Friday, October 23, 2009

Bathtub Blues, The Final Chapter

You may be wondering about the next episode in my battle for bathtub supremacy. And then again, you may not, if you’re a person with better things to do, but just in case you are, you’ll be glad to know I have prevailed. Huzzah!

(crowds cheering, trumpet fanfare blowing)

However, this also means this will be the last installment of Bathtub Blues. There there now, let’s not get all weepy. I’m sure, before too long, I’ll have another, even more ridiculous problem to harp on and fill a column with. Ah, free press. You gotta love it.

So will this little tale have a happy ending? Absolutely. When something is driving me crazy, I will ferret around until I find a solution. I will research, I will investigate, and generally worry the subject into submission. Or I’ll just get distracted along the way and wind up with a new passion not even remotely related to my original quest. But hey, at least I’m never bored.

To bring those readers up to date that may not have been tuned in for the previous episodes of Bathtub Blues, I had been having some difficulties due to the fact that my clawfoot tub was an unusually small one, and there was no way to avoid shower curtain adherence to the ankles, which gives me the heebie jeebies and has led to a raging case of vinylhydrophobia.

Also, there was no room to have that leisurely bath that you see people having in the movies. (You know the kind. About three feet of steamy water, bubbles up to the chin. A candle here and there, Debussy’s Clair de Lune playing softly in the background, and an entire family waiting outside the bathroom door. “Ma, are you finished yet?!”)

In the last episode, our heroine (that would be me) cleverly solved the shower curtain dilemma with clothespins, but the tub was still the size of the average kitchen sink. I remember bathing my babies, as do many of you, in the kitchen sink. But this is not practical with adults. You’re sure to bump your head on the cabinets above. And then there’s that little matter of the window that’s usually right behind the sink. But, as usual, I digress.

To summarize for those of you who missed Episodes I & II: small tub, large heroine, something’s gotta give.

Then my good friend Tricia introduced me to one of the neatest places in Rochester. It’s called ReHouse. An architectural salvage store that reclaims cool stuff from old buildings and sells it out of their oddball place on East Main St. Tricia said they had tubs. Lots of tubs.

Music to my ears.

We took a little trip to ReHouse, and there it was. The tub of my dreams.

Because they are a We Buy, We Sell, kind of place, I asked how much they would give me for my tiny clawfoot tub. They were only too happy to take it as a trade-in on the bigger model.

So before I left the store I did what anyone would do when buying a new tub. I took it for a test drive. Well, maybe I ought to say, a dry run.

I got into the driver’s seat, got behind the wheel, checked the instrument panel, and propped my arm up on the edge. Yep, it was a perfect fit. I climbed out for a check of the undercarriage. Nice, no rust.

And of course, the last thing I did, I went around and kicked all the claw feet.

Yes, this was the one. It even had that new car sme…, I mean, that old tub smell. Cast iron and porcelain. Ahhh…

It’s been a few months since I took delivery of the new, old tub and I’ve put quite a few miles on it since then. I hardly ever have an attack of the heebie jeebies anymore, my therapist says my vinylhydrophobia is just about under control, and best of all, there’s plenty of room for leisurely baths.

Yep, it’s just like in the movies. “Alright, already, I'm almost finished!”

image courtesy FCIT