Is it just me or did I somehow miss the fact that I moved to the tropical rainforest this year? The heat and humidity over the past week were so tropical that you could almost cut the mugginess with a knife.
The dewpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport hit 80, which is the highest measured since the 1950s and is even higher than a typical day in the Amazon. Now that this sweaty air mass has finally moved out, my air conditioner can finally get a breather. All of this high humidity made for frizzy, bad hair days and lots of perspiration, which got me to thinking about a hilarious conversation I had recently.
Last year, my boyfriend and I took a trip with some of his colleagues to a gorgeous tropical island where the breezes were warm and refreshing. The high humidity gives your complexion that dewy glow, but it’s a fine line between dewy glow and downright sweaty skin. As we met for dinner one night, we were commenting about the warmth. One of the guys who always looks sharp and is dapperly dressed said, “Yeah, that’s why I took a pre-shower.” A pre-shower? What’s that? “It’s the shower before your shower.” We all stopped for a minute looking stunned and then burst out in laughter. Oh, that’s funny! No, he insisted, it’s a real thing. This conversation had us rolling in laughter as he explained the process. It seems you take a shower and then, for men, you shave and whatever else men do to get groomed and ready. Then you take your real shower. Or is it that you take your real shower, do your grooming and then take an after-shower to cool down before you get dressed?
Once we delved into the topic, it made total sense. After I shower, I have to blow dry my mop of curly, frizzy hair, which usually leads me to getting sweaty all over again and feeling as if I need another shower. The fact that I love taking super-hot showers doesn’t help. My boyfriend is the exact opposite, taking lukewarm to cool showers since he can’t cool down after a piping hot shower. This makes him the perfect candidate for a pre-shower. Or a post-shower. I’m not sure of the exact protocol here, but I know that we joked about it the rest of the trip!
This spring, we met up some of the same colleagues on another trip and we once again started talking pre-showers. Just remembering the lively conversation makes me start to giggle again! The fellow who started the whole idea joked that he’s certain it’s a real thing and I’m guessing we’re starting a new trend here. I can see “pre-shower” going viral. If you’ve never heard of the pre-shower, I recommend you give it a whirl. I would, however, discourage you from taking or sharing selfies of yourself during the pre-shower.
Kristin Emery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.