I don’t ask for much, but that my morning routine flow undisturbed: thirty minutes of peace, a cup of good coffee, and a hot shower. My children allow me this time out of the abounding love they have for me in their hearts, and the respect due me as their mother.
Yeah right. The deal is that I get my thirty minutes every morning, and the kids get five bonus dollars in their allowance.
And yes, I know it’s bribery, but it’s all I’ve got.
However, I am a shrewd consumer, and believe in receiving services paid for. If I have to pay for my morning groove, then by golly, I expect to have it. Should even one of these three key ingredients be missing and my peace be disrupted, then the deal is off.
This means that if the phone rings, or the dog sighs heavily, or a sunbeam falls too loudly upon the floor and disturbs my peace and disrupts my routine, there will be no bonus dollars forthcoming at the end of the week.
Should I find that there is no coffee to be had in the house, not only is our business deal null and void, but I am likely to pierce every living thing from the oldest child to the smallest fern in the window, with a very sharp look, and return to my bed for the rest of my life or until such time as a coffee bean is produced, ground, and properly brewed.
As important as silence and a supply of good coffee are, a shower is possibly even more so: the hot water, you see, opens the pores on my scalp allowing my brain to breathe, and life to continue. Without it, my head is likely to implode from the negative pressure. I am completely convinced of this.
It takes the water in our bathroom a few minutes to warm up, so I turn it on and let it run while I brush my teeth. This is also part of my morning routine, and it usually goes without a hitch. However there was a time that I pulled the curtain back to find the that the drain was clogged and the tub was filling up with water.
This is not part of the groove. I do not like slopping around in ankle deep water. That is not showering. That is wading.
The plunger was completely ineffective against the clog, as was the wire hanger I sent down to do a little reconnaissance work. It was time to move on to chemical warfare. Two and a half bottles of drain cleaner later, the drain was no closer to allowing the water to pass through, and had, in fact, backed up into the tub.
When in doubt, google it. The internet told me to try baking soda and vinegar, and flush it with hot water. All this accomplished was to make the chemicals in the tub bubble and smell bad enough to make the wallpaper begin to peel off the walls.
Like nearly every problem encountered in life, I found that the more solutions I poured into it, the bigger the mess became. It was becoming increasingly clear that I couldn’t fix this problem on my own, and I needed to call in a higher authority.
But who to call. There was no way I was going to call my husband. Smart wives never call their husbands in plumbing situations. The husband almost invariably insists that he can fix it, whatever it is, as soon as he gets home from work, and under no circumstances are you to call a plumber.
Better to call the plumber and then tell the husband what happened.
I knew that the man who showed up must be a really good plumber, because he wore the official plumber uniform: gray work shirt with a name patch that read “Bob,” and pants that would not stay on his waist. Plus, he had tools. Tools always instill confidence. Wrenches, and screw drivers, and all kinds of things, including about a million miles of wire cable.
He sat on the edge of the tub, gave it a disbelieving look, and then looked at me sideways, just as disbelievingly. “Well then,” he started, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a problem like this before. No siree, there’s no way that water is going down. Nope, not without a miracle of God.”
“There isn’t?” I replied, dismayed. All hope of recovering my groove dissipated. A miracle of God, he had said. Should I have taken my clogged drain and my subsequent lack of peace to an even higher authority than Bob the Plumber?
“Of course,” he continued, “unless you do this.” And with that, the plumber reached over. And flipped the drain switch. And all the water went down.
I offered him a hundred dollars to keep his mouth shut and never tell anyone what an idiot I was, but he shook it off and said that it was way too good a laugh to sell. In fact, he wouldn’t even let me pay him for the service call.
It has not gone down in history as one of my better moments, but I did learn from it. Besides it could have been worse: it could have been my husband who found my mistake, and I wouldn’t ever have lived it down. If I could just keep the kids quiet, he would never even have to know.
And they have kept it quiet, but their silence has come with a price tag that borders on highway robbery.
The deal is ten bonus dollars a week in their allowance, but I get to keep my groove.
copyright 2004 dori knight