The pride of plunging
Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m going to be a feisty old woman; the kind of woman who covers the back of her car in stickers and tells the waiter just what I think of the food when it arrives without concern because feisty old women don’t care what others think. They are so unfazed by the thoughts of others, these glorious gutsy women carry on with a strong head on proud shoulders. This feeling hit me again when I found myself doing a little plumbing work at a local establishment.
I would have never expected myself to be the kind of person to be standing in this restroom holding a plunger, but there I was, throwing caution to the wind and unclogging a public toilet. I admit while standing there and staring at the nearly overflowing toilet, a few thoughts crossed my mind. The first thought naturally was, “why am I standing here, watching a public toilet overflow?” The second was, “I should probably do something about this.” The third was, “if I go tell the people in charge, they were going to think that I clogged the toilet, which I did not, and that I was too straitlaced to do anything about it.” The fourth was, “well, here we go.”
There have certainly been times in my life when I would have simply stormed right out of there, but time and wisdom and general apathy set in with age, not to mention the multiple badges of motherhood that I have earned changing diapers, scrubbing unmentionables, and various other unprincess-like tasks that I seem to tackle on a daily basis. (“Sorry I missed your call, mom, I was out catching crickets for the frogs and fixing the neighbor kid’s bike.”) I no longer take heed when faced with tasks at hand and dive right in instead of pawning them off on others.
And although I did not dive right into the plugged porcelain bowl, I did what any feisty woman would. I stuck in the plunger and with a simple heave ho, watched the water drain down with success. A quick wash of the hands and a double check of my handiwork, and I left that commode knowing I had left the world a better place in spite of my reputation for being a public toilet plumber.
I marched my shoes right up to the first employee I could find and politely told the bartender that although the bathroom floor may need a bit of tending to, I, the woman who has sacrificed good status for this act, had saved the day. His blank stare caught me as off guard as my story did to him, but still it was one of those life moments that make me think that feisty women, young or old, kind of make the world go round.
I need a sticker like that for the back of my car.
Originally written 7/28/14