Sunday, October 04, 2009

I Need A Therapist Who Can Do Home Repair

For those of you about to get a claw foot tub, can I offer you a gentle piece of interior decorating advice?


The funniest thing about my house is that, when we bought this place we ticked off all the awful things about it (which I actually thought would get fixed one day) and then I said those fateful words: "But it has a claw foot tub. I love claw foot tubs!"

Before encountering this claw foot tub, I had only experienced one other. I was house sitting in Maine and there was a claw foot tub. I was determined to take a nice bath in it because hey, that's the way it goes in all those chick flicks, right?

Little did I know that most old houses don't have enough water heating capacity to fill an old tub, even up to a somewhat acceptable level. This means you might have a beautiful tub surrounded by romantically lit candles and sensuous rose petals but the .5 inches of water that you will fill it with will turn stone cold in approximately 3.68 minutes. You will struggle to get out of the massive beast when your muscles have atrophied due to the cold and the second you hit that pile of rose petals, you will slide across the floor and upend one of those candles, scalding your nethers and forcing you to come up with a creative story when you go into the emergency room with a second degree burn on your labia.

Not that I know from first hand experience or anything.

So yeah, I thought a claw foot tub was a positive thing because I don't learn things too good.

So, our hot water heater never kept up with it until I replaced it at the beginning of the year.

Hooray! I thought, now I can enjoy our tub!

But there's always the problem of painting around it. And tearing up carpeting around it. And scraping paint off the window right next to it and getting ones thigh wedged between the tub and the wall. (A situation that calls for a liberal dose of extra virgin olive oil. Not regular vegetable oil because THAT is not only unhealthy but it is also cheap. When in a crisis, it is best to reach for the most expensive oil so that when you fail to dislodge yourself, at least the paramedics and firemen will thing you are a classy idiot.)

I'm waiting on dealing with the window since the great thigh wedging incident. I have been traumatized. TRAUMATIZED! So in order to feel like I was not stagnating, I decided to rip out the disgusting carpet.

I purposely had my cell phone in my pocket since I had visions of getting stuck again and I was going to be alone. Plus, I could imagine tugging on the carpet beneath one of those oh-so-stylish clawed feet and having the entire tub come crashing down on my head. With my luck, it wouldn't kill me outright. It would just leave me dain bramaged and the source of yet another round of stories down at the lakeside firehouse.

I used to be a paramedic. Stupid people can be an endless source of mirth and levity.

And anyone that has ever worked in emergency medicine will never doubt Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory.

I also had the lofty goal of not chopping off my fingers while dismembering the carpet beneath the tub with a knife.

Well, the carpet is gone. My fingers are intact. And I only had one claw foot come off while my shoulder was beneath the lip of the tub.

Ever think you were incapable of moving a behemoth claw foot tub using only your shoulder and a horrifying fear of dying in the bathroom? Trust me, you are stronger than you think you are.

And if you're lucky like me, when you dislocate a joint, you can just pop it right back in with a sprinkling of screamed profanities and a little bit of traction.

The experience also taught me that it is never a good thing to personify inanimate objects. Just because the tub is big and fat and does nothing but take up space and makes me very sad and angry, it is never a good idea to give it a name and start wacking it with the closest thing I have, the big rubber mallet which is kept next to the window to aid in its opening and closure.

Yes, I was alone in the house and having the occasional melt down is good for the soul but after I stopped beating the tub with the rubber mallet and I wiped the river of snot from my nose and I scrubbed my tear stained face with the back of my hand like a two year old, l realized that I had an audience.

Two dogs and two cats who were looking most concerned.

That's just not how they do it on This Old House.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Think of the claw foot tub as an RV...

It is useful to be prepared with a car jack (or equivalent), wood bracing and even some type of come- along winch to move it even an inch.

You were sooooo lucky! Maybe, when you install the new fluffy pink carpeting (aka "fiberglass insulation") beneath the wondrous cast iron tub, your supportive friends can all gather around and 1...2...3... LIFT it for you?

Claw foot tubs are also good for holding ice and refreshing beverages for loyal, hardworking friends...

Just so ya know!