Toilets and Tools

Dilemma. A situation in which a difficult choice is made between two undesirable alternatives.

I face a dilemma every single week. Sometimes multiple times. I have a feeling that you do too. Do I really need to clean the bathrooms? The struggle is real. If I don’t clean them, they become dirty, disgusting, germ-infested rooms that we still have to use. But I really, really don’t want to. If you like to clean bathrooms, you are welcome to come and and clean mine for free. I won’t charge you a thing. Sometimes I clean the bathrooms and sometimes the dreamer does, which is fine by me.

We have been married for 16 years. I’ve had 16 years to work out the subtleties of our relationship, to get to know the way he thinks and responds. You’d think I’d learn. Nope. When I ask him to clean the bathroom, say a half hour before company arrives, I expect that to happen. And it does. Oh, it does. I know that it will be cleaned meticulously, right down to the bathroom fan. What I don’t expect is to hear the sound of a power tool. It’s a sound that now sends my nervous system into overdrive. I get this burst of energy in response to perceived danger, and it’s all fight for me. Oh please, I think, let that be coming from the neighbors.

But it’s not.

It’s coming from our bathroom.

Our little red powder room.

A power tool. Seriously? He’s cleaning the bathroom and I hear a saw. Deep breaths, deep breaths. He’s attacked the job with a vengeance. Literally. A simple and thorough surface cleaning proves insufficient and the toilet seat must come off. The seat, however, is old and the rusted bolts and won’t pop off. Challenge accepted. Sawzalls are so versatile. He saws that old toilet seat off and replaces it all before the guests arrive. Everything is clean, sparkling and new. He stands back to admire his work. Satisfied with a job well done. It’s like a brand new toilet, if you ignore the chip in the porcelain where the saw got carried away.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am so grateful that he has proven himself so handy. We never have to call someone to fix a sink or unclog a drain. It’s the timing of things. It’s never been his strong suit. If you ever come over to visit, be sure to visit our little red powder room. You can be sure that it’s had the most thorough cleaning possible. Just give us 20 minutes.

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