From Where I Sit – If Only It Was Hair in the Drain

This column originally appeared June 20, 2008, in issue 1625.

Thursday night Roy was shaving before a late shower. Before long, with the air of a beaten man, he announced the sink wouldn’t drain. We assumed the culprit was hair in the trap.

Removing all the products under the sink, finding an ice cream pail to catch the water, and getting the tools to loosen the connections all took time. That would’ve been fine if it had worked. Sure, there was guck in the pipes, but two more attempts at taking it all apart didn’t do a damn thing. Today’s ABS pipe is virtually trouble-free. The 49-year-old copper pipe is not. A horizontal piece was corroded and had a chunk missing.

I’ll spare you all the gory details. Suffice it to say that when we finally went to bed at 2 a.m. the problem was not solved and in fact had taken on a life of its own.

we’re not quite sure how water ended up coming through the light fixture in the basement bathroom. At this point, we have some ruined ceiling tiles, water damage to the paint on one wall, and a wrecked light fixture downstairs. Roy was quite the sight in his boxers, standing barefoot in water yanking on the fixture. I kinda think at that point electrocution was looking like a good way out. I can see the personal ad now: Recent widow looking to meet a plumber.

Because of much craziness in our lives right now, It’s nearly a week later and this is the routine: Wash your face and hair and do your teeth in the kitchen sink. Take a bath. Find your deodorant, etcetera, in the vanity drawers that are either in the office or the bedroom. Do your makeup and hair at the kitchen table. Our personal hygiene is starting to suffer because the bathroom has become a gut job.

The new granite countertop we bought a week earlier and stored in the basement for ?when we had time? has now been dragged upstairs. I repainted the walls and ceiling and gave the old vanity two fresh coats of paint.

we’ll have to switch the faucets from a four inch to an eight inch. And if we’ve done all this, we might as well replace both the ceiling fixture and the light bar above the sink. Hey, and Roy never did like the old mirror, so I guess That’s gone too.

Once the vanity was yanked out (its new home is in the kitchen) it only makes sense to replace the flooring while we’re at it. Luckily we had picked up a few boxes of vinyl planking at ReStore a few months ago, so That’s ready to go.

That also means the toilet will need to be lifted. Might as well replace the wax ring and water hook ups while we’re at it. The total for all this is nearing a thousand dollars and counting. And we’re still nowhere near having it done. Though I did re-hang the shower bar and curtain, so showers are now possible again.

In time, it’ll be a thing of beauty, from where I sit.