Sometimes it's ok for a man to wear the pants.

Every person has good parts of their personalities and bad parts of their personalities. Most of the time they are the same parts of their personalities. For example...

I am a fairly independent girl. I was raised by an independent girl - and an independent boy. For those of you that know my parents, enough said. For those of you who do not...

My mother was raised on a farm in one of those towns where they could've filmed the movie "Hoosiers". Except the town was in Montana, not Indiana. It's one of those quickly disappearing rural communities that no one knew existed in the first place. As a matter of fact, I don't know if it's there anymore. Anyway... she was raised on a farm with 6 brothers and 3 sisters, and when I say she was "raised" I use the word as loosely as possible. My mom was "free range" long before they started applying the word to really expensive meat and dairy products. Let's just say that when your mom has 10 kids, and a farm and works a job at the post office to help ends meet, you aren't exactly sitting around waiting for her to make your lunch. If you need food, you fix it yourself. If you need clean clothes, you wash them yourself. If you need to get your dad from... wherever farmers are... during a snow storm... uphill both ways... because your mom's in labor, you drive the car yourself, license or no license.

It stuck with her I guess, because, for as long as I've known her, if my mother needs something done, she does it herself. (Except polish her toenails. That girl likes her pedicures.)

My father, on the other hand, was raised by a woman that would've been happy to take care of him for his entire life. Not that I blame her. He was in and out of hospitals and clinics and doctor's offices a lot during his childhood and adolescence and she learned, sometimes the hard way, to guard her son. Too bad for her, my dad wasn't super interested in being guarded.

Eventually, because of complications from his disease, he ended up in a wheel chair (I don't remember him any other way). I think it would've been very easy for him to have other people do lots of stuff for him, but like my mother, if he needed something done - like changing the horrible, awful, greasy, pulley wires on the lift for his van, or making sure his daughters had a decent softball coach, or curling the hair (and sometimes burning the ears) of 4 girls everyday before school - he did it himself.

Which brings me back to me - and a clogged pipe. I went down to the basement of the house that we're renting and the utility sink was overflowing with, what can only be described as, pipe vomit. Yep, vomity smell, vomity appearance... vomity reaction. So, because I am who I am, I got my utility vacuum and starting sucking. A couple of things about utility vacuums - they eventually fill up and then they must be emptied. Our vacuum holds 16 gallons of pipe vomit. Pipe vomit weighs roughly 8 lbs per gallon. Now, I'm not that great at math, but what I found out is that when you're 30 weeks pregnant, pipe vomit is really heavy, even if you're only lifting it into the bathtub where it will hopefully run into the sewer and not the basement. I filled and lifted and emptied that stupid thing 4 times. I'm not going to lie - it hurt, and I sounded a lot like those men in the Scottish Highland Games that throw that big log thing.

After clearing the water I proceeded to get under the sink (admittedly with some difficulty), disassemble the plumbing, snake the pipes, locate and snake the clean-out-hole-thingy in the wall next to the sink, locate and snake the clean-out-hole-thingys in the ground outside, locate and snake the clean-out-hole-thingys under the deck, reassemble the plumbing...and then, because all of my snaking was for naught, purchase what I can only assume to be one of the main ingredients in chemical explosives, to dump down the drain.

The pipe stayed blocked.

Like I said, I am an independent girl, but having exhausted all other options, I did something that I despise above almost anything else. I asked my husband for help. Now, I am very well aware that if this had been one of my sisters, I would've welcomed the rescue, but... what I'm pretty sure that this boils down to is ... my husband is a man, and asking for man help makes me... very unhappy - like the time that I drove to church for a big meeting, and there were so many cars that the usher guys wanted everyone to back into the parking spaces, presumably to make it easier for the worshipers to make a quick escape in case they got bored. (Which I'm pretty sure I did.) I had to get out of the car and let my husband park because I cannot back a car in a straight line. Rrrr.

So... when he got home from work, my husband opened up the clean-out-holey-thing in the wall, pushed the snake through
and - WHOOSH. Unclogged pipe.

I tried to be annoyed, (since he did exactly what I had done, but apparently his plumbing voodoo is better than mine), but between having a husband that could solve the pipe problem and knowing that I could safely shower and get the pipe vomit out of my hair, I was so happy, I just had to hug his neck.

So much for independence... or maybe just pride.

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Carlie K said...

They have more experience and let's face the correct plumbing to be adept at sticking things in well....things. Don't get me started on backing up a trailer, I blame it on my lack of a built-in joystick for practice.

grammy said...

Had you been raised on a farm you would not have been snaking the "outhouse"


I, who live without a man, if faced with pipe vomit, would have hired a man to come and make it go away. I would have done it with my last dime. And then I would have gone on welfare and stopped brushing my teeth.

I so admire you after this story.

The Laundry Queen said...

I love your posts! Happy to finally have another one to laugh over. I absolutely love that you referred to your mom as "free range". Oh, and I'm super happy that your 30 weeks pregnant self is still pregnant after hauling all of that pipe vomit.

Nika, Travis, Ayda and Zander said...

We must have been raised by the same mom because I would rather do it myself than ask my husband.

Amy Jo said...

I have no words. I thought of myself as a very independent girl, and I still do; but.. when it comes to being 30 weeks pregnant and doing what you did with a shop vac, and those pipes.. I will tell you the truth, I probably would have called my husband, and told him how I was gagging at the pipe vomit and couldn't do anything else. I have a new level of respect for you, it is the truth.

Alyson Broberg said...

You loosened it up for him.

From she who asks her husband to pick up her keys when 20 weeks pregnant.