I looked in horror at the toilet floatie in my hand. In an effort to stop it from overflowing I had reached in to pull the floatie up, a trick my mom assured me would stop an overflow. What she didn’t mention was the possibility that it could break off. The water level was rising dangerously close to the edge of the bowl. I dived down and quickly turned the valve off, effectively stopping the flood. However, my trouble had now tripled with such an essential part of the toilet broken off.
I shuffled into bedroom where my roommate, the Bibliophile, was laying on her bed reading. I held up the floatie, a sheepish look on my face.
She looked up. “Well, that’s not so good,” she said before burying her head in her book again.
At that moment, I heard the secret agent music my phone makes only when my parents called. I raced into the living room to answer it.
It was the exactly the person I might have wanted to talk to at that very moment: Dad.
“Can I open my package now?” he asked.
I had mailed him a Father’s Day package earlier that week, and ever since he received it, he couldn't resist calling to ask if he could open it, in jest of course.
“Well, it’s only about 12 more hours until you can open it for real, but if you absolutely can’t wait that long, you can open it now, I suppose,” I said, laughing. This was the third call I received on the subject in only 24 hours. In a more serious tone, because I was still traumatized by it, I said, “Dad, I just broke the floatie for my toilet off. What do I do?”
In typical Dad style he decided to lighten the mood by teasing me. His reply was, “Good work, mighty muscles. No more gym for you.”
“Dad,” I said, rolling my eyes. “This has nothing whatsoever to do with my gym attendance. I think it has more to do with a corroded piece on the toilet. You should see how bad it looks in the tank. It’s nasty!”
I was further embarrassed by the fact that the bowl was not empty. I fdidn't feel I could possibly ask anybody to fix it until it was empty. Dad instructed me to try flushing it, since the reserve on the tank was full. Once I flushed, I had to turn the valve back on until the reserve was full and then stop the water once it reached the fill line.
“Well, at least it’s workable,” Dad said.
Dad decided he could make it another 12 hours before opening his package, although he did threaten to stay up until midnight and open it at 12:01. I got off the phone and immediately dialed my landlord, who refuses to answer his phone on the weekends, and of course, this was no exception. I tried the maintenance man and got a message saying his phone was off or out of the area. Just my luck!
I wanted to commiserate with someone, so I walked back into my bedroom. The Bibliophile's only comment to all this drama was, “Can I go back to reading my book?”
I looked at her aghast. “How can you read?! We are in crisis here!” I said.
She said, “We are not in crisis. The toilet is still workable.”
I needed something more than this brush off of my frustration, so I went upstairs to see my neighbor who was sitting on the porch studying for her test on Monday. She’s somewhat similar to me in personality, so I knew she would understand where I was coming from. “Looks like this is another entry for Tammy’s Wall of Shame,” I said, shaking my head.
She looked at me then shook her head. “Tammy, you do not have a Wall of Shame. This was an accident.”
I buried my face in my hands. “But it’s a really embarrassing one. I can’t believe I did that!”
Honestly, if you’re a girl and something like this happens, the best possible medicine is to talk about it with someone else. I chatted with that neighbor for a few minutes and then her roommate, also a good friend of mine, came home, so I had to fill her in on the situation. She shared my frustration as well.
I walked back downstairs and was just finishing my supper (a simple sandwich and fruit cup – it was a Saturday night – who feels like cooking then, especially while in the midst of crisis?) when my phone rang again. It was Mom. She insisted that I needed to get this taken care of and suggested I call everyone from my home teachers to the National Guard to come fix it, if my landlord couldn’t be responsible. She finally settled on my cousin.
“Do you want to call or should I?” she said.
“You can call him. He responds better to you than me,” I said. “I guess I will make a run down to Lowe’s so I can get the parts we’ll need to fix it.”
My next challenge: did I need to economy or the deluxe kit? A question I should surely pose to my mother, I decided. Her answer: call my cousin, so I did.
He was coming to Sandy to have dinner with his parents the next day, so he was willing to fix it, but he cautioned, “A toilet is really a necessity, you know, so I think you should try to have your home teachers or your bishop come do it.”
Okay fine. I called the Bibliophile. Mind you, when something like this happens, she is usually the first one on the phone raging at our landlord to get it fixed immediately, but this time, she was pretty blasé about everything which I found slightly shocking.
“Do you still have our home teachers' numbers in your phone?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Can you call then to see if they will fix out toilet for us tonight?” I asked. “I’m at Lowe’s right now buying a kit so we can fix it.”
“Okay, I guess I can do that,” she said. “Why aren’t you waiting until Monday so Ray can take care of it? It’s his responsibility”
“I know it is, but I also know that because he’s irresponsible, as usual, we’re the ones who have to suffer, and I want to get this taken care of,” I said.
Our home teacher didn’t answer his phone. It looked like we would have to wait until the next day for any sort of resolution. Boy it was going to be a fun night. . .
To be continued (until the next entry. . .)