Friday, November 1, 2013

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The Clog (Why is my husband too lazy to unclog the toilet?) Part III

 

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  If you have not read The Clog (Why is my husband too lazy to unclog the toilet?) Part I, you can do so by clicking here. You can read part II by clicking here

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the sit and think strategy isn’t the issue. The real problem is forgetfulness. Sometimes I forget to check back. Those are the times that I end up leaving for work and Mel winds up finding the package I left. Those are the times I get an angry text message, “You clogged the toilet!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She never asks, “Did you clog the toilet?” It’s always a statement. Never a question. And I always respond with, “I love you.” As if my love for her will solve everything. As if our love could heal all wounds. As if it could be bottled and shipped in mass quantities and the world would suddenly destroy all its weapons because there is no need for war. But my declaration of love never fixes anything, especially a clogged toilet.



Or it happens right before bed and I naively assume that no one will notice before morning when I plan to get up early and deal with the clog. Sometimes I even set my alarm to go off ten minutes before Mel’s so I can beat her into the bathroom and flush. And surprisingly, it usually works. Except for when Mel needs to go around 2AM. On those nights I wake up to the black silhouette of a ghostly woman, leering over me, speaking in what seems like angry tongues or some Egyptian curse that will cause my rectum to seal shut, but I soon realize it is Mel accosting me for leaving an unwelcomed midnight surprise. She’ll swat me in the arm with an open hand, and then dance a little jig with her arms folded.
“Get up and fix the toilet! I’ve got to go!”
And my response is always the same, “Just use the kids’ bathroom. I’ll fix it in the morning.”
It is then that she hits me again and I get up to clean up my own mess.
As I read what I’ve just written, I realize that this essay makes it sound like at least one of our toilets is always clogged. It makes it sound like my body produces concrete of some kind. It makes me assume that anyone reading this will flatly say “no” if I ask to use their restroom. But honestly, I think Mel discovers a clog, on average, three or four times a year. However, I am confident that if you asked her she would say it was double that amount. Chances are, though, that I am estimating low, while she is estimating high, and in fact the actual number is near the middle (I will let you do the math). 


Anyway, back to Mel finding the clog at the beginning of the essay. I walked into the restroom and Mel pointed at the mess, her brows in a flat line, lips pale and smashed together. I could see her questioning her commitment to our marriage. Then she pointed at the plunger.
“Clean it up you sick… person.”  She stumbled over person, which makes me assume it was a euphemism for something worse. Perhaps asshole or jerk. Probably jerk.
Norah walked in and said, “What did you do, daddy?”
We must have woke her. She probably heard Mel’s angry tone and wanted to get in on the action. Her face was a little scrunched and a little red, even though she had no idea what was going on. She placed her hands on her hips, mimicking her mother.
“Daddy clogged the toilet again,” Mel said.
“Dad, you’re gross,” Norah said.
Mel looked at me and raised her eyebrows, her face seemed to say, even Norah thinks so.
I reached forward, pushed down on the lever, and the toilet sputtered a bit, swirled a little higher than usually, almost spilled over, and then went down with a burp. I smiled at her, and winked at Norah, as though I were a hero. As though I’d saved the day. As though Mel would be more attracted to me because of what I’d just done, and Norah would realize that I was an amazing father.
“Sometimes you just need to give it a moment to think about what it’s done,” I said.
Mel looked me up and down, and I stuck out my lips for a kiss. She turned and said, “There’s something wrong with you.”

Then she left.
I crouched down to give Norah a hug.
“You’re yucky, Daddy,” she said. Then she turned, and followed her mother.
And in fact, there probably is something wrong with me. But despite this little hiccup in my person, Mel gets over these moments fairly quickly, and in the months of intermission between clogs Mel almost never mentions it. This could be a defense mechanism. Perhaps it is her way of not talking about something that might make her leave me. But I have to assume that everyone has these little oddities. These character flaws that have to be dealt with through compromise, and sometimes straight up avoidance, if a relationship is to work. No one is perfect. I believe that. I have to, because I am deeply flawed, and I cannot help but assume that something has to be wrong with everyone else, also. 
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But in order to balance it all out, something needs to be right, too. I must have some charming quality that somewhat overshadows my craziness: nice smile? Good sense of humor? Rugged good looks? I’m not sure what it is, but luckily Mel is willing to focus on it. Kind of like how I am willing to overlook Mel’s moodiness in the mornings because her smile is so wonderful in the afternoon. Or the fact that her desk is an unorganized mess, but our family budget (that Mel manages) accounts for everything, right down to the penny. And I have to assume that looking at positive attributes is a large part of what makes our marriage work.


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Clint Edwards is a tutor coordinator at Oregon State University. He is also the former co-host of the Weekly Reader on KMSU and a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University. His writing has been listed as notable by Best American Essays, and has been published in The Baltimore Review, and through The University of North Dakota, Boston College, Emerson College, The University of South Carolina, and Minnesota State University. 

5 comments:

James Warren said...

Your “The Clog (Why is my husband too lazy to unclog the toilet?)” series is hilarious! I admit I'm still catching up on the whole thing, so I am not sure what or who is really the culprit of the clogged toilet, but it goes without saying that this is a regular occurrence to your household. So, in that case, I suggest you keep a plumber’s contact with you.

James Warren @ Capital Care Plumbing

Clint said...

Thanks, James! So check it out. I ended up buying a professional grade plumbing snake. It changed my life, and saved my marriage!

Lovella Cushman said...

You’re funny, Clint! It's good to know those plumbing tools saved your life, and your marriage for that matter. Yes, love alone will not solve this problem. Haha! If the professional grade plumbing snake no longer does the trick, then I guess you could use a plumber for a best friend. Have a good day!

Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing

Bronx NY Sewer & Drain Cleaning said...

Yikes! That is a lot to go through for one clogged toilet. sewer cleaning in the Bronx, NY  has never been easier

Manar Koutb said...


في شركة شركة تسليك مجارى نعمل قدر الامكان علي حل المشكلة واعطاء العميل فكرة كاملة عن الوضع وكذلك التكاليف المفترض دفعها مع العمل علي اصلاح وصيانة مكان التسرب فقط وليس البدء من الصفر داخل الحمامات او المطابخ كما نقدم في شركة شركة تسليك بالوعة المطبخ كافة خدمات الصيانة بعد الكشف ويشمل ذلك ( تكسير – اصلاح – ترميم ) كل ذلك بخدمات مميزة وفنيين علي كفائة عالية جدا ومعدات حديثة تضمن صحة النتائج لذلك تعد ركن نجد افضل شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
للمزيد يمكن زيارة
شركات تسليك المجارى بغرفة التفتيش والتي غالبا ما تحدث فيها الكتمة عن طريق سقوط مخلفات صلبة فيها او بقايا اعمال التشطيبات المترسبة فيها وهو ما يتم عن طريق سوستة الضغط او عن طريق غطاس ضغط المياه.

تسليك بالوعة الحمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
شركة تسليك المجاري بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجاري