July 25, 2024
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July 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

With the Internet has come the amazing ability to type any question you want into Google search and get answers. This becomes a dangerous tool when you are constantly trying to save your spouse money and fix things yourself around the house. For example, when we first moved in, I decided that I wanted to paint the laundry room. I chose the laundry room because the only person who really sees it is me, so I wanted it to be pretty. I went online and learned all about the tools I needed, the tape to measure off the lines, blah blah blah…it looks like I blindfolded myself and went crazy with some blue paint. That was project one. Feel free to come over and see if you like it. Or if you need to convince your spouse that you should hire a professional painter.

Then I decided that I was going to go to Ikea and buy a couch for my “bunker.” I guess it could also be called my “man cave” even though I am not a man, but that is really what it is, except for the ironing board and easy access to the laundry room. It has a TV with DVR capabilities, and the exercise bike that my parents got me after I gave birth to son #1 and was having problems fitting through doorways—it’s a nice little set-up and it needed a couch. So off to Ikea to buy what I thought was a dark blue couch. If you have ever been to Ikea, you know that it is not a pleasant experience. I am also convinced that if you ever, God forbid, have any medical emergency there, you are dead because they will never find you. In any event, making a long story short, we got the couch home and it was white. Oh well. There was no way I was bringing that thing back. I was very proud when the couch was fully assembled and I learned to read Swedish in the process. The fact that there were some screws left over and the couch tilts to one side is immaterial. It serves its purpose and I tried my best.

A few years ago the toilet seat cracked. This might have something to do with me not using the exercise bike as often as I should, but I was determined to replace it myself. I went online and Googled, “How to replace a toilet seat.” It seemed easy enough. Off to Home Depot I went and brought home my shiny new seat. I tried to follow the video and the instructions, but, again, there were some screws left over and now when you sit on it, it feels like you are on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney World. But that is ok, because I tried my best.

This brings us to last week. The bathroom sink was not draining. At all. Off to my friend Google I went and he gave me a choice of several, “How to unclog your bathroom sink” videos. This delightful Australian guy was giving me step-by-step instructions of how to remediate the problem. All I had to do what take a wire hanger and twist the end into a little hook, stick it down the drain, bring up all of the yucky stuff and there you go! I had other options as well. I could unscrew the thingamajigs on the trap thing and clean out the trap. Nope. I could make a combination of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. Nope—especially because nothing was going down the drain, hence the problem. So, we were going with the hanger option. Got my hanger, turned the end into a hook, stuck the hook into the sink and…and…ok, why isn’t the hanger coming back up? Why isn’t it gently retrieving the gunk from the clog like it did in the Australian guy’s video? Does this only work in Australia? Did I need a kangaroo nearby? Why oh why did I now have a hanger stuck in my sink?

Yes, now I have a clogged sink with a hanger sticking out of it. Fantastic. I call John the plumber, who is the best plumber in the world, and I am not even exaggerating. He is such a mensch and only laughed a little when I explained the situation to him. Though, I am proud to tell all of my beloved readers (and even the readers who aren’t thrilled with me) that John informed me that in all of his years of being a plumber, he had never seen anything quite like my situation before. I was thrilled.

In the end, I am still proud of myself for trying to take care of things on my own. Whether it be chasing after carpenter bees with the spray, removing wasp nests after dark or calling my neighbor to unclog my toilet, I am woman, hear me roar. Nothing more empowering than writing a check to yourself, unless, of course, the check is to John, and for dealing with me, that is worth every penny.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

Banji Ganchrow will never attempt to retile her own bathroom, no matter how easy the guys on TV make it look.

 

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