Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day 2007: Hot Hot Hot

**Frantic calls saying, "Come over soon" and "How quickly can you get here?"
**Feeling adrift without this special man in my home right now, heating things up.
**Knowing that I can't make it through this night without him, without those special skills only he can bring.

I am, of course, speaking of the plumber.

I am, of course, speaking of the fact that the bath faucet blew open yesterday, pouring super-hot water into the bath at full tilt. That the shut-off valve to the bath itself broke. That I didn't know where to find the whole-house water shut-off valve to stop the deluge until I called two neighbors and a wonderfully helpful friend who sent me in the right direction, helping me to shut off both the water and the water heater until I could (and here's the rub) find a plumber. In an ice storm. On an hour's notice.

Yeah. You can tell how the night ended:

Three hours later.
500 bucks lighter.
...And the worst part of it all? I was thankful!

Aaah...the romance. Yes indeed. A textbook craptastic day. Made worse by the fact that Bambina was being particularly whiny all day, made worse by the fact that I was semi-ignoring her in favor of trying to avert watery disaster. Made worse by the fact that I was acutely missing my father. The entire time I was frantically trying to switch off the broken bath pipe, searching for the water valve, turning off the water heater, wondering why I was smelling gas, working to identify the myriad red and blue faucet handles on the multiple pipes attached to the various pieces of equipment, I was thinking, "My Dad would know this. My Dad would SO KNOW this. I wouldn't be alone in f*(&^ing water pipe hell smelling gas with my kid upstairs if my Dad were on the other end of the phone walking me through it."

In the end, I found a plumber, everything got fixed, my house was not destroyed and Bambina was suitably convinced by two chocolate hearts to let mama investigate the basement without her. It all turned out fine, but it was a timely reminder that it's inexcusable to not know the location of the water shut off valve. It's inexcusable to have never before set foot in my water heater closet. It's inexcusable to solely rely on the kindness of neighbors and the --$500-- advice of a plumber.

Bag of chocolate hearts? $1.50
Flashlight for water heater closet? $7.00
Plumber parts and service? $500
Unsubtle reminder that I need to become the same grown-up problem-solver that I've always relied on my Dad and Mom to be for me? Priceless.

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