“I’m tired of living in exile!” my husband, Peter, exclaimed as, for the second day in a row, we packed up everything we would need to be out of our home long enough for the floor to dry.
Michael, the floor sander, is in our apartment now, buffing the penultimate coat of polyurethane while Peter is moaning about his exile status. We have evacuated to the party room in the condominium while we wait to have a floor we can walk on again. There is internet and a refrigerator in the party room, so we are rather pampered evacuees.
“The floors are almost finished,” I reassured him.
“But the remodeling isn’t!” he complained.
“The rest won’t be so disruptive.” Peter is not convinced.
The most urgent remaining issue is the bathroom, as the shower stall is warped and spills water onto the floor. Peter has fashioned a complicated solution involving a plastic shower curtain, a squeegee, and Gorilla Tape. It is not elegant.
But contractors are insanely busy these days, and no one is in more demand than plumbers. If you know a plumber, I suggest you cement your relationship with them immediately, as plumbers are the hottest new celebrities.
After a considerable hunt, we finally found a plumber named Matt. Like Cher or Adele, Matt uses only his first name, but on his business cards he adds a single initial for his last name – like Kenny G.
When Matt arrived to survey our bathroom, he did not remind me of either Cher or Kenny G, but had a similar charisma. He was very tall and bald and fit and had the calming presence of someone who might start a New-Age movement. I think he easily could garner followers, although I suspect plumbing is more lucrative.
Matt arrived at our home and listened as we explained our mundane problem of having a 40-plus-year-old bathroom made of aging acrylic. He nodded compassionately as we told him more than he really needed to know about our hopes and dreams in the bathroom department.
“I have a philosophy,” Matt finally said, after we had told him all there was to tell. Right away, I knew we’d be paying a lot if we were getting both a plumber and a philosophy.
“I believe in keeping things simple,” Matt said, simply.
“Well, we understand you may run into problems you can’t anticipate…” Peter began.
“No,” Matt said, holding up a hand and looking like the spiritual teacher I was beginning to suspect he was. “I will give you a price, and it will be the price. There will be no changes. There will be nothing added. I will do what needs to be done.”
If Peter had been wearing a blood pressure monitor, I know I would have seen the needle drop.
“He’s going to be expensive,” I warned Peter, after our plumbing guru left. Peter seemed unconcerned. When Matt’s bid came in, it was even higher than I had feared.
“I just don’t see that we have a choice,” Peter told me. “I believe Matt is the man for the job. We got a good price for our old house. I think it’s karma that we spend a little more with Matt now.”
My husband is not typically a person who is price insensitive, and he is certainly not someone who talks about karma, so now I don’t know what to think.
Matt will start work next week. I am expecting all sorts of changes to ensue. Some of them might even have to do with the plumbing.
Till next time,