Forget Not, the Bathroom Gods

My washing machine has been leaking. I don’t remember when I first noticed, but I’ve run laundry with a towel on the floor for a few weeks now. I’m a procrastinator, but the accumulation of other maintenance needs finally got me asking for help. Two days later, to my relief, I have a spanking new washer drum to handle a backlog of laundry.

While I am not exactly excited to do laundry, I am pleased with myself at a series of tasks completed today and the prospect of still greater achievement. I have exercised, I have journaled, I have updated my planner, I am early to work, and it’s a duo no less. I know exactly how I will spend my afternoon and I am certain that by the end of the day, my sense of self satisfaction and accomplishment will only have grown.

Imagine my surprise when, freshly showered, anointing myself for my date, relaxed and a bit dreamy, I step into a puddle on my floor.

I’m not supposed to have puddles on my floor anymore. I am annoyed. I’ll have to call maintenance this afternoon. I toss a towel in front of the washer. The towel is immediately soaked. I am no longer annoyed. I am now nervous.

I take one, two, three breaths, watching the floor, realizing that whatever this is, this isn’t my usual leak. The water is spreading rapidly. In several directions.

As I move into action, pulling every towel I have ever hoarded out of cupboard and closet, I think. How do I stop the water? Should I call maintenance now? No way maintenance can get anything done in a half hour. Should I cancel my appointment? When is Phryne supposed to get here? Do I have enough towels? Shit, it’s gone under the wall. If I wring them out in the tub, I think I can reuse them. Should I put clothes on? Oh dear lord you idiot, you can just turn off the damn washer. No, you’re not an idiot, you’re just panicking. Gross! What the hell is coming out from behind my washing machine? Now I have to wash the tub. I hope that’s Phryne knocking on my door. Shit! Shit! Shit! How does maintenance know my washer’s overflowing!!! Thank fuck. They’re here for the other thing.


Oh dear god. I’m still naked.

Only two minutes after the intended start time, al(most al)l the evidence of my minor maintenance mishap was gone or hidden, I was dressed and made up, and Phryne and I had donned complementary robes. The sole remnant of the emergency was my still racing heart. Our dear gentleman friend was none the wiser.

I was so proud of myself. I had taken control of a situation and solved it, more or less. We had gone on to have an amazing time: a king sized bed full of the three of us and a delightful afternoon. My self assuredness from earlier in the day returned and I patted myself on the back on my way home.

Unfortunately, the bathroom gods, divine creatures of cleanliness, patrons to all who wish for hot and cold running water, saw me.

You see, they have been good to me over the years and, until now, I haven’t really given them their due. I took too much of my success on my own shoulders and failed to offer them my thanks and worship. The lesson of the washer hadn’t sunk in.

So they spit my shower head at me.

The next day, less than 24 hours after the washer lesson, I decided to take a long, hot soak at home. I washed out my tub, added lavender epsom salts to a deep bath, and settled in with a book. I rubbed hair treatments and moisturizers in and let them do their work. I luxuriated in wet heat and my success from the day prior. After the water lost it’s warmth, I turned on the shower to rinse and wash it all off.

My punishment began with a pressurized jet bouncing off the wall directly into my face. Then the hose connecting the handheld shower head to the wall just… fell out. I was left standing in shock with a dribbling shower head in my hand and a sloppy spray facing exactly the wrong way. Dumfounded. All I could think was “are you fucking kidding me?”

This lesson’s silver lining came in the form of a gooey, garlicky, crispy quesadilla from the taco truck outside Home Depot. Instead of curling up with fresh clean hair and the rest of my book, I had to haul my soggy, rapidly chilling butt up Aurora for a replacement shower head to finish my wash. There was a very ling line. It was windy and cold. For that hunk of tortilla wrapped steak and cheese, dunked in fresh guac, it was absolutely worth it.

I am now officially humbled. I will never take a trustworthy washing machine for granted again. I will never gripe about how long the hot water takes to get hot, or begrudge the daily cleaning required to honor their temple. I will thank the bathroom gods for their carne asada gift and hope it’s enough.

Take heed from my story. Do not neglect the bathroom gods during your daily ablutions. Don’t forget to offer them regular sacrifices of drain-o, or the prayer of the drain snake. Otherwise you, too, may be humbled.