Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Sort Of

Yesterday started innocently enough, with coffee at Mom and Dad's. Evan brought his new dog (!) over to meet us. Mia is a large critter and fearsome to me, but I'm not going to live with her, I remind myself.

My next stop was the salon, where I encountered my sister beside an overturned pedicure throne, up to her elbows in trouble. She'd come in early to meet a plumber who was going to work on the conked-out hot water heater. (Try to run a salon/spa without hot water. Not good.) While waiting, she decided to do a little deep cleaning on the pedicure thrones and discovered that the footrest on one of the thrones was in seriously bad shape. Water had gotten under it and destroyed the plywood foundation. When I walked in, she was struggling to remove the bolts, which were rusted into immobility within the nuts.

We tried WD40 and something called Nut Buster to no avail. I held the nut while she turned the bolt; she held while I turned. No go. We sprayed something else on the bolts and left it to work magic while I went off to buy 6-inch foam and new vinyl to build new footrests. (I used the old one as a pattern, and it didn't turn out to be very difficult.)

While I was at the upholstery shop, Deb called with the news: $1200 if we could find the part in town, $1300 if we had to overnight it, $4,000 if we decided on a new hot water heater. Yikes! It's a hot water heater. How could it be that expensive? Turns out a hot water heater vented in a way that can be housed in a small closet is a very valuable commodity.

With the new footrest in hand, I went back to the problem of removing the bolts. Just me and my trusty hacksaw blade. Good times. Perched inside the foot basin, I sawed and sawed and sawed. While I was sawing away, a flood developed beneath one of the shampoo bowls 10 feet away. For unknown reasons, a joint in the drain pipe separated, flooding the area with sudsy (cold) water.

Having my hands full with the pedicure throne and all, I asked the plumber to fix it. Took him less than 10 minutes. He added $200 to the bill. (I'm gonna be a plumber in my next life.)

Deb arrived with a new hacksaw blade and fresh arms. We managed to get both bolts cut off. It took half an hour to clean away all the solvents we'd used, but we finally got that accomplished, righted the pedicure throne, and reinstalled the water supply and drain lines, only to discover we had a leak. Damn. Dad came over to help us try to resolve that. Turned out we needed new supply hoses.

We finally got everything operational and clean, and I headed home to start my day's writing work. It was 4:00 pm. Before I got home, the manager called to report that one of the toilets had overflowed. She handed the receptionist a plunger and told her to knock herself out.

Nothing to do but laugh.

In the midst of it, it wasn't actually all that bad. Expensive, yes. Frustrating at times. But even lying under the pedicure throne with filthy water dripping onto my face, even crouched inside the basin with my legs and arms cramping as I sawed and hacked at those nuts, even writing checks we'll have to scramble to cover, it was just life, just one crummy day of that life.

I'm feeling a big shift lately, a turning toward something I don't yet recognize and can't imagine. Feels like something's waiting for me to discover it. And whatever it is, is bigger than broken water heaters and rusted bolts. Bigger than everyday annoyances of any stripe, really.

I've been thinking about what I came here for, who I'm meant to be and how grow into the place I've been given. No big answers yet, but the questions.... Ah, the questions themselves are worth the price of admission. Even on a day that involves hacksaws and Nut Buster.


Doubting Thomas said...

In other words....

a pretty good day.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I'm sorry, NUT BUSTER????? LMAO!!!!!

That "What did I come here for?" question IS worth the price of admission. Eckhart Tolle says we didn't come here to be happy, we came here to become conscious, and it is through relationships that we do so. And when we become conscious, we become happy.

Nut Buster makes me happy - if not conscious.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Forgive me, but I'm still laughing over Nut Buster.

Oh, I see Carrie and I are on the same page.

Jess said...

Love this post and I love Carrie's comment.

Also love that I can totally picture all of this happening there. And have I said in a while how much I could use a pedicure now?

Go Mama said...

Good times, J!

Deb said...

Every moment is our perfect teacher. Just another day in life school. I give you and A+ and a handful of gold stars for staying in it and keeping your cool.

I love you can turn rusty bolts into great stories. It's a gift, dear friend!