Aug
14
2010

A Bathroom update

I was hoping to get another article out of my whole bathroom problem. I figured I could give regular updates as to its progress.

But I have one problem. There is no progress to report.

Actually that is not correct. We did pick out tile. We placed 20 different tiles carefully around the perimeter of the bathroom, and asked all our holiday guests to pick their favorite. “None of the above” was the hands down winner.

“Wait a minute.” my husband said, as I read this out loud. “There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve done that you just can’t see.”

“Yes.” I said, nodding. “I can agree with that.”

“No!” he said. “I mean wiring and stuff. Lots of work that you can’t see. I spent days rewiring the bathroom. I relocated the light switch and disconnected the wire that goes to the light over the kitchen sink. Then spent another day re-connecting it.”

“Ummm. That’s helpful.” I say carefully.

The only interesting news on the husband front is of sniffling and echinacea. He segued from bathroom repair to holiday preparations, to a three week long cold.

I called my friend. She asked suspiciously. “Could this cold have anything to do with the bathroom?”

I immediately went into doom and gloom environmental catastrophe mode. “Mold?” I thought, panicking. “Plaster dust? Asbestos? Could my half-repaired bathroom be a health hazard?”

“Do you think…” I started. Then I realized what she was insinuating.

“Oh.” I said. “You know, It doesn’t matter how long the cold lasts. I realize that the bathroom is not going to be done until Easter. Or maybe later if this cold doesn’t go away.”

She and her husband had re-done their bathroom. By choice.

I reflected on the cold facts. Some of us are married to ants, who spend all summer long preparing for the cold winter. And then there is the rest of us, who watch our grasshoppers play and cavort, convinced that life is just an endless summer.

And I rationalized. My own mother had not even had one bathroom while she was growing up. She and my aunt shared a double bed, and a chamberpot. A chamberpot was what was used in the middle of the night to avoid the journey outdoors to the outhouse. They shared a chamberpot that got fuller and fuller, and had to be carried carefully down the stairs so it would not slosh, or spill. How, I think, can I complain about having only one bathroom?

Still, at the moment, even my grasshopper analogy does not work. My husband is not singing and playing in the sun, and making me laugh. He is sniffling, and shuffling, wandering aimlessly about the house, wrapped in a comforter. He is too tired to read. He is bored with TV. He wants me to pick up a flashlight and look into his throat, and gasp with shock at how red it is. He wants me to show him a little sympathy.

“Call your mother.” I suggest.

“You’re so cold. Why are you so cold?” he whines.

“Because its only 65 degrees in this house! I’ll turn up the thermostat.” I offer.

I rationalize some more. We were a one-bathroom family for several years. We survived then, I think to myself. Has wealth and privilege, and a second bathroom, corrupted us absolutely? What kind of whiners are we?

“I don’t feel goood…..” my husband cries.

“You don’t sound good either.” I answer.

“I need a hug.” he continues.

“I need a topic for an article.” I counter.

So here we sit, in our one bathroom household, surrounded by kleenex, vitamin C, echinacea, bad tile, and insolvable wiring dilemmas. I think my throat is starting to hurt, and I still can’t think of anything to write about. Summer could be a long way off. There is only one solution.

“I need a hug too.” I whine, crawling underneath the comforter, making my poor sick mate move over. He moans a little, coughs, and wraps his arms around me. Maybe, I think to myself, as I begin to doze off, maybe us grasshoppers can just hibernate a while and wait for summer to return.

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