Last night I did plumbing. Or I plumbed? I’m not even sure the right verb tense to use…which clearly tells you a lot about my experience in the plumbing world.
Let’s try this again.
Last night I fixed my toilet. By myself. Well…with the help of Google, and a friend who was able to diagnose the problem from my email that used descriptions like “dripping noise” and “running noise” and “it’s not going away on its own”.
Normally the thought of doing any kind of “handyman job” terrifies me. But just last week, I connected new speakers to my TV like a rockstar. So clearly “fixing a running toilet” was next on the Independent Woman Checklist.
I walked into the hardware store emboldened by my newfound “I can fix house problems” attitude. I found the plumbing section and the part I needed. My confidence waivered a bit when I saw how many varieties of toilet flappers existed. I didn’t even know “toilet flapper” was a thing until two days ago, so it blew my mind to know they come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours. But I asked the very nice young sales associate (who was probably half my age and likely had only done plumbing (had only plumbed??) with the supervision of his parents), and he confirmed I picked the right one.
Bonus points for me.
I got home and stood over my toilet (if you’ve skimmed to this section, I think it just got weird). Now you should know I live in a condo that only has one toilet. If this went wrong, I had a good 14 hours before I’d have access to a functioning toilet again.
The stakes were high.
But I got to work. My hands were dirty and I only had to send one panicked text to a friend who lives close asking if she had wire cutters (don’t ask), but then McGivered a solution so I wouldn’t need them.
And now my toilet only flushes when I want it to. And it doesn’t make a noise every three minutes like it had for the last six months.
But here’s the thing. I could’ve called someone to fix it. I’m lucky enough to have a number of people that would come if I had asked. I also suppose I could’ve paid someone to come fix it. But I did my research and was pretty sure I could handle this, so I tried. And it worked.
I often automatically assume something will be too complicated for me, so I don’t even try. The thought of doing it myself doesn’t even cross my mind. I immediately go to “who can I ask to help me?” instead of “could I maybe do this myself?”
I need to give myself (with the support of Google) more credit. We can probably do more than I think we can.
Maybe next I can tackle how to replace the microwave lightbulb. Or world peace.