In my kitchen.
“What the (insert appropriate swear word here)!” my husband yelled.
I hurried over to see him hunched over the cabinet area under the kitchen sink.
....Water. Was. Everywhere.
That’s not good.
“What the hell happened?” he squawked, looking up at me.
I took a step back, my Dutch/Irish/German dander up, locked and loaded. “Uh, excuuuuuuse me?” I snarked, “What makes you think this is my fault?”
He was smart enough not to answer that question.
Anyway....long story short?
There was a leak in the faucet.
God help us all.
Well, as they say, when God closes a window, he opens the door to a better faucet...or something like that.
“What do you think of this one?” my husband asked, pointing to one faucet near the top of the display at the local hardware store.
I leaned in to get a better look. “Where’s the handle to turn it on?”
He laughed, “There is no handle. You just touch it.”
Aha. Technology has rendered us completely stupid yet again. “Seriously? Have we gotten so lazy as a society that we can’t even flip a friggin’ handle to turn on our water?” I pontificated and gestured angrily at the shiny piece of chrome that would look more at home on the space station rather than in our humble home.
A hurt look crossed his face, “No, it’s useful when your hands are full.”
But I wasn’t listening any more. My eyes slid over to the price...and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
I pointed and shrieked, “That cost more than my first car!”
“I know,” he agreed, “but it doesn’t hurt to dream.”
My ears perked up at that sound, so I went hunting for the source. Only to find my husband in the kitchen, holding the brand-new faucet in one hand and the hose for the sprayer in the other.
We’d been home 7 minutes with the new faucet.
It only took him 6 to break it.
And that included the 4 minutes it took to remove it from the box.
I pointed and asked sweetly, “Problem?”
He looked up with a sheepish expression and admitted, “I think I pulled too hard on the hose...and...it...kinda...came...out.”
Faucet - 1.
Mr. Plumber - 0.
So he did what any self-respecting American male would do.
He tried shoving it back in.
But the hose? It had other ideas.
Like screwing with my husband. Which meant it wouldn’t to go back inside the faucet completely, getting jammed near the very end and refusing to move any farther though the faucet’s cylindrical base.
After 10 minutes of grunting and sweating and “You stupid, #*&^ piece of $@*&!” I decided to take matters into my own, delicate hands.
Thirty minutes later, including four useless screwdrivers, two crappy pens and finally one stainless steel barbecue skewer that was actually long enough, we managed to carefully guide the hose’s end around the obstruction and completely through the faucet.
And then just 2 short minutes later, he did something again.
“It’s stuck,” he moaned, tugging on the hose where he had connected it to one of the faucet’s couplings.
“Was that in the directions?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
He shrugged and gestured over his shoulder with the faucet. Said directions?
Still in the box.
“Do not - and I mean DO NOT - repeat any of those words at school tomorrow, OK?” I pleaded with our six-year-old son whose eyes had gotten THIS BIG after hearing my husband attempt to install the new faucet later that day.
“The one that starts with ‘F’?” he whispered after one very colorful use of the English language. “That’s a really bad one, right?”
You see, it’s important kids learn these things. Sure, we could shelter him from all the evils in life then toss him out on his own at 18 and expect him to achieve greatness rather than run with wolves.
But that seems unfair.
So we choose to let him witness the seedier side of some things then instruct how to deal with them.
It’s what the experts call a “teachable moment.”
It’s what I call a “next time we hire a plumber moment.”