Shower solace in a chair

Finding respite in the shower with an old-lady blue plastic shower chair. Picture: Pexels

Finding respite in the shower with an old-lady blue plastic shower chair. Picture: Pexels

Published Feb 11, 2024


Durban — Who’da thunk it? The most resisted purchase in the house has turned into one of the best ever. It beats the couch, feet down. In fact, it’s so lekker I’ve ordered one for the “office”.

It’s a pastel baby blue plastic and aluminium, rigid-backed old-person shower chair. It was an acknowledgement that age may just be a number, but someone forgot to tell my skeleton.

Blame it on the heat. Last year was recorded as the hottest year on the planet, but I feel it in my bones this one will see that and raise it one or two degrees.

Usually, the whining about sweaty sauna conditions starts in February when the mercury really hits the fans. This year, Januworry in this household was less about the wallet and more about the wall of humidity that seemed to close in early.

The poor hounds in their fur coats stare at each other from their preferred spots of coolth, panting and lying on their backs to get a waft of wind from the human’s ring of fans. They lack the energy to ensure their human is never out of their sight. Or perhaps they’ve finally understood that bathroom breaks aren’t hazardous and they don’t need full pack attendance for protection duties. There’s a fan in there too.

This is a water and electricity-wise household, but the shower offered some respite from the heat. I didn’t even have to turn the geyser on because the “cold” water wasn’t; just cool enough to refresh for a couple of minutes.

Showering has become a trade-off: a bit of chill in exchange for sweating up a sharper pain input. And so one of the last tools of surrender: an old lady’s bones got a shower chair. Budgetary resources will need to be reallocated, spun and stretched to meet the extra need for water. It is a guilty pleasure because there are so many people who do not have the luxury.

There is still some adapting to do as the soap and shampoo are now out of reach, so a plan will have to be devised to keep the bar “unmelted” and the bottle contents from being diluted.

Big positional challenges remain: should the chair face the spout, making it easier to reach the tap, or is it best to have the glorious coolish water spilling down the back of your head? It’s hard to believe what an adventure a simple shower can become.

When I discovered the legs were height-adjustable, the misery of the multi pillowed and uncomfortable office chair started to fade: it goes high enough for the desk. It’s light enough to drag from the desk to the TV. The test will be whether it remains as welcoming for periods longer than a shower or a shift.

It’s not going to win any House & Garden prizes for decor, but at least it’s not cerise or pastel pink, and fits in just fine with the Mediterranean-inspired blue and white colour scheme. The dogs, of course, will be very happy to have the couches to themselves, but we’re going to have to negotiate cuddle and nap time; nothing is better than nodding off with paws intertwined at one end and a furry body at your head.

So many adjustments can feel inconsequential but have huge impacts on “other-abled” people. This one implores you to dance, skip, jump, run, walk and shower with joy and freedom while you can do them without a plastic chair.

Independent on Saturday

Related Topics: