Thursday, June 26, 2008

Toilet Half -- Whatever

Have you ever heard the expression, “glass half full, toilet half empty”. No? I can’t imagine why. In the Burnett household it’s right there on our list of favorites. At least lately. Here’s the genesis of the infamous expression. A number of the water pipes in our 60 year old home have rotted big time. We first noticed it when the ceiling in the bathroom on the first floor was showing signs of water damage. “My, oh my!” we exclaimed with a bit of annoyance.

We called the ‘crack’ plumbing expert who was also a part of the contracting team when we redid our kitchen. Actually he’s a handyman with plumbing expertise. I don’t know if he has a license but he’s available and trustworthy. We asked him to take a look, which he did. When he started shaking his head we knew there were major problems. We hoped for the best but expected the worst. The worst was that the leaking pipes would require construction that would take the floor out of the bathroom on the second floor. This floor is original tile. You’ve seen it a million times. It’s black and white and absolutely cannot be replaced. He was going to try to do the work from the bottom instead of taking my antique floor.

In the meantime, we were sitting in the kitchen when we noticed there were drops of water falling from the ceiling in the dining room. “My, oh my!”, we said again. It turned out that the pipes in my clothing closet that were adjacent to the shower in our bathroom were not tightened properly, so when you showered you basically showered into the dining room. That could be fixed. But wait, the toilet in our bathroom, unbeknown to me, was also having problems; in addition, the top of the toilet seat was broken.

I left town. Dealing with toilets is not my thing and the handyman assured me everything would be done before my return—which was of course scheduled for when all the work was done. He did not tell me the truth.

Upon my return, the pipes were finished (without ruining the floor) but he had decided to repair 3 of the four toilets – without much success I might add, paint the bathroom and refinish the dining room ceiling. Did I mention that I was returning because I was having ten people for dinner as well as a guest from France and another from Southern Virginia? It was not a good time for the house to be in chaos without the bathrooms.

OK, I admit that I lost it. The handyman is a darling sweet person who feels it necessary to explain all the work he is doing. I honestly don’t care about the work as long as when I flush the toilet I am successful. But he wanted me to understand everything he had done and, by the way, he had broken the toilet upstairs – which was also not broken. This wouldn’t have been an issue except that that toilet cost me a fortune because my last plumber found it in an old house (the toilet was new), and it wasn’t one of those little bitty toilets which doubled as a water saving device. OK, I am nuts about toilet issues, but I come by it honestly and genetically.

Moving on. When I lost it, I had been assured everything was working, (I can’t be sure what I said but it was loud), but the handyman and his crew fled. Who would blame them for fleeing from a toilet lunatic shouting about who knows what – I won’t go into detail.
But back to the genesis. I have been making honest and ongoing attempts to see things as glass half full. And I have been very successful. Well, pretty successful. So I decided to look at this in a positive way and just think, glass half full – despite toilet half empty. Yes, I inserted the additional verbage for literary purposes.

In keeping with the glass theme. Hope you noticed there is a glass theme. Yesterday I lost the credit card I don’t use for business—everything I buy for fun. I searched my purse, my room, my car and every store to which I went during the day. Alas and to no avail, (do you like the medieval voice?), I could not find it anywhere. I knew I had to take serious measures. I turned a glass over on the kitchen table. Are you confused? Just think about what I must be. When I was growing up and my mother lost anything (from diamond ring to car keys), she would turn a glass over on the table and within a few hours—like magic—she would find the lost item.

You may doubt this but I tell you, it works. I looked for the credit card for two days. I mean, I tore everything in my possession apart. An hour after the glass was turned, I found the card. Yep, there it was in a place I had searched at least five times.

What does all this glass stuff mean? If someone loses an election can they turn the glass over and find a win—if only that could happen. Or can we look at politics with glass half full eyes—I guess it depends on the outcome of the election. Or can should we just fill a glass, say a prayer, and hope for the best in life, politics, and when we have leaky toilets.
I have no answers but I can share this, never underestimate the power of a glass full empty or filled with great wine. We’re just saying...Iris


Anonymous said...

Water, the destroyer of great mountain ranges. Our homes don't stand a chance to the tiniest of drips.

Nothing more pleasant than a toilet half full. Grin.

W, starting the day right.

bd said...


Try Block Plumbing in VA. The did have some stock of vintage crappers.


Anonymous said...

All of this rude talk leaves me flushed...


Anonymous said...

I'm listening to the Diane Rehm show and she's talking about different definitions of patriotism. I really wanted you to be on it. Hope I see you soon!