The other day at boot-camp a friend of mine said, “I have some extra tickets for the symphony on Friday night. Does anyone want to go with me to see the ‘Celebrate Asia’ concert?” We didn’t have anything going on and Todd was out of town, so I said, “We can go!” So for the next couple of days we texted and made arrangements and decided to head out today at 5pm.
Today was a beautiful spring day. I might even describe it as perfect, weather-wise. It was far from perfect otherwise, but a truly amazing day none-the-less. I wasn’t going to tell the whole story of my day, but it was an incredible day, so what the heck, here I go…
Yesterday morning when I was brushing my teeth I couldn’t turn off the bathroom sink faucet. I turned the handles but the water still came out. I tried shutting off the water with the handles underneath the sink but no change. The water just wouldn’t shut off. Good grief. So I went into the kitchen and started filling up some pitchers with water so we’d have some before I turned off the water main. After that I went back to the bathroom, and to my surprise, the water was off. Weird. (But I do love it when things fix themselves!) So I made a sign that says, “Don’t use the sink! Please.” and put it on the mirror above the sink, figured Todd could deal with it when he got back, and went on with my day.
Then this morning as I was getting ready, I used the bathtub faucet to brush my teeth, and when I turn the tub water off, the bathroom sink turn on. WTF? And this time the sink faucet just wouldn’t fix itself. So I turned off the water main and took the kids to school, and contemplated my day. It would now be focused on fixing the faucet, and not going to the office as planned. Ugh. This was my husband’s department, and I couldn’t imagine how much a plumber would cost.
When I got home from school I started looking at YouTube videos about how to fix a leaky faucet. It looked like what I needed to do was undo the handles, then remove and replace the valves. But then when I started looking into the part I needed for our fancy Waterworks fixtures, I realized I wouldn’t be able to get the right valve from the local plumbing supply shop. So I called Waterworks, and oh boy, were they helpful. They told me exactly what I needed and where I could get it. There was one store over in Bellevue called that had four Waterworks valves in stock. So I immediately jumped in my car and drove over there and back. It took me over an hour, but the weather was incredible, the cherry blossoms were out, and I was, honestly, pretty happy with myself, figuring out all this plumbing stuff on my own.
When I got back home I got out all of the tools I thought I’d need, and laid them out on a towel, just like in the instructional YouTube video. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to undo the faucet. So I called Waterworks again and they told me I had to unscrew the top with hands. “No way!” I said, “I can’t get that thing to budge!” So the support guy said to get a hair dryer and heat it up; that will affect the metal and help loosen it up. He was totally right and I got it undone. Now all I had to do was remove a screw, remove the handle, unscrew the rest of the handle and remove the valve. But when I tried to unscrew the handle it just kept spinning and spinning. Time for another call to Waterworks, where they told me I’d have to secure the part under the sink with a wrench while unscrewing the top. “How am I going to do that?” I asked. “You’ll need two people.” he replied. Well I wasn’t sure how I’d find another person to help on a Friday at noon, so I figured I have long arms, I can do this.
I got myself under the sink with the wrench and secured it with one hand, then reached over the sink with my other hand and tried to unscrew it. But my leverage was all wrong and I couldn’t get it to budge. I tried and I tried and I tried, until I got myself out from under the sink and realized that the stretch pants I was wearing were half way down my butt. Wow, plumber butt is impossible to avoid! I would have laughed more about this, but I was mad. In fact I was freaking out a bit. I had two hours before I had to pick up the kids from school, and then we had to get ready for the symphony by 5pm, and I desperately needed a shower. Grrrrr.
I was really hoping that my ‘I Never’ for today would be “Performed Incredible Feats of Plumbing All By Myself!” but alas that was not to be. I was freakin’, so decided to call Beacon plumbing and get someone over here asap.
I called them up and said to the super nice guy who answered, “Let me cut to the chase. How much is it going to cost me to get someone over here as soon as possible?” I explained how I really wanted to do this myself, but had to give up. He said he could get someone over in 45 minutes or less, that there would be a $75 service fee, and then they’d have to figure out the problem and give me an estimate. “Okay then, send ‘em over” I said.
In about a half an hour there was a knock on the door and two young guys were here to save the day. I took them to the sink and they asked me to describe the problem. I told them, “The problem is, there are demons in my plumbing and they are messing with!” I explained how the sink mysteriously turned off one day, and then back on the next. “So I need you to please remove the demons.”
They got busy and in a matter of minutes one of the guys was able to remove the valves. I guess that’s the way it goes when you do this for a living and have the proper tools. And he didn’t even get plumber butt. Incredible. When he took out the old valve he showed it to me and said, “Look, here’s the problem. There’s a tiny bead of solder blocking the opening which won’t let you close the valve all the way.” He said we were also getting some debris build-up and suggested we de-scale our hot water heater. Then he fixed the handles under the sink so that in the future I can turn the water off just for the sink. Then he asked me if the water pressure was always so low for the faucet. I said it was a recent phenomenon and that when the water pressure dropped, the hot water stopped kicking on too. So he unscrewed the faucet cleaned off the debris, put it back on, and ta da! the pressure was back and so was the hot water. I was so so happy that they were able to solve all of my problems and said, “You guys are like Ghost Busters! You completely got rid off all my plumbing demons. You rock!!!!!”
It was now almost 3pm and I had to get to school, so I said, “Okay, I guess now we need to get to the icky part. How much do I owe you?” So he started righting down all of the things he did, and how much they would cost, and the number 439 appeared. Dang. That was a lot. Did that include the service fee? Then he said to me, “Who did you speak to on the phone?” and I said it was “Phil or Bill, I don’t remember exactly.” And he replied, “Well Bill told me to only charge you the $75 service fee.” “Excuse me?????” “Yep, he was feeling generous today I guess.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was beyond happy, I was giddy. So I told him, “You know, yesterday a bird pooped on me, and my friend said ‘That’s good luck. You should go buy lottery tickets.’ And I did. But we didn’t win anything. But today I feel like I just won the lottery. No only because you’re giving me this amazing deal, but because you fixed everything! I would never have done that myself, or have known what the problem was, or about the de-scaling. I can’t tell you how grateful I am.” He laughed and they were on their way.
I jumped on my bike and pedaled to school as fast I could. I got to the playground, sat with my friends in the sunshine and told them what my day was like. I in the best mood ever, even though I needed to get the kids home and ready for the symphony and clearly I wouldn’t have time for a shower and I did not smell very good. But I didn’t care. My day was amazing and I was happy happy happy.
The kids did not want to go to the symphony. They had no idea what it would be like, and who can blame them? Why would they want to leave the beautiful sunny playground and their friends to go to the symphony with three middle-aged women? But after some grumbling they came with me, and we got ready as quickly as possible.
We parked underneath Benaroya Hall and there was a group of kids in the garage with their dragon costumes on. I just love a dragon parade! I love the design of the dragon and the colors and sparkles and noise. Then we went upstairs and grabbed some dinner from the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the lobby, and did some really fun people watching. There were women in gorgeous kimonos, and others in beautiful traditional Korean and Thai costumes. The kids were taking it all in: the people, the costumes, the beautiful building with the huge Chihuly chandeliers, and the cool big city vibe. They were on their best behavior and so super cute. As we walked to get our seats the dragon parade came through, which just added to the excitement.
We got our seats and the show started. First was a Japanese piece from a movie soundtrack. Very nice. Next was a Swedish and Vietnamese collaboration that was accompanied by a movie, which I thought was pretty unbearable and the kids and I both agreed that we couldn’t wait for it to be over, and that we hated the movie. When it was finally done my friend leaned over and said, “What a bunch of self-indulgent crap.” Ha! That made me laugh, and feel better about not getting it. They ended the night by rolling out the grand piano, and the entire orchestra played, and it was incredible. The sound was perfection and the pieced they played were beautiful. Thank goodness.
Nadine snored a little during the concert, and Miles spent most of the evening checking things out through a pair of binoculars we rented. I’m not sure the kids would say that they loved the sympony, but we had a really good time. Going to Benaroya Hall tonight was so much more than just experiencing the symphony. It was an adventure. It was being okay with trying something new, and unknown, and grown up. There weren’t many kids there tonight, but as we were leaving a woman stopped me and said, “Thank you so much for bringing your kids to the symphony.”
I loved it. I was so proud of my kids and so grateful to live in such a cool city. What an can’t incredible day I had. And the weekend hasn’t even started! Plus, I do believe this is the longest ‘I Never’ post I have ever written. If you powered through it to the end, I am impressed. Thank you.