I found myself in a strange position last night. No, filthy minds, there was no nudity or even another person involved.
I was standing, fully clothed, in my bathtub. I had a wrench in my hand and I was swearing profusely, not unlike a drunken sailor or a feral child. The object of my contempt was the shower head in said bathtub. It’s your typical Motel 6 fixture, meaning all-function and no fun.
On the vanity lay one of my prized possessions, the most dee-luxe shower head I could find back in 2006. My dad had been helping me remodel the little bathroom in my old house and I will never forget the day he and I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up a few things.
I was resplendent in new-found singleness, the sting of divorce was still fresh but no longer debilitating. After a dozen years of less-than earth shattering coitus, I was raring to experience all things sexy at the tender age of 40. If my life had been a cheesy soft-core porn, it would have been called “Jenny’s Awakening”, “The Dawning of the Divorcee” or something along those lines.
I’d read stories about methods in which to reclaim your lusty side, made the vibrator purchase on Drugstore.Com and already had my first post-divorce roll in the hay. The beast had been stirred from her slumber and there were so many new territories left to be explored. The infamous shower massage was next on my list. I’d already discovered it was the perfect place to sob the silent cries of the newly split, now I wanted to make it a happier space, filled with the muffled moans of the newly sated.
Anyhoo, back to Home Depot: As we walked down the bathroom fixture aisle, my eyes settled on a shiny, stainless steel monster with a diameter as wide as a human head. There were knobs and levers and oh, oh so many tiny nozzles. Just writing about it makes me floaty. I remember blushing a tiny bit as I reached out and plucked that knight-in-shining chrome from the display and placed it, delicately, in the cart next to the boxes of tile and tubs of grout. Like Katrina and The Waves, I walked on sunshine all the way out to my dad’s truck. Visions of steamy sessions and lip-biting ecstasy danced in my head, the grown up versions of sugarplums, I guess. It ’twas the day before Lustmas and the only thing stirring was my libido.
Needless to say, that shower head was all I expected, and more. There were 20 or so speeds and pressures and did I mention it was handheld? It was. My water bill soared as did the length of my showers. I learned to tune out the pounding on the door and the plaintive cries from my children, begging me to “hurry up!” and “feed us!”. It was truly a golden age.
And then, as divorce tales (and handheld shower massagers) often do, things went south. I ended up having to leave that little house, and as I did a final walk through, sorting out memories and deciding what to take with me, I stopped in the bathroom. The little bathroom my dad had helped remodel, with the twilight purple walls and the hexagon tiled floor…and Old Faithful, the shower head. I gasped as I realized this was it, our final goodbye, the last time my eyes would gaze upon the splendor of the jets. Common sense prevailed at the last second, though, and I said to my friend, “Hand me that wrench. He’s coming with me.”
We got it loose, and left that bathroom with nothing more than a bare pipe protruding from the wall. I felt no guilt, knowing the new owners would be able to find their own fixture at the Home Depot just down the road exactly as I had done a couple years prior. I held the shower head in my lap as we drove to the new house, comforted by the fact that if nothing else, my morning (and afternoon, and sometimes evening) showers would remain the same.
Except, of course, I never got around to installing my shower massage at the new house. Life got busy, and there was a long time when my showers were strictly utilitarian. My magnificent shower massager, once mighty and well-loved, was tucked away in a bathroom cupboard, his once brilliant sheen now dulled and dusted with the passage of time. I’d see him, under there, every so often as I scrambled to grab a new roll of toilet paper or pluck a bottle of Windex from the jumble of cleaning products. I’d see him, and for a moment, remember the times we’d had together. I made mental notes to find a wrench and see about a reunion, but middle age and my raging Attention Deficit Disorder misplaced those notes almost as quickly as they were written.
Until last night. You see, I’m in between real life lovers at the moment, and as I was cleaning out a drawer last night I happened upon a large, ancient wrench. A randy red-lightbulb went on over my head and I decided, right then and there, that it was time for action.
And that’s how I ended up, arms akimbo and profanity spilling out of me like sputtering lava, in the bathtub last night. Try as I might, the old, useless shower head wouldn’t budge. I had nearly dislocated my shoulder and finally surrendered when my 19 year old daughter, home from college, pounded on the door and asked if I was having a stroke or something.
“No, Molly.” I answered, rubbing my aching shoulder. “No. I’m fine.” But was I really fine? No. A fire had been lit and this time life and it’s busyness wasn’t going to put it out.
I’m off to Home Depot again. This time, I’m bringing home a different tool. A plumber’s wrench, the finest, toughest one available for less than $40.00.
Please, send some me luck. And maybe, the name of a skilled handyman who knows how to keep his mouth shut.
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