A few years ago, a shampoo bottle gave me life advice that I’ve been trying to follow ever since. I know this sounds ludicrous, but this wasn’t your ordinary shampoo bottle. This one had been through some stuff and wanted to share its sage advice.
Most shampoo bottles just say: “Lather, rinse, repeat,” and really, it would be difficult to apply that to any part of your life outside the shower. This one was different. It’s guidance really hit home and stopped me in my tracks the moment I read it.
This shampoo eschewed the advice of all the shampoo bottles that came before it and took a whole different tack. It told me to “Lather. Indulge. Rinse.” I could hardly believe it. Indulge? Was my shampoo bottle telling me to slow down?
I think it was. When do you ever hear the word indulge outside the context of talking about food? And don’t the food connotations of food feel kind of negative? Is that just me?
Well, this shampoo bottle didn’t care about negative connotations of indulgence conjuring laziness and gluttony. This shampoo wanted me to savor the moment it was in my hair.
And the conditioner bottle had even more specific instructions: “Massage, indulge (for at least one minute), rinse.”
I took those suggestions very literally. I made mental note to stay there, chilling with the conditioner in my hair, for what I could only guess was at least a minute (since I don’t have any waterproof time-telling paraphernalia to bring into the shower with me).
It’s probably just a sign of the obedient child I was and always will (kind of) be, but I followed the demands of that shampoo and conditioner. I stopped and noticed where I was. I ceased feeling like my five minutes in the shower (particularly the few minutes washing and conditioning my hair) were just a means to an end. A necessary evil.
No, this was a precious moment to “Indulge,” for crying out loud!! It was an order. It was printed in gorgeous serif font right there. I’m not gonna ignore this wisdom! Especially because the bottle cost $36 and makes my hair look like Gisele’s (or as close as it’s gonna get, anyway) and smells like heaven. This is no freaking drugstore Prell (which I always wanted to buy when I was little. Do they even make that beautiful green shampoo jello-like concoction anymore?)
So I slowed down and enjoyed myself because my shampoo told me to. I think about it literally every time I take a shower now. And sometimes when I’m not in the shower too.
Because everything is moving so fast these days. And it’s a rare moment that technology isn’t crowding out your brief moments of unspoken-for time. But there are moments worthy of indulging in, savoring, enjoying (you catch my drift), and I think life is better when we do that.
And if we can slow down and indulge for the minute we have shampoo or conditioner in our hair, what else could we savor and appreciate more? A sunset? A delicious meal? A moment of familial tranquility? A drink with a friend? A page of a favorite book?
Now, listen, I am no expert on this. Far from it. I mean, I still have to stop and remember what the shampoo bottle says when I’m in the shower. But every time I do, my body relaxes palpably. The commandment to indulge does something to me.
It reminds me there’s another way of doing things.
And it took a shampoo bottle to remind me.