My personal life — at least from some angles — hasn’t had a lot of marks in the win column. The wins, it seems, have been mostly reserved for my work. In the early days, theatre lighting, student- and amateur-level efforts in film and TV, and finally, computer programming. My work has generally been deemed useful and of high-quality, so at least I don’t feel like a total fail.
But broken hearts litter my past, and I approach the six-decade mark without my own family or mate. My life has been daunted by physical limitations, plus I look like a bit like Quasimodo. The point is, outside of my work, I’m used to the dragon winning; I’m used to throwing snake eyes; I’m used to everything being difficult and a challenge.
But every once in a while for me… the Dragon loses!
Today, so far, has been a pretty great day! I’ve had a leaky shower faucet that began a couple of weeks ago. Over that time, the leak has gotten stronger and stronger. It’s gone from a drip-drip-drip to a bit of a burbling brook!
Worse, the water was hot, which means it was from the hot-water side, and I’ve been fretting wondering what the constant drain is doing to my hot water heater. With cold water constantly trickling in, the heater is working harder than normal, which (I’m thinking) can’t be good for it.
The irony of my life is that I’m not the most functional person when I’m on my own. I live too much in my head (where there is a rich inner life). I really need someone — a partner in life — to be fully functional. Without one, I tend to tune out the world as much as possible.
So I’ve been dreading having to deal with the leaky faucet, is my point. I’m always convinced jobs like this — where I don’t really know what I’m doing — are not going to turn out well. And there are some botched jobs in my history to support that feeling.
The smart money would be to hire a plumber, but early retirement (and reduced pension) has me watching my budget, plus I just don’t like strangers tramping through my house. It’s my sole refuge from the world, my personal space. (And there’s always concerns about incompetent workers and being over-charged.)
So this morning I girded my loins and searched for some YouTube videos that might give me a clue about what was involved. I decided that, if it looked really scary and complicated, I’d grit my teeth and hire a plumber.
The videos I found made it look… doable. At least worth beginning and seeing how it went. I decided that if I got into (pardon the pun) hot water, I would back off and wait for expert help on Monday.
Long story short, I beat the dragon this time! I was able to remove the “cartridge” successfully and found a replacement at the local friendly Ace hardware store. They didn’t have a direct replacement, but the new one fit fine and works! I got it all back together, re-caulked the cover plate, and no more leak!
[Here’s a typical example of how my life usually goes: the tube of caulk wasn’t properly sealed in the back. After carefully focusing on the bead of caulk I’d laid down, I was surprised to find huge globs of the stuff everywhere around the work area. I hadn’t noticed it coming out the back end. That’s my life: buy something, and it’s defective.]
I was so pleased with myself I finally hung the new shower curtain I bought a couple weeks ago. Good-bye leaping dolphins, hello Tahiti beach scene.
Then I went grocery shopping, and after months and months of the bakery not making iced ginger cookies, today they had them! Iced Ginger Cookies!! It took every bit of willpower I had to only buy three dozen.
And then I ran into a small beer tasting at the beer store.
So it’s been a rare good day. A very rare, very good day.
Now, if the Twins can manage a win for me tonight, that will be the Perfection Trifecta: fixed my shower valve, scored over a score of fresh iced ginger cookies, and a Twins win!
I’m feeling lucky!
[The dragon may still lurk: In removing the bonnet nut, I may have twisted the three small brass feeder pipes a bit. Everything seems okay, but if I cracked the solder joints, this repair job could come back to haunt me big time. The way my life goes, it would be only to be expected.]