There are some things in life that just make you feel good about yourself. You’re schlepping along, doing your regular thing, and then you achieve some awesome milestone or some long-dreamed-of victory. And all of a sudden, you could climb Everest, end the government shutdown, and make a delicious creme brulee, all in one afternoon. I had one such experience the other day. I’m pleased to say that it pulled me from the slump I’ve been in, which you may have noticed in my last couple of posts. “The bleak midwinter, I guess,” is kind of a terrible title, which might be why hardly anybody read that one.
After two hours volunteering at my sister’s science fair, I spent the rest of the day cleaning with a tiredness in my limbs that comes from the biting cold outside–it was “real feel” 18 degrees this morning, and the frosty air seemed to find me wherever I hid, tightening my muscles and chapping my skin.
And I don’t care what part of the world you live in, 18 degrees is cold. Sure, in Yakutsk it’s a balmy spring day, but come on. I’m not moving to Yakutsk any time soon, they’re the only city in the world with that much permafrost. I think they have a museum of permafrost.
Anyways, after cleaning in pajamas and slippers, I spent the evening reminding Andrew to say ‘yes, ma’am’ and not to hit and that toys were for playing, not throwing. He responded really well, and we did a lot of snuggling, but he’s still like 40 pounds, and the evening ended with exhausted me sitting down on the couch to greet Thomas with, “did you bring Chick-fil-A”?
He responded, “Um, no. Was I supposed to?”
“I asked you to.”
“Oh. I’m…just seeing that text now.”
I sighed. “Well, you don’t have to, but I don’t have anything made.”
So we had no dinner, but he did have the mail. And in it, was something…remarkable.
I’d ordered a drain snake, and it had arrived on the wings of Prime.
My tiredness, malaise, and hunger were forgotten as I opened the package and looked at this thing I’d ordered…it was long, like nearly 2 feet, flat and hard and lined with orange spikes that were more sinister than they looked. It was long enough to reach any clog in a shower drain, and I was ready to use it.
This requires some explanation.
We live in an old apartment and our drain gets clogged a lot. We also have very hard water. I’m also tired all the time. We also don’t have a ton of money to spend on Drano. All of those things lead to the image of me in my pajamas, kneeling next to the tub, holding what looks like the orange leash to some terrifying animal…which is kind of what came out of the drain.
(If you’re easily grossed out, skip this next paragraph…)
The problem with having dyed hair (which I have), is that you can tell how long drain hair has been sitting there. And honestly, if some of this hair was even mine and not the previous tenant’s, it was from at least a year ago. That’s how gross we’re talking.
My new shower unclogging tool pulled out handfuls of slime…hair, soap, tiny rocks of calcium from hard water, and shame. At last, with cries of “look at this grossness!”, I called Thomas in to see what I had done.
“That is…really gross,” he said, but in an impressed sort of way.
After Lysol-ing the tub and throwing away the drain snake (I got 3), the towel I’d washed my hands on, and the Evil Drain Contents, I was ready to take the perfect shower. And yes, friends, it truly was…the water ran right down the drain as I sang Coldplay songs and felt awesome for finally, FINALLY, fixing something myself. And when I got out of the shower, Thomas had McDonalds waiting for me. I mentioned we have no money, right? Also…(skip this if you’re easily grossed out)…he got a filet-o-fish.
So anyways…I can’t fix the government shutdown, I can’t afford to go to grad school and get smarter, Thomas eats McDonalds filets-o-fish even though I’ve advised against it, and it’s freaking cold outside…but I’m NOT showering in a three-inch puddle of water anymore, and for that I thank the Lord. No longer will the loud gurgling of the shower as it drains seem to mutter “loser” to me.
Thanks, team 🙂
Oh, and if you’re wondering where Yakutsk is, it’s in Russia, and here’s the Wikipedia page if you wanna see some incredibly cold temperatures. Like, I’m not sure how humans live where it’s this cold. Feel free to brag in the comments if you live in a place that would freeze my tail off.