by cheri sabraw 👧
With age, things fall apart.
Our bodies do not function as well as they did when we were in our twenties, nor do they look as good. I noticed these progressive losses about five years ago when I threw my head back to laugh at a silly joke and wrenched my neck.
How many times in my youth did I throw my head back so far in giddy hysterics out on the school lawn or shake it in a flirtatious hair-flinging motion designed to tease my boyfriend with no damage whatsoever?
Those days are gone. Those days where as a girl you didn’t consider the tops of your hands or the back of your heels or your gums or your knees or joints. You just didn’t because all those parts were young and fluid and strong, and you felt so good about yourself. You knew you would never break.
Our plumbing doesn’t function as well either.
You may be thinking that I am getting ready to write a treatise on digestion, pro-biotics, prunes, and fiber.
I’m referring to faucets and shower heads.
Only two states in the United States (I learned yesterday at the local plumbing store) California (naturally) and Vermont have strict anti-scald rules that now prevent plumbers from installing fixtures in the shower or tub with separate hot and cold handles. Really. I’m serious.
Clearly, the lawyers in California have caused this rule and regulation. I imagine that a ninety-year-old woman got into her shower and instead of turning the cold handle, she became confused and turned on the hot, thus scalding her thin skin. I imagine her damages were worth the $250,000 settlement; after all, she still had years to live. Can you imagine a state like North Dakota buying into an anti-scald law? Or how about Montana? Or how about Arizona? No, only states like California, Massachusetts, Vermont (New Hampshire will be next) and dare I say, Connecticut???
Big Dave at the local plumbing store told me, “Heck, if we came out and installed separate hot and cold handles, we could get a 10 thousand dollar fine!!” I raised one eyebrow and threw my head back, and said, “Ouch! You’ve got to be kidding.”
So, if your plumbing fixtures of twenty-years ago break, as our cold water handle did in the guest bathroom–where I take my nightly bath–you can no longer legally replace it, unless it is with one fixture, the type that is round and looks like a clock with a valve that moves hot and cold along in an arc. These are the types of fixtures at Holiday Inn, Express or Motel Six.
The solution for a broken cold handle? Dave suggested we cut the tile ( ka-ching, ka-ching) to take out the old fixture, try to match new tile (ka-ching, ka-ching) and have a specialist (double ka-ching) come in and grout it and replace the fixtures with one device.
I came home and delivered the verdict to the man of the house, who did not take the news well, ranted and raved, and asked me, “Cheri, what are you going to do about this situation? I threw my head back and said, “Ouch! Isn’t this a guy thing?”
Meanwhile, in order to add cold water to my bath, I now have to take the handle (which is resting in the soap dish) and manipulate it onto the threads until the mixture of hot and cold is the right cocktail.
Is this a great state or what?