Sunday, November 30, 2008

revenge of the money pit

I'm not bothered by the "usual" problems of divorce. I'm not lonely, have a perfectly adequate social life, don't have any more money worries than I did when I was married, and manage the kids single about as well as I did before.

What's going to kill me is the house.

Thanksgiving Day I developed a leak under my kitchen sink. As my mother always says, if you're going to have plumbing problems, it'll be the day you have a bunch of people about to troop in to eat. It's tricky to put a holiday meal on the table when every time you run water in your kitchen sink it drips underneath.

Then yesterday I crawled out of bed at zero dark thirty to go to work, and climbed into the shower half asleep. Yowzah. I wasn't asleep for long. There was about four inches of ice cold water from my shower the day before, just standing there, refusing to drain. I was in such a state of denial that I convinced myself that the drain doo-dad was down, and not allowing any water out. I raised it up carefully after my shower and crossed my fingers. When I got home last night the water hadn't budged. Strike One.

So today I took everything out from underneath the kitchen sink (duct tape in hand), only to find that where the water is coming from is from a corroded out part of the either the faucet or the sink itself - way beyond my puny little fix-it skills. And falling in such a way that I can't even put anything underneath it to catch the drips. Strike Two.

Then I went upstairs with the plumbing snake I got from the FX to see about the tub. I even put on my Superwoman shirt that I got as a nursing school graduation present - just to get my mojo going. While I struggled and cursed and snaked, my phone rang five times and Sasquatch came bolting out of his room to tell me that he thought he saw something scurry across his floor. Since his room looks like the New York City Dump, I wasn't surprised. I'd been telling him that all the mice had suspiciously disappeared from the rest of the house and that if I were a mouse, I'd be moving into his room with my beach umbrella and some elastic waist pants. Then, keeping an eye out for fat rodents, I got back to my snaking. Unsuccessfully. Strike Three.

I refuse to call a plumber on a holiday weekend, so we can't use the kitchen sink or the upstairs tub. The upstairs toilet is fine, but the downstairs toilet is a prima donna. The upstairs sink doesn't work - the handles are jacked up. The downstairs shower is, how do I put this nicely, a piece of shit handheld with the water pressure of a squirt gun...but it'll have to do. I showered in it today after the gym, and except for having to wash just one part of my body at a time, it was workable. Barely, but beggars can't be choosers. I have two toilets, two tubs and two sinks - and between them they equal one working bathroom.

When I think of all the times in my life I made myself crazy wanting to own a house, I have to laugh. What I wouldn't give to be able to call a landlord and have them fork over the cash to get things moving again. And now I get to worry all day tomorrow about exactly how much cash we're talking that's going to come out of my tight little fist.

I have to do laundry tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see what the washer has in store for me.


Rudee said...

This year, we've repaired the dryer and furnace and replaced the dishwasher and hot water tank. I hear you and feel your frustrations. We own a money pit too.

WT said...

You're not going to believe this! I just this minute finished talking to my friend in Ca, he told me almost the identical story! Including the fact that their sink got blocked on turkey day when guests were there for dinner!

Maggie May said...

You have my complete sympathy. We also live in an old house.
I read your post with a sense of relief, though that is totally selfish of me. I sometimes think that I am the only one with a continual problem in a house. Will have to blog about mine sometime again. I have recently plucked up the courage to have major work done and now I can't get hold of a b----y builder.

Hope it is nothing more than a fat ball blocking your drain and that it won't mean huge bills and complete chaos. Fingers crossed.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Yes, I am glad that I am renting an apartment. On the fifth of December I am getting a new hot water heater installed for free. It will be new and economical and environmentally friendly. I am thrilled to bits. I've always owned houses in the past and have a lot of sympathy for you. I shudder at the thought of what can go wrong. My life seems so uncomplicated now.

Flutterby said...

Plumbing problems are the worst! Whenever I try to fix them myself (drain snake,duct tape, whatever), I usually end up in a worse state than I started with. And having a plumber on a week end is twice as expensive as during the work week.

laurie said...

our hot water heater went out the friday night of memorial weekend.

our toilet overflowed (clean water, oddly) and collapsed part of the dining room ceiling on a saturday morning.

my brother's kitchen sink quit working completely--quit draining, quit everything--while he was in the middle of making thanksgiving dinner some years before.

your mother knows whereof she speaks....

Devon said...

Are there plumbing Gods? If so they have a very wry sense of humor! Holidays and weekends... yuck!

Hope it all works out in the wash... sorry, I couldn't resist!

Frances said...

someone once explained the Math of house ownership to me. I forgot the details, but now I think I should have remembered them and never imagined it would be a good idea to buy a crumbling old wreck.... You have my sympathy.