Saturday, January 15, 2005

Home Deposed

Owning a house is like feeding a teenager. They both have voracious appetites, and are a never-ending source of bother and comfort.

My wife reminded me again that the toilet in the guest bathroom takes too long to fill. She first told me about this problem sometime before Thanksgiving (she'll claim around Labor Day.) I have no reason to doubt her word, but I find it hard to believe that I would risk putting off something as important as a - gasp - slow-running toilet in the guest bathroom.

My original solution was to tell her to quit inviting guests. That didn't get much traction, so I pointed out that if they're guests a) they probably won't be over very often; b) they shouldn't be here long enough to need to use our bathroom; and c) they certainly won't be here long enough to know that the toilet is slow-filling. This theory was good until Thanksgiving, when her entire family (somewhere between 30 and 1000 people) showed up at our house to eat dinner. They consumed entirely too many liquids, necessitating numerous trips to the guest bathroom. Seeing that it was not filling fast enough, they transferred the traffic to our private -- and therefore not "company clean" -- bathroom.

That was the last straw.

Every man has his sanctum sanctorum, his batcave, his fortress of solitude where visitors are neither permitted nor welcome. My turf had been invaded, and it was time to do something about it.

Now it's January. Last night my wife again reminded me of the toilet. Her mind is all-encompassing and nothing escapes her notice. She is omniscient. Last night, after a full day of semi-torpor (aided by some heavy-duty cold-fighting medicine), I'm about to drift off to sleep, with nothing more on my mind than breathing.

My wife, after five days of serving as a juror in a high-profile trial that garnered world-wide headlines, still had enough awareness to focus my thoughts once again on the plumbing problem in the guest bathroom. "When are you going to fix that toilet?"

Her attention to detail is why I love her.

Heading into my day off, I need to 1) Repair the infamous toilet; 2) Repair our balky doorbell (which decided to convert its familiar ding dong to a sound akin to an angry wasp); 3) Replace three or four dozen light bulbs which manage to always burn out at the same time. This last chore is not as simple as it sounds, as we have ten-foot ceilings which make the light fixtures just this much too high for me to reach without help, but not high enough to require getting the step ladder. What this means is that I take my extra-large frame and step up onto a flimsy chair to change a light bulb, which often leads to a humiliating fall, and occasional shards of glass in my hair.

My Monday morning will complete the experience, as the guys I work with will be discussing the NFL playoffs, while I savor the memory of a full toilet tank.

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