In the middle of Menards

It's not perfect.

There are no candles, and the music is provided by the child who swears that Billy Joel is singing, "In The Middle Of Menards" – and I hate that song anyway.

The water is moderately cooler than my chilled body wishes it was; it's splashed far and wide around the room no matter how many times I gently or sternly ask for no wake. Things are far louder and more chaotic than if I were alone, and never before this have I found myself squirming as much as I do, while I ask politely for all tiny toes to shove out of my bum please and thank you. There's more meowing, more singing and more thrashing; more desperate hoping for no inundated and drenched kitty (that makes two of us), and far more bathwater ingestion than my conscience can sit comfortably with. There's water being funneled into my bellybutton, and there are sporadic comments like, "nice boobs, mama."

"Thank you," I say. I mean it, and so does she. The royal feline meows again, and I shield my face from the rubber duckie that's spraying a geyser of water up to the ceiling.

I grab my phone foolishly as I command four seconds of peace like I'm the town mayor; I get less than half that, but snap forty pictures anyhow.

It's not perfect — except that it is. It's all I want.