The toilet has been running for months. I’m sure our water bill would be 50% less if it was fixed. Not to mention the scare it gives me when it starts to “run“ while I am sitting on it! I’m sure I levitate at least three inches off the seat each time. My urgency to get this fixed has just not seemed to register with my husband, and I know why—neither one of us is very “handy” when it comes to home repairs.
Last night I hit the breaking point. I was sick and tired of the new “toilet flush assembly” (a.k.a. the damn toilet do-dad) sitting on my kitchen counter and mocking me. I mean seriously, it hadn’t even made it to the bathroom and we bought it weeks ago! Rather than wait any longer for my husband to fix it, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I put on an old tee-shirt and grabbed all of the tools required to do the job and headed to the bathroom. After all, the Home Depot man said this was an “easy” plumbing job. I can do this! (Maybe.)
Step 1: Turn off water and flush toilet. Check.
Step 2: Sponge out any remaining water from the back of the tank. Check.
Step 3: Remove old toilet flush assembly parts. (Hmmm…everything? Okay, yank, yank, yank!) Check.
Step 4: Get husband—now! (Where is this water coming from? Oh, crap!)
I admit that my timing wasn’t the best. My husband was watching the last few minutes of the NCAA Tournament, when I trotted into the living room and announced that he had better come help me if he didn’t want the house to flood. He didn’t move. He just looked at me in wide-eyed disbelief. Then he went back to hooting and hollering at the TV and texting his buddies.
I tried again, using more colorful language. “Ummm, I have 4 large bath towels sopping up the water on the bathroom floor. I don’t know where the water is coming from and I can’t get it to stop. Maybe you should hit pause and come help me before the house floods!“
All I got in response was an angry look and a furrowed brow.
And then I said the absolute worst thing I could have possibly said and it hung in the air for what seemed to be an eternity, “This is more important than any stupid basketball game!”
Well, that got a reaction! And I think I may have actually seen a blood vessel burst in his forehead. The good news is that after a lot of expletives being thrown about the bathroom, the toilet finally got fixed. Turns out I just hadn’t turned the water off completely—nothing major. My husband is still speaking to me even though the repairs took several hours to complete and I giggled and smirked during “One Shining Moment”. (That’s just a really cheesy song. I couldn’t help myself.)
The whole incident also brought up some questions about gender roles in modern society. In my parent’s day, the husband was in charge of earning the sole income to provide for the family, doing home and car repairs, cutting the grass, and managing financial investments. The wife was in charge of decorating and running the household, taking care of the kids during the day, cooking the meals (except grilling on the BBQ pit) and planning the social calendar.
Today we have a lot of lifestyle options, which is fantastic, but can also be a bit confusing. The roles and responsibilities within a marriage/partnership aren’t as clearly defined as they were 50 years ago. In my home, planning social engagements, vacations and doctor visits is my job because it’s easy for me to keep track of such things. I also do all of the grocery shopping and cooking because I don’t mind it and I have the time to do it. My husband is currently the only one working a full-time job, so that’s his big contribution. He also gets to lug heavy items into the attic for storage because he’s stronger, and I’m afraid of ladders.
We are fortunate enough to be able to hire people to cut the grass, fix the car and advise us on our financial investments.
But fixing toilets, clogged drains, and broken garbage disposals—well, that’s definitely a team effort. And nobody is getting to sit on the sofa and eat bonbons until it’s done!