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Sun, November 18, 2012
My Wife the Plumber

Stress can be a killer; that is a fact of life.  Those irksome issues that continually float around in your mind, constantly taking up valuable synapsis energy, does that sound vaguely familiar?   All the while complicating decision making, nagging your brain, always there, just bugging the crap out of you.    I have had one particular stressor, one that is bothering the crap out of me.

 My stressor of late, our constantly running toilets!

This major stressor started as a small stressor, not even a stressor, more of a curiosity, sort of a drip that I noticed quite a while ago.  A very subtle thing that really most people in our household did not even notice, however being a borderline OCD kind of guy I notice the strangest things sometimes and truthfully it started to drive the annoyance factor skyward.

First let me tell you that when I lived in Southern California (15 years,  1980-95) I became conditioned to water usage, toilets specifically.  Yes I know this toilet thing (I have a section in my book, “Maximize Your QOL-The 200% Solution on poop),  is one of those inherent weirdnesses, I admit it.  Back then you were told that flushing after every urination was really a waste of precious water, so conserve and flush maybe every third time. 

Ok, I get it, so with my in-built OCDness I am the consummate water conservationist.  At least as far as toilets go, drives my family nuts, but since I do not use the same kind of mindset as far as irrigating my lawn, (green grass and an in ground sprinkler system is a mandatory must) I really have got to save where saving can be had!

 Is there any logic in that mindset?

Therefore my anxiety with the running toilet; starting to make sense? I hope so, anyway.

As a very non-mechanical guy, (I could digress and go into building the talking doll house for Ashley when she was little, but let’s save that disaster for another time) I have grown to understand that I really do suck in the patience department when assembling, reading directions to build stuff, or repairing anything with more than like three components.  I am a brute force kind of guy, give me a shovel and I can dig a great hole, lawn stuff, planting, growing, outdoor chores, toting, wheelbarrow,  that require muscle strength, no problem, I am your guy.  Change the oil in the car, headlight, brakes, or for that matter assembling anything, (see above talking doll house) forget it.
 
So when the toilet issue started to get worse, (frankly I had hoped it would fix itself, to no avail, dang it) I started to stress.  I mean anytime I used the darn thing I could see the trickle, it was annoying as hell and getting worse.  To top it off two of our other toilets started having the same problem, (an impending disaster waiting to occur).

Fast forward six months-yes six months, not only a consummate OCD driven brute force, lack of mechanical skill kind of cat, now I have allowed the slow water torture to escalate.  It is time, it is time to call in the experts, because if I attempt this project here is what will happen.

  • I will buy the wrong stuff
  • I will return the wrong stuff and buy more stuff
  • Buy tools that I will never use again
  • I will attempt to install possible right stuff
  • I will break something and have to buy more stuff
  • I will spill water, cause a leak and basically make the problem worse putting our toilet on the DL (disabled list)
  • Get really upset, (see above OCD), and spend many hours on something I knew I should not have attempted in the first place, spend way too much money and energy, a complete waste of my time.

Time to call in the experts, my brother the plumber!

“No problem”,  he said, “probably need a whatchamacallit rebuild kit, I will call and get it done”.

Now in all fairness to my bro, he is a great guy and has bailed us out in emergency situations in a heartbeat, fairly, and saved us a ton of money.  This however is very low on the emergency priority list, and honestly he is a busy guy.  So in essence it never gets done.

Drats!

This is looking grim, I mean it has been six months (I am feeling the talking doll house anxiety syndrome)!

Enter my savior, my wife the plumber!

Ok time for digression,(and what would one of my articles be if I did not digress at least two, maybe three times).

Lucky for me, Sandy is a product of a father who taught his daughter to be self-sufficient in the big world.  Carpentry, tools, building stuff, gets in the dirt with me, she can handle herself, and frankly I am blessed.  Let me tell you dads out there, if you have daughters, help them become self-sufficient, because dependency is the kiss of death.   Sandy would love to get a tool for Christmas more than some girlie thing, it is just her passion.  I am a very fortunate guy in that aspect of my life.  If it came down to remodeling, spackling, painting you name it she has done it, she likes it and is damn good at it.

So unbeknownst to me, on her day off, (she does have a fulltime job) she decided to attack the running of our toilets.  She got on the Internet, did some checking, and figured it out.  And not to be one who just gets the answer and then delegates to me (knowing full well that my patience with this stuff is nil), she went to the store, bought the pieces she needed, and came home and replaced all three of the defective parts! 

VICTORY!

My wife the plumber saved the day!

It may have taken a big portion of her day.  It may have involved putting something more pressing off to get the job done.  And it may have taken the energy and cojones to say to herself I will get this done, bottom line she did it. 

And all for under $20.00!

My wife the plumber surprised me when I got home. I knew something was different as soon as I walked into that bathroom.  Actually I thought my brother the plumber had come by, but low and behold it was my wife the plumber that got it done.  Probably saved us $100.00, maybe more, who knows, all I can say is I love her for her effort and now my anxiety can focus on something else.

My check engine light that has been on for 8 months!

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