I’m starting to notice a theme around here, ever since my husband and I separated. Shortly after he moved out, my washing machine broke. I used the power of Google to fix it on my own. I felt badass. It was empowering to repair something I normally would have relied on him for. Two weeks later, it broke again. I was deflated. Just like that, I lost my badassery. Just as I was about to give in and call a repair man, I figured out how to fix it again, making me badass, once more.
A few weeks ago, my dishwasher broke. Once again, I used the power of Google to fix it on my own, and once again, I was badass. I mean, come on…how many of my girlfriends are repairing major appliances? I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of a big deal. However, the theme being what it is…last night, the damn dishwasher flooded again. Except this time, I didn’t let my badassery just whimper away like last time. I brainstormed, and quickly came up with a solution. When I fixed it last time, I unclogged 7 years worth of unscraped food from the drain pipe. I figured the driveway snow marker I used to unclog it was too skinny, so it must have only opened up part of the clog. I imagined that goop closed itself off again. No big deal. I’ll just unclog it better. Piece of cake for a badass girl.
I strut myself down to Home Depot, in search of whatever the tool is that I’m imagining in my head. I was picturing sort of like a toilet brush, but skinnier and longer…something that would really scrub the sides of that drain pipe and rid us of this alien food blob pipe clogging mess, once and for all. I start searching the plumbing aisle, and my toilet brush de-clogging thingy is nowhere to be seen. Reluctantly, I look for help. I find this cute, older gentleman employee and start to describe what I’m looking for. He’s quite adorable, in a grandpa-ish sort of way, so I don’t get annoyed or frustrated when he says he’s never heard of my “tool”. He seems impressed that I’m attempting to unclog a pipe….you know, because I’m a woman. Anyway, turns out the tool I’m really looking for is called an “auger”, and it’s not a brush, its coiled metal. Whatever.
I pull into my driveway with my shiny new auger, just as my husband is pulling out. He was dropping my son off, and noticed my purchase. Wearing his typical “you are an idiot” expression, he says to me, “you know, we have TWO of those downstairs”. I hate that condescending “you are an idiot expression”. It’s the one he wears when he knows something and I don’t. He tells me to return it. I say “OK”, but I don’t want to. Sure, it makes sense to return it, seeing how there’s two of these things sitting somewhere in my basement, but I just went to Home Depot and figured out what I needed, sort of impressed the grandpa employee, and really, the whole point of me doing this is to show I don’t need him. I decide to put those feelings away, and get back to the task at hand. I say goodbye and head to my kitchen. Since I just did this same thing two weeks ago, I know the drill. I empty the cabinet below the sink. I unscrew the C clamps holding the pipe to the wall. I turn off the water. I loosen the hose clamp that secures the drain pipe to the Y pipe of the sink (remember, I learned all these plumbing terms last time, so you know…this is how I roll now). I use a paper cup to manually drain the dishwasher and I check the sensor. And by “checking” the sensor, I mean I rub my finger over it 3 times, because really, how do you “check” a dishwasher drain sensor? Do you ask it tenderly, “Hey little Buddy, are you alright? Just checking on you.” The sensor seems fine. I put a bucket under the pipe and cautiously pull it off the Y pipe. I peek inside the hole, kind of nervously, as I remember the horror scene that was inside there last time. Nervous, but excited. I’m pumped to use my new auger. Wow, I really dig using the word “auger”. I’m pretty sure only badass people use augers. Anyway, I peek in and….damn. It’s clean as a whistle. Part of me feels good about that, because it means I really did successfully clear the pipe last time. The other part of me, however, is deflated. I’m sitting on the floor, surrounded by my tools, staring at a broken dishwasher I can’t fix. It’s 11pm, and I’m tired. Tired and deflated and completely non-badass. I look at the sink, and it’s filled with about 17 water glasses. You know, because I’ve got two teenage boys and they pour a beverage, take two sips, put it down, forget about it, then pour a new glass. All. Day. Long. Yeah, at this point, I’m the opposite of badass. I would write the word down if I knew what it was. Lame-ass? Close enough. As I’m deciding whether or not to wash all those glasses by hand at 11 o’clock at night, or leave them until my boys die of thirst, while simultaneously wondering which repairman I’ll be calling in the morning…I remember something. Two weeks ago, when I first started researching “dishwasher won’t drain” on Google, every site I went on said to try resetting the drain cycle first. I did that back then and it didn’t work, and I guess I just forgot about it. I picked my lame-ass up off the floor, started a wash cycle, hit “stop” two times to initiate the drain cycle (yeah, that’s right…I am kind of a plumber now), and what do you know? It mother effin worked! And just like that, I became a badass again.
I think the next time I’m feeling deflated, like I can’t do anything, like I’m helpless…I’m going to remember this. I’m not helpless. There’s always going to be road blocks in my life, things that make me feel like I’m taking two steps backwards in this process. I just have to remember that I’m still me, even when I don’t feel like me. Even if I hadn’t been able to fix it, I’m still pretty badass for trying, and I think that goes for everything in my life.
This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday