The Joys of Home Ownership

There's a little dent in my forehead just about the size of the corner of a 5/8" wrench. And, as it happens, I have a 5/8" wrench in my toolkit.  This would probably be a more interesting story if the two were unrelated, but unfortunately you get to read a relatively mundane story of frustration.

Let me back up a bit. This morning I was going about my usual morning business--feeding Jason, emptying the dishwasher, and so on. I had just given his high chair tray a quick rinse and when I went to shut off the faucet, the handle came off in my hand. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just pop over to Home Depot on my lunch break and pick up a new fixture." After all, how hard could it be? A couple of turns of a wrench, take the old one off, throw the new one on, and voila.

You can see where this is going already, can't you?

First off, I ended up having to go to three different stores to find a faucet I liked, which took almost two hours. And even then, I couldn't find anything exactly right so I ended up buying three with the intention of returning two of them. At that point I was annoyed, but relieved that it was mostly over. Which it wasn't, but I didn't know that at the time.

See, the boxes that the fixtures came each had a list of the required tools--a short list, all of which I owned. (It would have to be a short list for that to be true, but that's another story.) For some reason, though, I wasn't bargaining on it being quite so cramped under the sink. Nor was I expecting the retaining nut to be rusted tight. I struggled with different wrenches and drivers and levers for almost an hour, pulling with my fingertips, scraping my knuckles, and, of course, cursing. I cursed at great length and with a great number of obscenities. I was like the dad from A Christmas Story--and when that occurred to me I very nearly called that nut a "mundane noodle," just to complete the effect.

I kept at it for a good ten minutes after I dropped the wrench on my face before I gave up. When I came out, Juliette gasped "You're bleeding!" Sure enough, when I went into the bathroom to look in the mirror, there was a line of blood running across my forehead. It was a pretty small wound, though, once I got it cleaned up. Just a little dent now.  I still can't believe I dropped a wrench on my face, though. It was like I was in a cartoon or something.

Tomorrow I'm headed back to the Home Depot to see if I can find a metal driver to get that nut loose. (The driver included in the box was plastic and no match for that rust.) Maybe I'll manage to drop a hammer on my face in the afternoon.