soapy shower afterwards.

Strangely, many people, even those who have grown up near the ocean in whatever localized, geographical manifestation of which they are a part are driven at the first opportunity that presents itself to wash the salt off their bodies, out of their hair, and down the drain. Helena Bell comes close to some sort of cosmic heresy when she decries the awful sensation of salt on her skin and offers her solution when she says, “I hate salt water, can’t stand the stuff.  And why shouldn’t I hate it?  Is it too much to ask for the oceans to be filled with fresh water?”

Good heavens woman.

 And then these people go and kick puppies. No, no, that may be hyperbole, but nevertheless this motivation is strange to consider – or rather, it becomes a matter of concern – for both parties. For one it is a philosophical quandary, the other, a more practical concern illustrated by a desperate pleading posted on the venerable chacha.com:

Q: “Should I shower after swimming in the ocean?”

A: “ Yes, you should shower after swimming in the ocean, the salt can make your skin itch and your hair sticky.” -ChaCha

Besides the clear existential or merely practical problems with A) asking for life advice on the internet and, more significantly I suppose, B) taking it from some non-corporeal entity named chacha - this is not particularly sound advice as it is painfully devoid of the abstract. But then the realization dawns, or falls on your head and almost knocks you into your kitchen cupboard - people who choose not to shower after swimming in the ocean have different motivations.

You don't even want to know what Helena Bell wants to do to these puppies

For those who choose to savor the feeling, and avoid the shower and the shampoo, and soap, and body wash, and are willing to even suffer a bad hair day at the expense of wearing the ocean for a time – there remains a contradictory feeling, a duality of sensation and emotion.  It just feels right.  For some, there is a connection between water, the sea, and the soul and everything else that makes us love and desire. It is one of those small things, defying proper explanation or definition, that keep us coming back for more.

Operations Shots