There are times when a fiercely independent gal such as myself realizes that having her father around to help is a good thing and not just a relinquishment of power. This week was one of those times.
My dad is currently having the time of his life with my mom on an Alaskan cruise (a delayed 25th anniversary vacation.) I have been placed on dog-duty, a task that combines making sure the house doesn’t flood (not the easiest task) while lavishing attention and treats on the furry little babies.
This week has been a crash-course in “thank god I only have to deal with managing an apartment.”
To begin with, I have been pretty flat-out exhausted all week due to a chronic condition brought on by a nasty case of mono six years ago.
In my few waking hours, I’ve managed to feed the dogs, make sure my grandmother gets to the grocery store (because I’d rather not have a starvation victim on my hands—and I dearly love my grandmother), and attempt to work.
Thursday afternoon, I hit a breaking point. I had started a load of laundry when I began to hear that ungodly gurgling sound that means your plumbing has gone to a very unholy place, and you have moments to keep the disastrous flooding from getting to a carpeted area of the house.
After dealing with the initial disaster, turning off the water and realizing, to my dismay, that flushing any of the toilets was very problematic, all I could think was, “Man, I don’t even know which plumber to call. I can’t even call my dad to ask.”
I also had to deal with the physical task of carrying roughly 60 lbs. of soaking wet jeans and other clothing items upstairs so I could, one by one, try to rinse out the soap and wring them dry. This is a difficult task on the best of days, and nearly impossible when on the verge of keeling over.
I eventually managed to figure out who my parents normally use as their go-to plumbers, and begged them to come out as early as possible the next morning. They obliged, arriving at 7:45 am. However, they seemed a bit confused that I was the one that they had to deal with, and not my father or mother.
This led to another moment of, “Man, I wish my dad was here to explain the problem in ways more eloquent than I, who have very little working knowledge of the intricacies of the plumbing problems at my parent’s house. For god’s sake, I’m a writer!”
I managed to communicate the issue effectively enough, and within 90 minutes, all was fixed for the time being. Luckily, it cost less than I expected and I could return to flushing toilets with reckless abandon.
I had succeeded in not destroying my parents' house, and I had done so without the help of my dad.
So to all the fathers out there who are trusting their children to keep the house intact while they are gone, fear not; though we may be frazzled at the challenge, we will prevail.
Happy Father’s Day, dad. You can rest assured that you’ll return to a non-water-damaged house.