Sometime into my motherhood, I began to joke that I’d retired from the world and gone into waste management. I was responsible for the emissions, whether they occurred inside or outside the diapers. And I was, and still am, queen of changing the cat box and cat puke clean up. Most importantly, I am responsible for the state of the toilets.

My husband likes to say I’m the plumber. Not the PVC pipes or soldering kind. I just do toilets. We moved into our octogenarian house eleven years ago. We never had the money to gut our bathrooms. Instead, much to our plumber’s horror, I chose to replace the downstairs toilet’s compromised tank with one that didn’t match the bowl. And then installed an old but free toilet from an auction in the upstairs bathroom. The envy of the husband’s man friend for the flushing power now banned in toilet-land, we installed it and then reinstalled it correctly nine years ago.

But years of apparent rocking back and forth on the porcelain outlaw and nobody noticed the seat unseating. Until my husband said, “You know how you told me to keep my eye on that old stain on the ceiling. It’s gotten bigger.” A little rusty at all of this toilet replacement stuff, I took the sucker off it’s bolts and saw that the wax seal had indeed mingled with the “water”  and had become a gummy mess around the ancient cast iron hole in the floor. Off to the hardware store, buy a new wax seal and reinstall the relic. Problem solved.

Except everything else in the toilet is also nine years old. So the gal who rents the room next the bathroom with the above described toilet says there may be something wrong with it, again.  It filled slo-ow-wly and suddenly needed its own “Depends” underneath. Today, for $10 with an Ace coupon, and an assist from the husband, I replaced everything else save the handle and stopper. And don’t you know now that darned water stopper at the bottom isn’t smacking back down with its usual happy splunk. That’s it, I’m fired.  Except, I need to take the trash out.

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