When You’ve Got that Sinking Feeling…

I think my sink had a heart attack this week. I could be wrong, but the thousands of hours of medical dramas I’ve watched suggests otherwise. You be the judge.

***

I’m supposed to be doing NaNoWriMo, instead, I find myself lured away by more interesting pursuits. I’ve baked enough bread, cookies, and pies that one might mistake me for a contestant on a new reality show called: America’s Best Quarantine Baker. Or possibly as a future contestant on The Biggest Loser.

Every time I think, “I should sit down and write,” something else catches my eye. Today, I finally paid attention to a certain sinking feeling.

I am a great multi-tasker when it comes to procrastination. I can avoid housework, my actual work, and my child all at the same time. And usually I can avoid the really disgusting tasks I don’t want to do forever! Or at least until something is highly pressurized and ready to blow! Lately that thing has been the bathroom sink.

For some time now, I’ve noticed poor drainage that, in a heart patient, probably would have moved them straight into the OR and into getting some kind of double by-pass or stent to prevent a major myocardial infarction. Stat.

[Sidebar: I have watched just enough House and The Good Doctor on television to believe the diagnosed blockage and proposed treatment makes sense but not enough to apply to medical school.]

How long has my sink been on the brink of cardiac arrest? Ask yourself this question: How long have we been in Covid-19 lock down and subsisting on a high-fat diet? About six months? Yeah, that sounds right. I think that’s also when I wised up to a problem that my child’s fixation with swirling liquids set in slow motion.

Back then, a lovely atomizer sat on the counter. When it was plugged in, it melted waxy bars of perfume to cover up the unnatural odors typical of the room. It wafted the scent of jasmine or grapefruit oils whenever I put a wax cube in it to melt. But, I bet no other autism family in their right mind has one.

It looks so harmless, doesn’t it?

Do you know what happens when you leave a ceramic dish filled with a scalding hot liquid next to a sink in a house with an autistic person in it? Your sink gets waxed! To add insult to injury, I then had to scrape it out using my fingernails because the previous homeowners thought it was a good idea to install an easily scratched countertop/sink combo that must be delicately scrubbed with a cotton cloth and a non-abrasive cleanser. But I’m not bitter. Nor stupid. Much. After my son did this for the third time, I gave that wax melting son-of-a-gun back to Goodwill. I hope it found a child-free home somewhere.*

*Reading this sentence in review, after publishing, I decided I should clarify that I was referring to the melting pot and not my child.

Every time my kid dumped the melted pink crayon-y mess in, I cleaned the sink layer by painstaking layer of hardened wax from the surface of the bowl. It did not occur to me to check what might have gone down the drain.

This week, the sink has been holding a vicious, viscous grudge. Whenever I washed my hands, water would sit in scummy resentment with the silvery drain plug giving me an accusing stink eye. My sink had reached the critical level; it now threatened to flood the bathroom in a fit of stuffed-up rage.

So, after running to the post office, the bank, and a quick stop to return an adult-sized reindeer footie pajama to the same Goodwill that took in my abandoned wax melter, I tackled the sink.

[Regarding the above passage: I may not be the greatest writer out there, but I take a certain satisfaction in writing a sentence I am absolutely certain no one else has ever thought to write. Or, in good judgement, ever would condone writing.]

I told my kid he would earn the box of art supplies, if he helped me clean the bathroom. He hates open cupboard doors. Guess what? The only way I was getting at the problem was by crawling under the sink and taking everything apart to get at the p-trap. Which required leaving the vanity door open for the entire process. And this required pre-planning and a bribe. (I didn’t avoid this task because I was afraid of what might be in the pipes. Or, at least, not only because of that. I was dreading his massive fit of outrage from autism-laced anxieties.)

Instead, I really should have feared what was in the pipes. Be grateful my hands were covered in muck and I could not easily take a picture of what I pulled out of the drain. It was slimy, hairy, gray-black in color and waxy in texture and it has probably since slithered off to be cast as an alien somewhere in a horror film–something entitled The Blob that Ate New York City! Break leg, Blob!

It reminded me of a scene from Modern Family.

One of the best Phil moments ever–parenting as “The Bad Cop” to two teenage daughters.

I’m happy to say that, with my son’s reluctant help, we got that bung unplugged. Now there’s a sentence to be proud of! I wonder if I can use it in my Nano project somehow?

14 thoughts on “When You’ve Got that Sinking Feeling…

    1. I prefer to learn my lessons the hard way…typically accompanied by trips to the emergency room for added excitement. Thankfully, only the sink suffered in this scenario. For that, I am grateful.

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  1. I so enjoy your posts. This one struck home as I have to clean out our sink drain about every six months. The first few times were long drawn out “adventures” with large, heavy wrenches, drawers taken out, bowls to catch disgusting water, paper towels to catch extra water, plumber’s helper and finally lots of soap to clean my hands after all was finally put back together. Now, through years of trial and error, it takes about 5 minutes (sigh).

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    1. There is a certain satisfaction in watching that water go down the drain after it’s all done. It’s the only time I’ve ever felt I understood my son’s fascination with watching the water go swirling with easy spirals into a bottomless abyss. It’s soothing…until I remember I have to pay the water bill for every drop. Then, the moment is snapped back to reality. Hold onto your shared pleasures where you can! And thanks for sharing your story with mine!

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    1. Your words reach me just as I have tossed two failed loaves into the garbage. Basic bread. But, I had them too close to the oven. Somehow, the tops baked while the rest of the loaf was still rising! I’ve never had that happen before. Sigh I guess into every life, a little bread must fall.

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