Sunday, May 16, 2010

Easy Does It

If I had a crystal ball I wouldn’t have put up with a mess in our bathroom for the last three weeks. But I don’t, so I did. One of the sinks in our bathroom has been draining slower and slower and slower over the past few months. I knew it was probably clogging up but I wasn’t up to the facial expression and verbal response I knew I would hear if I mentioned plumbing to Dean so I just learned to live with it. I had a mental plan to replace the counter/sink combination in a few months anyway so why bother. But one day, about three weeks ago, Dean, for whatever reason, decided to use that sink instead of the guest sink I would rarely have to clean if he didn’t insist on using it.  He experienced the slow draining water and decided he should get rid of the clog. Yes, I forgot to mention my replacement plan to him, but he made it sound like getting rid of a sink clog was pretty simple. He didn’t actually say the words but he definitely implied that it would be easy. I thought he’d be in and out in less time than it normally took the sink to drain.

The simple solution to a slow-draining sink would have been to purchase some kind of clog-busting solution, pour it down the sink and ta da! No more clog. (why, oh why, didn’t I think of that months ago?) But no. In our house we “do it the right way or we don’t do it.” Out came the tools. Out came everything from under the sink.

As it turns out we can’t do it at all—right or wrong. Okay, that’s not completely true. The first weekend Dean spent several hours unclogging and replacing parts. We don’t have a clog anymore. The water drained down the sink quickly. The problem was, as it was draining, it leaked below the sink into the cabinet.

A couple of days later I got sick and Dean must have decided that the verbal abuse he heaps on the sink and drain as he works on them would be too much for me to tolerate in my weakened state so no further progress was made. Yesterday I convinced him to finish the job. “It’s cloudy and cold and you can’t work in the garden today. What else could you possibly do with your time?” I know. I can’t believe that worked either. I showed him where it leaked. At first he was in denial. “I don’t feel any water leaking. Why did you tell me it’s leaking? The pipes are just sweating.” “They’re plastic” I said. “They don’t sweat.” I don’t know if that’s true but I said it with conviction so I think he actually believed me. He finally felt the leak, realized he’d have to replace even more parts, got that “I hate plumbing” look on his face and conceded victory to the sink. There was no way I was going to call a plumber to fix a sink that should have been replaced five years ago so my replace-our-bathroom-counter-sinks-and-faucets-project was moved up to now.

20 minutes later we were at Home Depot ordering a countertop and looking at sinks and faucets. It’s a good thing Dean loves destruction because now we have to remove the old countertop and sinks in preparation for the new stuff. I could have hired someone but my past experience has been that you arrange the terms of the job with the “boss” who is competent and adult and experienced but he sends in his worker bees to do the job. I have this nightmare of an 18-year old kid coming in, ripping out the counter and half my wallpaper along with it. Then as he’s carrying out the counter, his iPod earbuds get tangled in his phone while he’s texting and he slams the corner of the cabinet into the wall. Dean may be the slowest home remodeler in all of creation but he is meticulous.

We should replace the bathroom cabinet while we’re at it but I don’t want to. Dean tells me “it’ll be no big deal to refinish it and add new hardware.  It’ll look new. It’s made of good wood and there’s just a thin layer of stain. It’ll be easy.” I guess that means that sometime after he stains the patio door we replaced four years ago, and the woodwork in the kitchen we finished remodeling 3 ½ years ago, and woodwork around the windows we replaced nearly four years ago, he’ll get to the bathroom cabinet. I’m allowed to help with destruction but that’s it. Geez, unaccidentally spill a little paint on the porch while painting the house and you’re banned from anything staining or painting related for the rest of your life. But that’s okay. He’ll be fine without me. It’ll be easy.◦


Abby said...

It will be interesing to see how much progress has been made by the time I come back for a visit. Good luck!

Art Elser said...

I HATE PLUMBING!!!!! There's a conspiracy in the world of plumbing suppliers. They change the sizes, shapes, and material of all pieces of the supplies you need. It always involves at least five trips to the hardware store, most of them to return stuff that looked right but is slightly wrong.

I'm glad Dean loves doing that stuff. If he wasn't working on the plumbing and BFD, what would Cathy have to write about. And I do so enjoy her blog.