Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Saturday night, I had 10 girlfriends from childhood over to my house for appetizers, dessert and lots of wine. I decided to make proscuitto-wrapped dates, and was busily working away in the kitchen, chatting with two of my friends when we heard a very odd noise coming from somewhere in the apartment.
It sounded like someone was taking a shower with the water up full blast. The pipes were groaning like I’d never heard before.
I sprinted to the hallway and determined the noise was definitely coming from the bathroom.
As I turned on the light, I was hit in the shins with a spray of water from the valve next to the toilet. I frantically tried to turn it off, but it was stuck. A couple of friends clamored into the bathroom behind me and watched in horror as the tank began gushing water all over the floor. Without thinking twice, I ran to the phone and dialed my parents’ number.
I calmly screamed that the toilet was exploding and I couldn’t get the water shut off and I needed help immediately because I had a house full of people and a balsamic reduction sauce to make. While throwing every bath towel I owned onto the floor to mop up the mess, I tried again to turn the shut-off valve. It finally gave way and the spray sputtered out.
“Do you need me to bring the wet vac down?” my Mom asked. Yes. And please bring Dad so he can look to see what the problem is.
Hands shaking, I returned to my dates in the kitchen and lovingly accepted a giant glass of wine from one of the girls.
When my parents showed up, Dad immediately marched down the hallway. I opened the toilet tank and showed him the broken pumper thing inside. “Do you think this is fixable?” I asked.
He then removed his Clark Kent glasses, loosened his tie and revealed a superhero emblem on his shirt. “Not only is it fixable,” he said, “I have the part with me.” Confetti fell from the ceiling and the cats started doing a tango on the bathroom rug.
He went back outside to his car and returned with a toolbox. Then, like a house-call-making doctor about to deliver a baby, he said, “I’ll need a bowl and a flashlight.”
I left him alone to work on his patient, and 15 minutes later I had a fully functioning toilet again. All the girlfriends cheered.
I handed him a cookie. “Mom said you weren’t very happy when I called for help.”
He crossed his arms and, in typical Dad fashion, explained—“I just sat down to watch COPS and your Mom comes running in saying ‘Melissa needs us to come down and help her with her toilet. It’s flooding the bathroom.’ And I said AWE CRAP! GOD DAMMIT!”
A nearby friend and I broke into hysterics. I can picture that reaction perfectly in my head after witnessing it so many times as a child. But the best part is that after he and my Mom went home, he was all cheery and chipper and proud of himself for saving the day in front of all the girls.
The other good part—when I told Mr. W the story the next morning he said, “Yeah I would’ve pretty much reacted the same way your dad did.”
“But you would’ve fixed it too, right?”
How does that old saying go about marrying people like your father…?