*Warning – This story contains profanity. Please read at your own discretion. Call it verbal diarrhea in prose. You don’t have to read this. One day when I am old and grey (oh shit, I’m grey already), maybe my kids will have a chuckle at their loopy Mummy. While I’m at it, I hope by the end of this post that I am able to make a record of using the word “shit” the most times ever in a blog. I’m hovering around 25 at the moment. Gotta love that poo emoji 💩. Or is it chocolate? You can use that emoji in just about any context since most conversations end up in toilet talk.
All jokes aside, when someone has news to share with you, which one do you like to hear first? Good then bad? Bad then good? Does that make you an optimist or a pessimist? I am going to share the bad followed by the good if that’s OK because we all secretly wish for a sweet ending. Unless, of course, it is a book or a movie, then “bad” endings can be just as rewarding. Two words. Breaking Bad. There sure is a lot of profanity in that TV show too but no one is counting. I think you understand what I mean. Two big events happened in a span of five years that share common ground and I am going to tell you about them backwards. A shitty story first but I promise to end with a sweet one.
So last June, we experienced the worst possible home catastrophe next to it burning down to the ground. And I am not talking about hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis or earthquakes. Those are reserved for the badass commonly referred to as Mother Nature. You don’t want to mess with her. I am talking about a disaster of the manmade kind. A sewage backup. If you have ever gone through such an experience you will understand and empathize. I am guessing as you are reading this that you are squeezing your hands together and thinking: Oh No!
Well Oh Yes 💩! I have photos to prove it still on my phone but will spare you the ugly details and only share the sweet ones. Just take my word for it. Nothing quite prepares you to walk down your basement stairs and be greeted by the smell of shit immersing you. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. It was the first Friday in June and not just any Friday either. It was the day our eldest brought home her boyfriend to meet the family. Yes. A house full of shit is not exactly how I envisioned meeting a potential suitor for our daughter.
Let’s backup a bit. I knew he was coming over with my daughter after school so I had been busy straitening up the house to make it look just a bit more presentable. Making beds, clearing the dishwasher and sink, sweeping, putting things away. The basic stuff. All was fine. It was raining outside but I did not make anything of it. Listen, in some cultures, rain is considered to be good luck, or is that just reserved for a wedding day?
Anyway, as I turned the corner in the basement and realized what was going on, I yelled to my eldest son to come and help. I grabbed two pairs of rubber boots and ran to the garage to get my husband’s shop vac. I had seen him use it to suction water before and figured shitty water was no different. A quick call to him to yank him out of a meeting meant that me and my son were going to have to rough this one on our own for at least a half hour. I called my daughter quickly to say that we needed to reschedule the first meeting because of what was happening. No can do. They were on the bus already. Great. Back to work.
The floor drain in the basement was rising with murky nastiness. Like shit broth with toilet paper particles. Oh right, details. Sorry. I did not have time on my hand to Google what to do in the event of a sewage backup. Apparently you are to cover yourself with hazard wear. Think nuclear bio hazard ebola type protection. Who keeps that shit on hand? Instead, I had shit on my hands because I could not even find even a pair of gloves in our state of panic. So we started suctioning close to the drain. As the shop vac filled up, we took it to the laundry room sink in the basement around the corner to pour it out. We did this at least 10 times, all the while panicking because the water substance kept coming up from the drain.
Then I clued in. The laundry room drain was leading back to the floor drain because the sewage pipe was crushed just outside our front step (this we did not know) and I was simply regurgitating the sewage! Nice going, Rachel.
Repeating our insanity took us about a half hour until Superman arrived. He did not have rubber boots in a size 13. Note to self at the time, that’s what I’m getting you for your birthday! He proceeded to walk the heavy filled shop vac outside and on to the street to go to the city drain. Sorry folks. Shit has to go somewhere, right?
Our daughter and her new boyfriend arrived shortly. As he walked in to our house, I quickly ran upstairs, washed my hands, looked at him and said: “Welcome to our shitty home. It is so nice to finally meet you!” We then ordered in pizza and laughed about what a great first impression this must be for him.
The next morning we had the real superheroes arrive at 9 a.m. to start digging out our old 1928 clay pipes and repaired the problem. Plumbers are so underrated. I have a whole new respect for the profession. The price tag was, well, a very generous birthday present to me. Don’t laugh, while my husband may have gotten a flimsy pair of rubber boots for his big day, I got new shitty pipes!
Isn’t it funny how we make house necessities gifts? I know it may offend some women to get household items for Christmas like they are June (*insert profanity) Cleaver or something, but if I get a Dyson vacuum this Christmas to replace our 20 year old Kenmore upright that shakes our house each time I turn it on, I think I will love my husband for at least another 20 years. Just saying.
💩 💩 💩 💩
So now for the sweet story. I told you I would end this on a high note. When I was pregnant with our fourth child, it dawned on me that the initials of our first three kids was “ish” or “shi” or “his” depending on how you put them. Had not really given much thought to this until we started thinking about baby names. Who does that? Think about how it will all meld together? Being a little neurotic myself, this became my newest game as I skimmed the baby name books and naming sites.
The joke in the house then became… under no circumstances could we give our baby any name beginning with the letter “T”. That would mean we would have a “SHIT”. Foreshadowing, anyone? This was 2010. Not 2015. The kids thought it was hilarious. Me too, truth be told. I’m a bit of a pirate which I get from my Dad along with his ability to tell stories. I do not think I have ever heard my Mum drop an f-bomb. In fact, I knew this acronym could come in handy. I could say without any hesitation…
“Come here you little SHITs!”
“Yes you, SHIT!”
“Shit shit shit shit”!
Gosh that feels so good to say. Try it! Thinking back now, perhaps I made a mistake with the name because heaven knows I could have felt a lot better over the last six years by dropping profanity with zero guilt. And based on the sewage backup crisis we had, that was one shitty summer, that’s for sure. In fact, I probably used the word “shit” in every sentence because it was my way of healing from the trauma of our house filling up with it. But back to the sweet story…
So the search continued. Naturally we started to play Scrabble with the letters: ship, dish, fish, wish.
The front runner clearly became “WISH”. But we did not know the sex of our baby. No offense to all the Wendy’s, Wanda’s, Wenda’s, Willow’s and Willa’s in the world but we really were not feeling it. So the deal became that if we had a boy, my first son’s greatest wish, and ended up with a pair of each, everyone’s wish, we would call him William. If it was a girl, then we would resort to any name that spelled “SHIP” as I felt more comfortable saying: “Let’s get this SHIP going!”
The day W was born, was a truly special day. We all got our WISH. By the way, these are wish cookies, not shit cookies after all 💩.
In light of my last blog post about how I learned to love the coolest tattoo ever, if I ever do get inked, I think it would be the word “wish”. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the word. I even know what font I would use: typewriter. Now if only I could find the best location on my body to put it. Until then….