Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Thrills of Home Ownership

This is our first house. We used to live in a one bedroom apartment. 670 square feet for 7 and a half years. It suited us just fine until Liam came along and began to roll into the furniture. So we moved closer to our family and bought a lovely house. But as with any house (especially one that is 30 years old) there has been some required renovations and some unexpected repairs. We feel like we have fixed pretty much everything at this point. Like the previous owners left us a house of cards that looked beautiful on the outside but once we stepped in it everything fell apart. I won't go through the list of repairs and renos, but lets just say Andrew could have hosted an entire season of This Old House by now. Andrew is really good at fixing things, thank goodness, and he's had quite a lot of experience with renovations just in the past three years. But yesterday, I witnessed a moment of home repair that I shall never forget for the rest of my life. A sight so amazing, selfless and completely disgusting all at the same time it is burned into my brain (unfortunately).

Our kitchen sink was clogged. We bought a small drain snake that didn't do the trick so I borrowed the gigantic drain snake from our neighbours across the street. I should mention that we are on a septic system, so in my head, drainage issues are usually met with the thought of shit backing up into our house. This has never happened of course, but worst case scenarios tend to get me mentally prepared for things. Totally off topic, but I was chatting with another mom last week and she said something amazing, with regards to moms worrying: "There is a fine line between being crazy and being prepared.", I think I sometimes cross the line into crazytown, but one day people, one day, someone is going to thank me for packing a weeks worth of clothing and food in a diaper bag for an hour long trip. Anyhoo, back to the sink. Turns out the clog was far, far, far down the pipe, farther than even the giant snake could reach. So Andrew followed the pipe through the ceiling tiles in our basement and determined the best spot to cut the pipe and put the snake in.  Me the, helpful sidekick as I am, simply freaked out silently and took Liam across the street to the neighbours to play for a few minutes. 10 minutes later the neighbour comes into the backyard and says "Your husband was just at the door. He says you need to go home. There is shit on the floor. He seems pretty calm about it, so it's probably not that bad." So I proceed to RUN across the street with Adeleine bouncing wildly in the sling, go down to the basement to find Andrew, fuming, but no shit. Just some dirty carpet. I was never so glad to see wet dirty carpet in my whole life. Apparently, he had cut the pipe and drained the water into a bucket, but the bucket fell on the ground and he needed some help to clean it up. Great! I'm happy to help clean up dirty water! It's NOT SHIT!!! YAAAAAAY! So we get a few rags and sop up the water and he continues on with trying to find the clog with the snake. After a few minutes he says he found it and pulls out the snake and some black water starts to pour out. Then, some black gunk the width of the pipe (likely solidified grease and decomposed kitchen sink scraps) starts to fall out, slowly, slowly, it falls out and I comment "It looks like the pipe is taking a shit!" but just as I say that it starts to rush out, a giant never-ending black wet 'poop', and Andrew is holding the bucket on the ladder but it is too far down so he tries to direct the flow with his hand into the bucket and the black 'shit' is pouring down his arm and on his head and in his face and splashing on the walls and the carpet and then he does something so amazing, so selfless: instead of running away (I had been inching back into the laundry room away from the horrid black gunk flying and splashing out of the pipe) he gets CLOSER to the gunk, he gets right in there and lifts the 5 gallon bucket above his head closer to the pipe and the black water is still streaming down his arms and in his eyes and I'm horrified at the sight of it but I yell "YOU ARE DOING SUCH A GOOD JOB!" and his arms are shaking under the weight of the rushing water filling the bucket and then "I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!". Seriously. I mean what else could I say? That is likely the worst, most disgusting thing I've seen and he was taking one for the team. I frankly still can't believe that when the black poop-like clog started to come out (and touched him - ew, ew, ew) he didn't just scream and run away. I so would have done that. So then the flow stopped and he started spitting the water off of his lips (OMG gross) and I finally became unfrozen (I tend to freeze in bad situations - I'm really not the greatest sidekick) and ran to get every last rag in the house to mop up the water while Andrew ran right in the shower.  So, the clog was finally gone, the pipe was fixed promptly, the carpet shampooer was rented, and the carpets and rags and clothes and people were washed.

This was our Saturday.

Holy shit.

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