Sunday, August 12, 2007

Let Me Count the Ways

... that you can install a sliding screen door incorrectly.

While stumbling around HD (home for the departed?) yesterday, a lovely sliding screen door practically jumped into my path. I mean, I wasn't even looking for a screen door. I was on a toilet-hunting mission. I took it as a sign that I was meant to have an insect-free apartment. No need for measurements, it looked about right.

As I said, my mission was to find a plain, white toilet. Duck in, pay $70, duck out with a toilet. How hard could that be? HD had cleverly placed all their toilets (well, the ones for sale) on the ceiling. They were hanging from the ceiling (I am so not making this up). And since there were, oh a few thousand choices, all white, I decided that I must vigorously research them before buying. Nobody in their right mind just runs out and buys a white toilet! What was I thinking?!?!

I had big decisions to make! Did I want the Williamsburg Elongated One-Piece Toilet in White? (Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. A little bit of history in the salle de bain). Or did I want the Memoirs(R) Comfort Height(TM) Elongated Toilet with Stately Design, White? (I'm dying to know what it remembers ... or what memories it induces.) Or, being the Anglophile that I am, perhaps I'd be more suited to the Devonshire(R) Elongated Toilet Bowl, White, which presumably flushes with an English accent. Very cosmopolitan.

Buying a car is easier.

So I gave up on the whole toilet endeavor, since it was giving me an HD headache, and instead, came home with a screen door.

Reading through the screen door instructions, I caught on to the fact that the door's height could be adjusted. NOT THAT IT SAID THAT ANYWHERE. But adjusting it required tools. A huge obstacle in the NBTR household. Our motto? "Everything has a place, but nothing is in its place."

I finally located the phillips head screwdriver in Number One Daughter's nightstand. (I am so not making this up.)

So, the door first went on backwards, then backwards and upside down, then frontwards but upside down. I figured I was winning though. The door went on three ways, all wrong. But I suffered four scraped knuckles! (See? 4-3. Love. Whatever.)

A few HOURS later, it was still wrong. Like an itch you can't scratch, it was really bugging me that we'd have to open our new, if bloodied, screen door, by digging fingers into the "bug seal" and sliding it to the right, instead of using the actual handle. Which was on the right. So when the door was open, you couldn't even get to the handle.

For the record, nowhere in the instructions did it say P.S. Before starting, MAKE SURE YOU'VE GOT THE DOOR SITUATED CORRECTLY!!! I mean, that's just sloppy, if not criminal.

Where oh where is rent-a-husband when you need it?!?!?

Obligatory Running Note: Saturday I ran 6.48 miles with my running group. Neither of the coaches for the "slow" group showed up (one was scheduled to be out), so I pretended to be a coach. It was perfect running weather. Cool, crisp, sunny. We ran along the C & O canal, on the towpath, from Fletchers Boat House, to Key Bridge, back past Fletchers to Chain Bridge and back.

I ran back and forth between them but they were really spread out. I cheered them on at the turnaround. It's quite an eye opener running with people who are slower than you are and encouraging them. I highly recommend it for your own mental health, if nothing else. What a difference from last week's death march when I could barely choke out the words "water, give me water." So I'm a little behind schedule because my long run should be at eight, but whaddya gonna do?

What I'm gonna do is sit back and admire my slightly off-kilter screen door, you know, the one with the blood on it. And the 1/2 inch gap at the top. It kind of looks like it needs braces. I'll feel the cool August breeze waft in as I sit on the couch and leaf through the toilet section of the HD catalog. Here's a racey little number:

Only $1,899! It's electric, it composts. I daresay it might even do the dishes.


Danielle in Iowa said...

But what if the electricity goes out!

Susan said...

Oh my!!!!


LBTEPA said...

when my mum was staying with us she couldn't get over the hammer on J's bedside table...or the fact that I wasn't surprised LOL.
There actually is a handyman company here called hire-a-hubby. Told you you should move here :)

Thomas said...

$1899 for a toilet. What's the world coming to!

21stCenturyMom said...

Nice work on the door. I may not be right but you did something - something that lets the breeze in. Well done!

The toilet thing isn't that hard.
1). forget the $1899 job (but you knew that)
2). Go with the low flow version
3). Go with one that boasts a large opening for minimum cloggage
4). Look for toilets that boast of being quiet when you flush them.
5). Measure the space and pick on that fits.

See - easy!

Juls said...

EEW. I just pictured something really gross on that last comment about the toilet and dishes. :)

Anne said...

My ill-fated trip to Home Depot for a fuse for our sprinkler system suddenly sounds sane....

peter said...

You did a good job Saturday running up and down your group offering encouragement, from slowest to fastest athlete. So you put in more than 6.48 miles, you did at least six and a half. Seven weeks to go before the ATM, plenty of time to add three and a half more miles to your base.

David said...

I think you need to plan ahead to that Army Ten Miler. Plan to pick out a handsome handy officer who likes the DC area and ask him to come adjust your screen door; then pop the question: "Do you do toilets?" It could be love at first flush.

Laurie said...

Oh Jeanne! Where do I even begin?

I had no idea toilets had names. I don't really want to know what it remembers either. I say skip that one for sure.

Screen door, oh my. I definitely think you need a rent-a-hubby for the toilet install after the door fiasco. Just sayin.

Cool August breeze? That is an oxymoron.

Nice job being a fill-in coach. I am sure they appreciated your support. You'll catch up on your long runs, I have no doubt.

Bolder said...

'home for the departed'

love it!

i'm adopting that immediately.

everytime i go there now, i look for a sales associate for help, and there's never anyone around... now i know where they went!

Phoenix said...

There is an irony in the toilets being on the ceiling - given the nature of the damage in your bathroom. I just found that funny.

You go, coach Jeanne!

As for the bloody screen door, I'll take a little blood on a door before I'll play my "girl card" and ask a man to do it. But, that's just me - and I'm proud of you for gettin' that thing in, crooked or not!

Rae said...

I'm with you. I've wanted to change out our toilets for a year now and there are JUST too many options. You would have really enjoyed our back door debacles in cutting the thing shorter for the hardwoods we laid in there. It took DAYS to get it right!

IHateToast said...

state and national parks here have composting toilets. they work. they don't stink.

i'm just saying you should fork over a few presidential flashcards. film your first poo.

Vickie said...

Oh no, no, no. No low flow. A disaster waiting to happen. Take it from one who has had MUCH experience with many types of toilets. I don't know what the laws are where you live, but we actually have a law in Michigan (or could it be federal) restricting the toilets that flush more than 1.5 gallons at a time. (I know people who actually buy them on the black market to get something that flushes better than that!) You can bucket flush with as much dependability as the low flow, thus eliminating any need for hookup to the water system, if you want to save even more and save the environment in the process! Personally, I want a toilet that doesn't clog when using more than 2 sheets of toilet paper, the "recommended" TP allowance by some of the know-all celebrities of course! So maybe that's the conspiracy? Low flow toilets require only using 2 sheets of TP each use?

Bex said...

Only in America can you have three dozen choices for a toilet! Tyranny of choice, I say. In other news, I think I'm going crazy with this relocating/buying houses business.

brent said...

funny. i actually need a screen door; maybe i'll come out with a white toilet! ha ha!

Just12Finish said...

Peter's a great handyman. You heard it here first.

Bridgette said...

now THAT'S a toilet!