BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: The Bathroom Sink

A bathroom sink

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 10.

I am not handy.

In fact, I’m the exact opposite. A look at a few of handy’s antonyms tells my story:

Unskilled; bumbling; bungling; clumsy; awkward; inept.

When it comes to fixing anything, be it around the house, with my car or anywhere else where at least two parts are fused to form a greater sum, I’m best described as my favorite antonym:

Useless.

So whenever I do try to fix something, my misguided efforts are accompanied by a wave of inadequacy and anxiety. I doubt my abilities to make the situation better while being confident I’m going to make it worse.

It was with this mindset that I attempted to unclog my wife’s bathroom sink.

She sheds like a golden retriever. Her hair is in so many places — on the floor, in the dryer, wrapped around the squeegee in our shower — I wonder how she has any left on her head.

(If only she and I could trade follicle production systems.)

And not surprisingly, it’s recently infiltrated her sink drain.

After consulting YouTube — the ultimate double-edge sword, arming me with just enough knowledge to make me dangerous — I did my best to follow instructions without flooding the rest of our house.

I removed the sink stopper. I snaked the drain. I created a concoction of vinegar, baking soda and hot water to flush things out. I braced for disaster as I turned on the faucet once everything was reassembled.

My wife, G-d bless her, has learned over the years how tense I get, and she did her best to avoid me while I worked.

But sensing she was walking on eggshells served as a wake-up call.

Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, I needed to focus on what I was doing right:

I was stepping out of my safe space and taking on a new challenge, no matter how small, and I was willing to risk my manhood and our master suite to do so.

That’s what counted.

The fact that her drain now runs clean is just a bonus.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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