This week, I learned to shower without a shower curtain. On a related note, Target is dead to me.

So, the other day I was deep cleaning my old and slightly shabby shower, which really needs help but I just don’t want to spend the money until I’m sure I’ll have a job next year. I had a really nice shower curtain for the last several years, but I finally conceded that it was Time to replace it.

Y’all are thinking, “Okay Catherine, but how did you end up showering without any shower curtain at all for days?” It went like this:

I decided it was time to replace the old shower curtain/liner because they were nasty and bedraggled, and washing wasn’t cutting it anymore.

No big deal, I just went on and ordered a new shower curtain and liner, plus cat litter and other random things, and two day free delivery! Yay!

The box arrived, and looked like it had been through hell. There was a hole in the side, awkwardly taped over. I fought through the extra tape to find a shower curtain liner, but no shower curtain. So, go back online, they’re shipping a new shower curtain (I think). Not a big deal, at least I have the liner, that’s what keeps the water in, I’m golden.

So I went to put the new liner up on the old rod (just an inexpensive pressure rod from Target, but it had served nobly). It was not looking so good, or working smoothly anymore. I started to take the old hooks (which were also getting rusty) off it, and it fell. The tension rod had lost its tension, and who could blame it? A cheap $12 tension rod had served nobly for around 8 years. It would not stay up any longer. It Just Could Not.

Okay, so, now we have no rod, hooks OR curtain, but I’m still fine! At least the liner is good! I went online to Target and selected a new, more expensive tension rod and new hooks to pick up in the store, and the liner had arrived in the beat up box, though weirdly, its package had been opened. But at least I’d have a waterproof barrier between me and the rest of the bathroom when I showered, and really, isn’t that all we really need?

So I picked up the new rod and hooks after work, and came home confident that I could install both easily.

An HOUR of cursing like a sailor later, I surrendered. The new rod was in theory way superior to the old one; it was fairly expensive and longer. The old rod that had done its best for years had been barely long enough to maintain tension in the space, so I went with a longer style that would not struggle to reach.

It did not even try. It was an absolute piece of shit. It was a tension rod that had no tension at all. I fought with it for a long time, cursing like a sailor and finally, with a long volley of curses at Target, gave up.

Meanwhile, the hooks literally fell apart in my hands. One actually cracked in half, but several more lost the little ball on the end of the hook intended to hold the curtain on. So yeah, all of that was going back, and did, the following morning.

So screw Target. I got onto Amazon, still sweating and cursing, and ordered a new tension rod, new hooks, and just to be sure, because I’m not confident I’ll ever see the shower curtain I really wanted from Target, a cheap emergency backup floral curtain. I had some fairly specific color requirements in a shower curtain because I already have rose and sage and cream/white towels, and that turned out to be a rather uphill climb right now. Everything is gray.

Prime is sort of sub-Prime these days. The soonest they could get it to me was today.

So, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning, I had no shower rod or curtain. I learned to shower carefully without one. It involved using as little water as possible, and it’s good that I have very short hair because shampooing is splashy.

Today the new shower rod, hooks, and cheap backup curtain arrived.

It actually took me less than a minute to put the new tension rod in place, because it’s an actual goddamn tension rod with a spring and suction cups to hold it to the wall, unlike that ridiculous piece of shit from Target. The hooks went on smooth as buttah and certainly did not fall apart in my hands, and the cheap backup curtain, while cheap, is also just fine.

Tomorrow I can finally shower without being conscious of splattering water all over the bathroom. I’m planning a 20 minute shower. It has been days since I could indulge that way.