A week ago I was so excited for the Thanksgiving holiday. My parents were in town; my favorite aunt was arriving that evening. We had tickets to see Mamma Mia! the following evening and I had three days off from work. It was going to be a real holiday, a break from work, from stress, from all the day-to-day stress of normal life. But the week had something very different in store.
First, Mamma Mia! was fun, but the choreography was, at times, a little graphic. Especially when one is with one’s parents and a conservative aunt and uncle. Also, that music is insidious. I hardly slept at all Tuesday night because the soundtrack was playing on constant rotation. Every time I rolled over it was “Money, money, money/must be funny/in a rich man’s world” or “Mamma Mia!/here we go again/my, my, how can I forget you” or “Does your mother know that your out?/take it easy, take it easy/better slow down boy” or “Super trouper/ lights are gonna find me/shining like the sun.” By the time the sun rose, I was ready to get out of bed! Except that in between the endless Mamma Mia! encores, I had managed to develop a cold.
Wednesday and Thursday were both kind of a blur; a drug-induced haze of people I had to greet, food I couldn’t taste, and the nagging feeling I should be wearing a sign emblazoned ‘UNCLEAN’ to warn everyone I was a walking biohazard. There is no guilt like the guilt of being the sick person at a holiday gathering.
Finally, there was the Jetted-Tub Fiasco of 2005. My uncle’s (where we were staying for Thanksgiving) basement bathroom has a luxuriously large jetted tub. Wednesday night I was feeling particularly unwell and decided a hot bath would make me feel better. I gathered up all the necessary items - like flannel pajamas and shampoo - from my bags and started filling the tub. Twenty minutes later, hair washed, relaxation started I thought the jets would be the finishing touch in making me feel better. I should have listened to the little voice in my head that shouted: !!ABORT, ABORT!! Earlier, when I announced my intention to use the tub, my cousin, Lou, said that sometimes the jets wouldn’t shut off, so you just had to wait for the water to “go out.” Well, the jets wouldn’t shut off. And in attempting to convince the on/off button to do my bidding, I managed to hit the drain handle and the tub began draining. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with jetted tubs, but if the water level gets below the level of the jets, the jets start shooting water into the air. I might mention at this point, that my uncle has neck problems and most of the jets were pointing straight up. Also, the tub has no doors, so the water began shooting all over the bathroom. I attempted to stop the water by contorting my body to cover as many of the jets as possible. I tried to shield the bathroom by holding my brave little towel in front of the most egregious spray. I was naked, panicked and soaking wet. When the water ran out, there was at least an inch of water on the floor. Also, every single item in the bathroom was sopping wet. My pajamas, my clothes, my towel, other towels, the toilet paper, all were wet and completely useless. I finally found one dry towel at the bottom of the hamper, wrapped myself up and bravely poked my head out the door to kindly ask my father to go and get my mother. Then I sat on the edge of the tub and did the only thing I could think of: burst into tears.
I hope you all had a lovely holiday, free from vicious plumbing.