Monday, January 23, 2012

I Want to be a Plumber

    The kitchen faucet broke. It was literally spraying everywhere like the fountain of youth. But I didn't want to take a shower in my kitchen, (since the neighbors could see me through the window) so I shut the water off. Cade's been so busy at work, I knew he wouldn't be home forever. And the last thing the poor guy wanted to do was fix the faucet. That's when I decided to fix the stupid thing myself.
   No one believes that I can do these things, not really. Salesmen in the store are THE WORST.
    This whole thing reminded me of last February; I kept seeing cute recipes on everyone's blogs. I felt bad for not having one of my own. So I contributed something that's more my style.  It wasn't how to cook quiche or how to create a perfect potato soup.  Instead it was: How to make a spud gun, so I could have a weapon to fend off predators! I know it might not seem convenient, but can you imagine breaking into someone's house, only to get filled with potatoes--not a pretty picture!


(Yes this is me trying to be silly--after all, how often do you see someone all made up--with a spud gun?!)

    Anyway, if you'd like to make your own potato launcher, go here (to my recipe): Spud Fun

    Back to the point, I had to fix my faucet. I went to the store and asked a nice man where the basin wrenches and water supply tubes were.
    "What are you gonna do with those?" he asked like I might bake a cake, right there in the store. "I hope you have a nice, strong man to help you."
    "I'M going to replace my faucet." I smiled sweetly, almost wanting to curtsy and then slap him with the hoses he'd helped me find.
    "Oh, ma'am. That's man's work."
    His words AND TONE made me angry, but I wouldn't be rude--not really. "Well, I can work just as good as any man." I looked him up and down, obviously judging him. He stood well over my height.
    "But you're so skinny, and small."
    Thanks for stating the obvious, buddy. He was a bigot, but you didn't see me pointing out HIS flaws. "You'd be surprised what women can do. I used to be a diesel mechanic. Some of the men would ask me for help with things because I could fit places they couldn't. I didn't care if I bruised my fingers and hands because things were so hard to tighten. I made good money to support my daughter and that's all there was to it. You do what you have to, Sir."
    "It still ain't woman's work." He looked at my boobs, like a pig in heat!
    I could have said so many rude things. How I pushed five babies out and that earned me the right to try fixing my own damn faucet. I wanted to ask if he's ever seen real pain or experienced it. Had he ever had to do whatever it took, just to make a dime and live decent so your kids could see the next day. But I already knew his answer--he was no oracle. So, I left because I had no idea what he thought earned one the right to fix their faucet--other than being male.
    After that I vowed to do the best job replacing my sink--for every woman who's had to fix something and then felt put down by men! I kept picturing that guy's mug-shaped face! I'd show him.
    I turned my radio to oldies, because my daddy always listens to oldies when he fixes things. Those two go hand-in-hand. I knew, without oldies blaring beside me, I'd be nothing--I wasn't sure why, I just knew.
    I pulled up YouTube and watched a few videos about installing faucets. One by "Eye Handy" almost killed me. In another video, the woman wore a string bikini--AND PUT THE FAUCET IN WRONG. She forgot the plumber's putty--talk about a leaky faucet. That was the sexiest install--EVER--though. 
    But did I really need to almost be naked to install my faucet? I didn't think so! That's when I watched a Lowe's video.
    The guy made it sound far too simple. "Then you just disconnect the water supply, do this and this, and you're done."
    Wow, I knew they'd taken bits out of the video to save time, but if I was as cool as the guy on camera, I could replace my sink in under two minutes, right? WRONG!
    While I worked on my faucet, the kids learned a whole new language.  Was that worth the effort--HELL yes it was--I was sticking it to the man. I cursed the guy from Lowe's and his simple, this-is-so-easy dialogue!  
    I took apart the pipes leading from the garbage disposal because I had no room to move before that. At one point a bolt fell on my cheek and unfortunately the Zombie Elf learned the word "shitballs." 
    "Get him out of here. This is no place for children," I told the Scribe.
    "But this is our kitchen?" she said.
    "Not now it isn't.  This is a war zone!"  
    It wasn't until Doctor Jones turned the dish washer on--and excess water flew into my face--that I thought I might die.
    Although, I felt like giving up, I refused. My baby waved to me. "Ma. Ma. Wa. Wa."  She giggled although it WAS NOT funny.
    That's when I heard the music. "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie," I sang as the gushing water slowed and left me in a pool of yuck. "Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry. Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey in Rye. Singin' this'll be the day that I die."  And I really thought I might die.  I've never hated the dish washer quite so much.
    I was in the midst of a war, fighting injustice, trying to be strong. And those words about death and cars--they suddenly gave me strength. I understood then, why my daddy listens to oldies. They're a necessary part to fixing things; they give you hope and light in an otherwise bleak world.
    Bruises covered my hands, especially my left hand since I ended up using a regular wrench and it hurt trying to tighten it like I must.
I finally stood from the sink, bent one last time to make sure it looked good and smiled.
    All the kids were back in the kitchen.  "Mama did it," they sang my praises, like I'd become Selena Gomez!  I felt amazing and capable!  I was their hero.
    "What's the big deal?" the Scribe said.  "All mothers do this kind of thing.  You do what you have to."
    I just looked at her and smiled.  That's my girl, I thought.  She's going to accomplish great things and no one will hold her back. 
    "The sink looks great, but there is one problem," the Hippie said.
    "What?" my heart nearly stopped.  
    "I can see your butt crack," the Hippie said.
    "Oh, that?  That's fine, Honey. That means I'm a certified plumber now. Plus, some people work in their bikinis."
    I touched the faucet, so proud, until I realized I put the thing in backwards! The nobs turned the wrong direction. The hot water felt awfully cold. The cold streamed burning hot! 
    I gasped.  They'd made it wrong! Well, not really, but that was a fun thought--for two seconds.

    I did get it fixed, all the while hoping Cade would be proud. "You have a good day?" he asked, greasy from fixing a rig at work. I love that he works construction, and that I didn't marry a pansy.
    I pulled up my pants and spit into the snow. "I fixed the sink. I know some people think it's man's work, but maybe it isn't. At least that's one less thing you need to do."  I realized then, it didn't matter what anyone said; I'd fixed the thing so Cade would be proud.
    It wasn't until he tried the sink that the cold water started leaking underneath. I hid it quite nicely, shoving a bowl under it and smiling so Cade would hopefully look at me and not the sink.
    "You got a leak there," he said. "But it's a small one. I'm real proud of you.  One tiny leak, we can fix that easy."
    I can't hide anything from him; we talk and he practically peers into my soul. Why had it started leaking, though? I racked my brain, thinking of anything, the washers, the supply hoses.  WE wouldn't fix it, I would.  Then, the problem hit me.
    "I meant for it to be like that. The other supply hose I got . . . was too small . . . but I figured I could fix it later . . . a tiny leak is nothing; that's better than no faucet at all.  I can run to the store tomorrow."  (And tell the mug-faced jerk--politely--how I'd installed it myself.)
    So, that is my project for today. It's not as cool as a spud gun, but it's far more useful. 
    I HAVE to fix that sink, and prove certain bigots wrong.  Women can do amazing things--anyone can if they put their minds to it.
    Plus, plumbing isn't just for men or women in bikinis--it's just not!

    When your husband isn't around to fix things, do you take matters into your own hands? Do you fix things in your bikini since it seems to be all the rage?


  1. LOL sure the bigot would have took you seriously when the "shitballs" started flying into the air...hahaha

    Women can fix things and do so called "man work" just fine. Althouhg watching ones in bikinis do it, is a nice perk..haha

  2. I have to give you a star ,nice job...fonz

  3. You have this amazing amount of self control. I would have thwapped him upside the head.

    My husband only recently discovered he can do handy man things himself. He's always been the computer geek in the family. Anyone needs their computer built/fixed/upgraded - he's their guy.

    However, recently he said screw it - and together we changed the crappy fan in our living room to one with a light! A Light! My living room has light! And then we changed all the exterior lights on the house :D

    I say we because in truth, I helped a LOT. But it felt good to see him feel handy, and I felt a sense of pride too.

    I hope you continue to change sinks and put bigots in their place for a very long time.

  4. You are a dynamite plumber! I am so impressed. When something breaks in our apartment, we call the manager. He fixes it. Neither one of us can do much more than change a lightbulb. :-)

  5. HAHAHAA!!!!
    i LOVE it!
    way to go!
    you need to tell mug-face that he got you the wrong part.
    i do a lot of the fixing of things around here, but my hubby tries as well...
    neither of us are any good at it though.
    dum dum duuuummmmm....

  6. My dad's been teaching me DIY since I was tiny. Out of two brothers and myself, I was always the one who took most interest in it.
    I don't know what I'd have said to that idiot in the shop.

  7. LOL!! You are a GREAT represenation of us women. :) hahaha

  8. I'll hoist a car and change tires and fix anything if I have to. Kudos to you.

  9. i'll usually try and take a project on on my own, but the husband then usually has to finish it up. i never seem to do it just right. but maybe if i did it in my bikini, it would help!

  10. Go Elisa go. Glad you didn't post the butt crack photo or you may have been reported to Blogger again.

    I do some fix-it-ups and the Mrs. tackles others. She is very handy around the house and knows many of the workers at the local hardware store by first name.

    Best wishes with your challenge and then being able to taunt those goofballs.

  11. You're far more handy than I. I'm still amazed I haven't burnt down the house or drowned us all from the few things I've managed to fix. A handyman I am not (although I will try not to take offense at being a "pansy", since I'm not in construction :)

    As for the guy at the store, you probably should've complained to a manager. This isn't the 1950's and someone with that attitude shouldn't be allowed to deal with the public.

  12. Yes, I do...that's why the molding around the bedroom door is nailed on upside down and backwards...LMAO. Good for you! I love trying things by myself, but I don't have as much success as you...

  13. Congrats on the plumbing! I used to do a few things like changing washers and such--had a book on home repairs--built my own flower boxes and toy boxes for my son when he was little. Harder to do much now because of permanent muscle damage to my left arm so that I can't push, pull, grip, or carry much. Took a lot of getting used to to adjust to not being as independent after all those years of doing things myself as much as possible. But I do know the feeling. It was wonderful! Never did any of it in a bikini, though--LOL! :)

  14. You go girl!!!! I to have change a facet and installed a electrical outlet that went bad. It was even the breaker surge one. i am sure that is not the correct name, but who cares, I did it. I am with you, tired of some men thinking because we are women, we can not handle things of this nature. They are so wrong. Congrats Elisa keep up the good work. You are one talented woman!!!!

  15. I LOVE the potato gun! All my brothers have one! I'm a wyoming girl; so that is one of our favorite past times; going into the field to shoot the potato gun and see how far it can get. lol

    I learn to be quite independent when the husband was deployed. I learned to check all the liquids in the car, check tire pressure, hang up shelves and pictures, move furniture that was to heavy to move, change light bulbs, put all those irritating 3 hr long toys together for the kids. And by golly, I took the trash out too! You know...all the "men's" jobs. I don't think any one job is meant for a man or women (except childbirth)and that one shouldn't do a "man's job" or a "women's job" but I do so love when the husband jumps in and fixes things around the house so I don't have to.

    Good luck on the faucet; I know you will totally whoop that sink into shape before Cade gets home! JadeLouise Designs

  16. At the risk of incurring groans by using a tired, over-used phrase - "You go girl!"
    ps - I love the line "I pulled up my pants and spit into the snow". :)

  17. You look so darn cute with your spud gun. Since I don't have a husband to fix things, I see what I can do myself, sometimes calling Favorite Young Man or The Hurricane for instructions. Then I carry on, and if I can't manage on my own, I call FYM or The H and cry or I call one of the men in my Husband Collection. However, I'd be perfectly open to having a woman in my Husband Collection because women can do anything if they get the chance to learn. I do not yet have a plumber in my collection. If you lived here, I would definitely pick you for the plumber post. I don't fix things while wearing my bikini, however. I don't want to mess it up because then I couldn't wear it for photo shoots (a.k.a. amateur porn). I wear a bra and pink granny panties.


  18. I do everything in a bikini. I've got to change a relay in the fusebox in my car and haven't got a clue how to do it so I will probably watch some semi naked lady teaching me how to do it on the internet. Then I will also be saying shitballs when my car explodes.

  19. Funny story. Well not all that funny. I am the husband and it seems like most of the handyman projects I touch turn to crap. The most recent thing came when our garbage disposal went kaput. I decided to just remove it and replace it with drain pipes. Not as easy as I thought. Leaks everywhere and finally I gave up and called a handyman (usually much cheaper than a plumber). He got it fixed but relished in showing me the things that I had screwed up and he had to fix.

    Wrote By Rote

  20. I don't recall ever having heard the word "shitball" before & trust me, I've heard a LOT of words. I will add this forthwith to my vocabulary. Thank you.

    I am (big surprise) reminded of a joke: A man calls a plumber because his faucet is stopped up--no water comes out at all. The plumber studies the situation, takes out his wrench & taps on the faucet with it. Once. The water starts flowing immediately. He hands the man a bill for $400.00. The man says, "That's ridiculous--I want an itemized bill!" The plumber writes out a new bill & hands it to the man. It says, "Tapping on one faucet with one wrench--$1.00. Knowing where to tap--$399.00."

  21. "When your husband isn't around to fix things, do you take matters into your own hands?" Do I really have to answer this? Really? The only thing Tony is completely in charge of is picking out the produce.

    "Do you fix things in your bikini since it seems to be all the rage?" Um No. I wear my jammies usually and my OSHA approved flip flops. I have a friend though who wanted a giant bean bag chair/ couch for her house. The only place she could find it was a porn site. So, the gigantic box arrives from UPS, with an instructional video on how to assemble her new bean bag furniture. And of course, the woman in the video needed to strip down completely naked before getting a wrench. So of course, my friend... she had to get completely naked too...

  22. Elisa, I love you so much, you are so amazing! You make my heart smile every time I read what you wright! Nicci

  23. I'm single, I fix everything myself although I do ocassionally borrow my best friends husband to repair the things I fix! And I have been known to mow the grass in a bikini, but just the backyard where the fence is high.

  24. Woohoo - go Elisa!

    I'm still living at home, so I often leave something to be fixed until my dad gets home. Same with my mom, although she has a tendency to screw things up anyway :P My brothers are sometimes able to fix things and there are a couple things I can fix myself, but for the most part, I let my dad fix things. Once I move out, I'll be glad for speed dial on cell phones: "Oh Da-ad..."

  25. I'm trying to get back into my bikini. Painting the ceiling in only heels is getting old. And by old I mean boring. Maybe it means I should open the curtains?

  26. I am useless I can't fix anything but then I have never had to as I have my dad and Tim. That said I have three very capable daughters who do not need a man to fix things for thme they will always try and do it themeself and most of the time they succed

  27. I don't have a husband, so I'm just obliged to fix everything myself. But I don't always succeed, luckily I live in an apartment so I can just call the landlord and ask for help...

    Great post, I smiled all the way through reading it :).

  28. Loved it! Made me laugh and yes we can fix things!
    I still can't figure out why men get an ego boost from helpless women though!
    Have an awesome day! You earned it!

  29. I want a spud gun, a really big one.
    You are so hilarious, and I needed that today!
    Yes, I have fixed things after bugging my husband for weeks and weeks. I have climbed on ladders, crawled under sinks.
    While I feel a good bit of pride in my ability to spit and such, I always ended up getting hurt after a couple of installs and furniture moving.
    Now, I leave the tools and the stuff on the kitchen cabinet, right by the fridge.

  30. Oh how much I know how you felt with that Ass Hat from Lowe's gave you the what for. Like you couldn't do it because you don't happen to have a penis currently attached to your body. I am all for letting a man help me when he is available, but life happens whether a man is available or not. So what do you do? Sit there and wait? Heck no, you put on your big girl panties and you take yourself to Home Depot to get parts if you can. I have found that Home Depot has come a long way on how to treat women. I am proud of you and have every faith that you will fix lots of stuff in the future, all by yourself!!

    Can you tell that you hit a sore spot... LOL!

  31. Wonderful story! Great job. I'm not handy, and neither's my husband. So we call an actual plumber. :)

  32. Good for you! Gotta love that YouTube! Nothing says you're fixing something like a curse word or two! you have the link to that bikini plumber? Kidding!!! Just kidding. :)

  33. You are a hero to every woman out there, and you look great posing with that spud gun. Women certainly have the right to fix their own faucet. Doing a man's work is definitely commendable. You have earned my admiration and respect.

  34. You should’ve shot the man with a spud gun the next time you were at the shop. Haha!

    It’s great that you were able to fix it. I myself have abysmal skills in plumbing, so I know that being a guy isn’t the only requirement in fixing sinks. I suppose I could learn, but I don’t want to deprive the plumbers a customer. Heh.

    -- Darryl Iorio