Monday, May 6, 2013

Sometimes, a situation occurs—something way too delicious to let it slip by—that merits it’s very own blog post. Such a sitch has, indeed, occurred in Walker World, friends. Enough even to send me back into the blogosphere, a place I have avoided since December.

Turns out, one can get a great deal of television watched when avoiding one’s craft; but not much else. So consider this my Back to Business blog post. I want to keep it updated, at least once a week. No need to disappoint all 12 of my followers.

Once again, I have learned much about how a “simple” home renovation is a mirror of real life relationships. These same repairs also create an enormous amount of dust.

We are “thiiiiisss close” to finishing our brand-new bathroom. We are a family of five sharing a smallish space, whose bathroom grand total is one and a half. That ain’t much space, folks. Not only does it mean we use a carefully calculated Excel file coordination system of who showers when, but it also means no adult has showered (or done any other bathroom business) unaccompanied since around 2002.

While the full bath re-do was happening, we shared the half bath, a space approximately one-third the size of a Smart Car. It was loads of fun, especially before I got wise to using my daughters’ closet space as a handy litter box placement; until then, even the cat used the half bath. It was a constant lesson in patience, something I run short on too often.

Further, the half bath doesn't have a shower, so let me just say we're now members in good standing at the local YMCA. I joined the day before Easter so I could show up at church clean and spiffy in my Sunday best, and not the yoga pants and "St. Patrick's Day 2009" t-shirt I'd sported most of Spring Break.

The re-do has been a family affair. Most of the work has been done by my husband and my dad, though me, my brother and my sister have all pitched in. It is looking great. I love the gray walls, the new tub and sink, and can’t wait to hang my shower curtain—a 72”x72” New York City subway map.

But the one sticking point has been the shower vent/light. They were able to turn the vent on, and it worked fine, but the light did not. A series of re-wiring, junction box inspections, plugging and unplugging, then re-plugging in every possible combination, left the fellas out-of-sorts about the whole thing. There were trips to The Home Depot (this is how men solve an assortment of problems), calls to electricians and even reading the directions. Still, the light to the vent was not turning on.

Meanwhile, this slowed the progress of my dream ceiling: tin tiles, sprayed-painted yellow and affixed with some adorable crown molding. Then I realized that the ceiling was about to cost more than the combined cost of the new floor and tub. Now my dream ceiling has a less lofty requirement: done. And yellow. I will not bend on the yellow.

Alas—and here’s where the real life lesson comes in—the solution was simple. My hard-working man climbed up into the attic on Saturday, determined not to come down until he figured the damned thing out.

And then there was light! And a vent! At the same time!

Here is exactly the way my beloved explained the problem to me—I swear—word for painfully-true-yet-simple-to-solve word:

 “The male end was not connecting with the female end.”

Let me type that again for you, folks. It’s too good to say only once:

“The male end was not connecting with the female end.”

Well, I’ll be damned. There it was, the solution to an entire lifetime of complications, all wrapped up in a Columbia sweatshirt, feet dangling out of a hole in my bathroom ceiling.

He went on. “It was actually a simple solution. The male end was just pushing the female end away, but I needed to make a way for them to connect to turn it on.”

Listen, fella, who you tellin’?

And so, we have a light, a vent, a connection and a really, really good story about the bathroom.

It’s all about connection. Once that’s been made, it doesn’t take much effort to flip my switch.

Who’s turned on?



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