Take a shower in the morning, or take a shower before bedtime? It is a decision, which divides opinion. Often scientific opinion.
Some scientists argue that a morning shower is beneficial to blood circulation and skin health; others state that an evening shower helps improve sleep patterns and provides a natural segue between day and night.
However, there is another crucial factor, which decides whether someone has a shower in the morning or in the evening, and it is one that very rarely seems to be commented upon. Class.
Historically, an evening shower would have been an automatic end of the working day for people engaged in manual activities: it is hard to imagine miners fresh from the pit or fishermen back from a trawl going to bed without first washing off the inevitable grime of their honest labours. Proper jobs required proper scrubbing. Ozzie Andros best defined the concept of a ‘proper job’ in his seminal book Ozmodium Management:
So, let me define those jobs, which are deemed proper: fisherman, farmer, builder, nurse, plumber, footballer, etc… there are more, but you are not doing one of them. Don’t feel too down: it is probably not your fault. Not everyone can be born strong enough to be a builder; brave enough to be a fisherman. (From the chapter, Proper Jobs, Ozmodium Management, 2011).
Ozzie Andros never made the connection between proper jobs and an evening bathroom routine, but the parallel is compelling.
It is only the advent of a greater number of middle class office jobs, which barely require raising a sweat, that has meant that the evening shower has become a matter of choice not necessity.
In this context, I celebrate my morning shower. I recognise that it is a luxury achieved from the hard work of others.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree is a paid-up member of the Middle Class Shower.