Tree Roots Are Getting in the Way
I love trees, hell, I'm a tree worshipper. But this dying motherfucking elm tree in my front yard is dying AND clogging my pipe. I've paid plumbers much money twice to cut the shit out of those roots. I don't want to anymore. It backed up again.
I decided to rent the machine to cut those fuckers out of my pipe. I went down to the home depot, knowing that I would be mansplained. I told the equipment rental man what I needed. I called it a cutter because that's what the plumbers I hired called it before. The retail guy at the home depot, who, as it turned out, didn't know shit about plumbing, because he's the equipment rental guy, scoffed at me, he actually laughed, and told me, "oh, you need a sewer snake." As though that's the OFFICIAL name of it and no one's allowed to call it anything else, even actual real live plumbers. Then we walked over to the equipment and he asked me if I had a truck because it weighs 200 LB. I don't. Then, he asked me how old my home was. I told him it was built in 1942. Then he told me about what happens when tree roots grow into old pipes in the ground. I had already told him I paid plumbers twice to clear this out. I think it's safe to assume that those plumbers already explained, with more knowledge, what was going on with my plumbing. I already hated him for laughing at me, so anything else he had to say was doomed from the start. I asked him about pouring rock salt or root killer down the drain. He didn't know anything about that, but told me the really tall guy, Bill, in plumbing, could answer my questions. Dumb dumb only knows about how to sell stuff and scoff at women.
Bill didn't have anything additional to tell me.
So I decided that obviously I wouldn't be renting this machine today because I don't have a truck and prefer to do shit myself when I know that I can. I've been wanting to set up a composting toilet situation in my home for a while. I have a toilet in my basement, but it doesn't run super well. We don't use it. I plan to dig deep in this spot and install the ventilation needed for a composting toilet, but I'm not there yet. Still at the home depot, I bought two orange buckets and two lids. Then, since I wasn't spending $60+ renting a cutter, I decided to get a few cheap houseplants: some succulents because I want to set up a little succulent garden, and a fern. I grow and root and grow spider plants and a few other types of houseplants whose names I don't remember, but I have killed many ferns, so I decided to try again.
Back at the homestead, I had some work to do. The basement had standing shit water in it. I have a good drill and basic drain snake. I didn't know if I would use it at all. But that was first on my mental list of things I could try. I also bought a 50 LB bag of rock salt at the hardware that was going straight into the basement runoff drain that leads directly to the roots. I knew that wasn't an immediate fix. And I still know that it may not be much of a long-lasting fix. When I got down to my basement with my water proof work boots on, the thought occurred to me that I might try a plunger. Probably won't do much, I thought, but what's it going to hurt. That bitch cleared the line! There was standing water in the runoff spot. I plunged it and monitored the mostly empty toilet on the other side of the wall right next to the runoff. Shit cleared out and stayed cleared out while I cleaned the shit out of that floor. I was pleased. I knew it wasn't solved, of course. But it was a small victory.
I didn't use my drill and snake because it's more likely to get tangled than actually do any good. I spent the rest of my time cleaning the shit floor. Now my house smells like too much bleach. It's a cancer house right now. But cancer house vs. shit house? Cancer wins temporarily.
Meanwhile, the orange buckets were "installed" and used in the ground floor bathroom and my upstairs bathroom. When I lived and homeschooled in Bloomington, Indiana, a family friend who was a badass woman warrior, and former yurt dweller, used this system in her bathroom. She and her equally badass husband, and three children, used buckets in their bathrooms. Guests could use the toilet if they wanted, but I never wanted. The bucket had a lid to keep in the smells, and a toilet seat. So it was sitable. And they kept a supply of soil to scoop out and put on top of poop in the bucket. I'm going to keep my own supply of soil in each bathroom. For now, the toilets are going to go unused and my boys are not going to like it much at first. Change is weird, and this is a big one. But rock salt takes a while to erode the roots, and I don't even know if it's going to work all the way.
But for today, and for the next week, this is my experiment. I'm currently doing a load of laundry. We'll see. And if you're wondering about how I'm going to dump the shit buckets, don't fucking worry about it. I've got plans. That's what the internet is for.
I need to show myself repeatedly that slow is not always wrong, even though my automatic impulses tell me the direct fucking opposite almost all the time. I want things to be the way I want them right fucking now.
I also need to show myself that even though my mother would do things differently, it's okay for us to be different and it's okay for me to do things a different way.
Spending money on what the mansplainers tell you to buy, or accepting defeat when things don't go the way you expect them to go is never enough. I have the emotional state of a woman, so I nearly teared up in the hardware. I don't know if men feel these emotional turbulences. Maybe y'all are just better at hiding your emotions because your parents taught you from a young age. I didn't cry. But I felt like crying.
And fuck you. If I really needed to, I could have easily gone out to my car, cried healthy tears, and then gone back into the hardware to get my shit buckets and air cleaning plants.
I'm writing this because most women are raised to think that we need a man to help us with these things. A lot of men don't know how to do this stuff either. But men are raised to know that if they don't do it, no one will. Women need to grow up knowing that same information.
I actually used to ask friends' husbands to help with basic ass shit. And when one of them actually came over to help, I was like, that's it? I coulda done that.
Never mistake self-sufficiency for preferring a solitary life. Many people assume that if you don't accept the company of assholes, then you must want to be alone for life. People can't fathom spending a little time healing themselves through basic self-care so that you can grow and become a person that you're proud of being. I prefer not to play the victim. I am in charge of my home and my life because why should I depend on someone else to do anything for me? I am in charge of my home because it's my home. People partner up because they can't imagine self-sufficiency.
Haven't you ever read, partnership is not about making an incomplete person whole, partnership is about being whole and joining up with another whole person. I'm not waiting for a man to do this basic shit for me that I clearly can do for myself.
You read all the way to the bottom?! You get a song as a reward. BET did a New Edition special, I hear. I grew up loving Ralph Tresvant. But I only had the Sensitivity cassette single, not the full tape.
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.