Behold, I am the drain whisperer

Nothing, NOTHING gets me more bent out of shape than a clogged drain in the shower or sink.  I obsess over it. I can do nothing else until I can witness that ultimate sound of water flowing effortlessly through a clear drain, the appearance of the tornado-like whirlpool signaling that the block has been unblocked.

And when you live in a house that is nearly 90 years old as I do, I can look forward to this cycle of first frustration and then elation every three months.

At first, we try to ignore it. For some reason, we don’t learn from one clogged cycle to the next.  We don’t use those plastic guards to keep the long hair of mine and my daughter’s from going down the drain.  Nor do we consider shorter hairstyles to prevent the buildup of (ewwwww) hair.

Yes, this is gross. But perhaps a topic that most can relate to have the stomach to read on.

So, as we stand in the tepid water that accumulates around our toes, we think, “maybe this will work itself out….”

But then, one fateful morning, my husband leaves for work, not telling me that the shower is clogged, seemingly for good. And my kids don’t bother to tell me their sink is clogged until it is overflowing between the original basket-weaved floor tiles, through the floor boards, and into my repeatedly plastered dining room ceiling. In desperation, I hoist the new dining room table from harm’s way of the water trickling down the dining room chandelier.

Then, it is time for my mission, my quest to unclog the clog.

First, I try the method that will do the least harm to the environment and my pipes: A cup of baking soda followed with a cup of white vinegar. The mixture momentarily fizzes in the sink or shower…. and then… nothing. Clog still there. No motion in the murky waters.

I go downstairs. Have breakfast. A cup of coffee. All the while killing time to see if there is any progress, any movement.

After about an hour, I get out the plunger.  No luck. Another cup each of vinegar and baking soda. Another wait. Another plunge. Still no luck.

Frustration. Black goopy muck seeping from my drain. I’m about to give up. I’m about to call my husband and cry and ask him to pick up some deadly chemical substance.

But then, suddenly, the waters subside. I achieve swirl. The clog is unplugged. I have conquered the clog, once again.

My drain is clear. My work is done. I am hit with a wave of triumph.

Screw college. I should have been a plumber… I would have been making a lot more money by now.

About stacylynngittleman

I have been a reporter and public relations professional for over 30 years, specializing in profile features and investigative longform writing. During my career I've profiled WWII Honor Flight Veterans, artists and musicians and have written on topics that range from environmental and gun control issues to Jewish culture. Click around on my writing samples plus read my blog on my personal life raising three kids over 27 years and three cities.

4 responses to “Behold, I am the drain whisperer”

  1. Mom says :

    Dad use to call me “Josephine the Plumber”.When he came home from work, he would sometimes find me fixing something. I inheridited that from grandpa. He would fix things,have parts left over,and it would still work. I am happy to pass the tourch. There is good $$$$ in plumbing.


  2. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson says :

    I just found you because of LinkedIn! I was wondering where your blog was! This is a lovely post! I wonder if my dude had anything to say about anger. *Hmmmmm.*


  3. The Drain Whisperer says :

    I really am the drain whisperer. Clearing drains is my sixth sense.


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