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*#!t Happens... to Gloria
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
Iíve been feeling particularly poor lately. Iím operating without credit cards and trying to take care of whatever problem arises. Lately, however, it means limping by with a cheap-ass temporary solution until I save enough money to get it fixed. Iíve had plumbing problems for a while, and doing laundry was awful. It would take six hours to do an eight minute load. I would have to shut the washer off, and then turn it back on, because the drain was slow. If I let it go, the water would overflow the washer drain pipe, and would also back up into the toilet. So Iíd get water on my kitchen floor and bathroom floor. I had to get rid of the water some other way, and draining it into the kitchen sink wasnít an option, because the kitchen sink would also back up into the toilet. The tub seemed to be the only drain that was working properly, because the bathroom sink would also back up into the toilet as well, causing some moments where I brushed my teeth while leaning over the tub. However, I didnít want to have to lug water from the washer in the kitchen to my tub in the bathroom.
I had to get rid of the water somehow, so I figured as a temporary fix, a 25 foot plastic hose would allow the water to drain ó out into the yard. It seemed totally redneck, but when money is tight and credit cards are non-existent, I was just looking for a way to do laundry without having to worry about the water. My lawn sure liked it ó in the area where the hose drained, the grass was extra tall and thick. My brother, not having seen the lawn, offered me some fertilizer, but I needed it about as much as Courtney Love needs a night job at a heroin factory.
The toilet was another story. It was flushing, sorta. Itís interesting how you can get used to things being crappy, literally. I dreaded my bathroom. I looked at the black plastic hose coiled on the kitchen floor. Part of me was happy that a co-worker had pointed out a cheaper alternative to the $45 I was planning to spend on a hose (he showed me a $10 model that did the job) but part of me was ashamed that I had to resort to this just to get laundry done. I could have gone to a laundromat, but it would have cost way more than $10, and I tend to do my wash at odd hours of the day. I didnít think there were any 24-hour laundromats here in Fort Wayne. Iíve used them before, and thereís too much temptation there. Video games waiting to suck quarters; overpriced soap. Iím also paranoid about if someone is going to lift my clothes. Not that anyone would want ancient sweat pants with holes in the crotch, t-shirts with deck stain on them and no-nonsense bras that strangely resemble the ones my mom wore, only mine arenít as big.
So I called a friend who had helped me in the past. I was totally convinced that a clog in the drain pipe that serviced the washing machine was causing the problem, because thatís what had happened in the past. Even having a plumber cleaning out the line in the front yard didnít really help the last time around, so a friend snaked the drain pipe for the washer outflow, conveniently located in a corner of my kitchen, behind the stove. When he pulled out a glob of slimy horror the size of a mouse, I knew that was it. I figured it was the same thing. However, my friend no longer had his equipment, and he was out of town to boot. I sighed and called a company that Iíve entrusted my furnace and water heater to, and had someone come out. I explained the situation, but he persuaded me to allow him to clean out the sewer line in the yard. I said okay, and when the toilet flushed normally and the kitchen sink didnít back up onto the bathroom floor, I felt like I had stepped back into normalcy.
I feel ashamed of having to wait to fix problems because of lack of funds, but I guess this is a lesson in ďdealing with it.Ē Yes, it was unsightly and smelly, but the world didnít end. The problem got fixed.
Of course, thereís the matter of waking up that morning with a dried turd in my bed. That was Daphneís doing. It could have been worse, as a friend pointed out. It could have been fresh out of the oven so to speak. But at least I have a bed for the turd to end up in. There has to be a proverb in that: ďI wept because I had a turd in my bed, then I met a man who had no bed.Ē But I didnít cry ó I just picked the turd up with two fingers, sighed, and dealt with it. Shit happens, literally. But itís how you deal with it that determines whether you laugh about it and use it for column material, and perhaps gross out a few dozen people in the process, or pop some blood pressure meds. I have no shame, so youíre welcome.