Thursday, March 24, 2011

domestic bliss

a service call by our friendly plumber and his assistant a few weeks ago prompted my ernest contemplation of the absolute importance of plumbers (and electricians, carpenters, exterminators, roofers, snowplow and backhoe operators, everyone and anyone with important looking tools and big machines!), not only to society in general, but to one's domestic sphere as well. without them we are doomed, we are lost. without skilled handymen the smooth operation of the domestic realm would cease to exist. handymen (not to be discriminatory, ladies, but let's face the facts: most plumbers, electricians et al. in the category of handypeople are men), in my opinion, are gods who bring us ordinary, unhandy people the gift of domestic harmony, domestic bliss.

further along in my contemplation i realised domestic bliss and marital bliss form a union. the two are wedded together, which is really where all this is going. quite simply, a household, to be strong, unified, and functioning well, cannot have one without the other. marital bliss (therefore, domestic bliss - hopefully i won't have to repeat the fact that they are one and the same thing too many times, dear people) is like a well-oiled machine. to achieve marital bliss, all the parts of the bliss machine must be checked, rechecked, maintained, adjusted, lubricated (i'll leave you to your own lusty visions), and kept in good working order for the thing to keep running smoothly.

which brings me back to the plumber. in the bliss department, part of our bliss machine was not in good working order. were it not for our wonderful plumber jim (a master plumber, in fact), domestic bliss would have shriveled up and broken apart long ago. he has come to the rescue many times over the years, to tidy up dangling wires (he also happens to be a master electrician) and exposed pipes when we have torn various rooms apart in order to make them (hopefully) better than they were before (i think that's called save-a-few-bucks-do-it-yourself-never-ending home renovation). but this time it was different. this time the need was far more urgent. we were not renovating, but our domestic machine was in deep trouble. we had waited too long to fix the problem.

our problem was the master bedroom toilet. it was not functioning well. things were getting bad. the toilet issue had been dragging on for a couple years. at first the toilet wouldn't flush properly. then the tank wouldn't fill back up. then the handle always needed to be jiggled in a certain, very specific way to get a good flush. then the toilet just kept on running. and running. the water wouldn't stop. jeez louise, you had to lift off the back cover, plunge your hand into the deep dark recesses of the tank (the stuff nightmares are made of!), and pull up on a long thingamajig housed in there. ick, ick, ick! when our son was little he used to say there are slobs living down in there, mommy. such a wise child. i heartily agree - there was definitely something down in there causing us a lot of trouble!

the hard fact hit us one day: domestic bliss cannot be maintained with a broken toilet. that cranky old toilet was sorely testing the strength of our bliss, and the strain was too much. bliss was losing, the toilet was winning! why did we wait so long to do something about our problem?

thankfully dear jim arrived just in time with a sleek, high tech, top of the line, water-saving toilet. no more leaning over the toilet tank and staring into its murky nether regions! no more wondering if the bowl would ever be free of you-know-what! and the most delightful thing of all - no more flush handle! our new toilet has a nifty push button on top. (i think it kinda looks like a funny fanny. no joke. don't you think so?) oh, happy day! our home's harmony was restored and domestic (and marital!) bliss would continue merrily along until our well-oiled machine.....what? started to rust?

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