Cha-Ching! What Plumbing Taught Me About Denial

ChaChing! What Plumbing Taught Me About DenialIf denial were a marketable skill I would be a millionaire.

See, our toilet had been running for a while.  And by a while I mean the better part of a year.  I hollered to my husband “Please fix this!!!!” at least once a week.  He’d jiggle something and it would go away for a bit.  He’d jiggle something else and it would go away for a bit.  He’d jiggle something again and it would go away for a bit.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Fast forward to last Thursday:

“Hello, Melissa?”  This should have tipped me off right there.  I’m only ‘Melissa’ when it’s business or I’m in trouble.  “This is ***** from the City of Cedar Rapids Water Dept and we wanted to let you know that we think you have a leak.  Your bill is currently $517.00.

FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN DOLLARS.  For WATER.

Specifically, toilet water.

Now that I had taught my children some fancy new vocabulary I thought “How could this happen?  What are we going to do?”  Well, I knew that we had to call a plumber.  The fine folks at a local plumbing company came out Friday morning and fixed the toilet.  $214 later the ol’ gal was quiet.

I also learned that the Elmo potty chair was not meant to hold the contents of an adult woman’s bladder.  That’s what happens when you have one bathroom and 3 cups of coffee.  But I digress.

So now our deadly duo of denial and procrastination has us up to $731 for what could have amounted to a $50 DIY job.  I’m kicking myself right now.  Obviously, that’s a chunk of change we cannot just pull out of our blessed assurance, so I called the city to make a payment arrangement.  Bless the representative’s heart, she must have heard the sheer panic in my voice as I asked about payment arrangements.

Did you know the City of Cedar Rapids offers a one-time leak credit?  Basically, if you have sky-high usage and the accompanying sky-high bill they will credit your bill one time a percentage of that bill when you have fixed the leak.  So, thank the good Lord that we ended up with $369.  I’ll take it.

Before the credit could be applied to our bill we had to have some lovely gentlemen (again from the City) come and inspect our indoor water meter to ensure that the toilet was, in fact, the source of the leak.  Lo and behold, someone had left the hose leaking just a titch.

ALL. WINTER. LONG

I’m just laughing by this point at the sheer stupidity of the situation and the sheer stupidity of the homeowners.  Bless those inspector fellas because they were so sweet, and we had to look like the most inept adults they had ever come across.

Everything from then on was just dandy.  We paid our water bill and the plumber, and we learned that denial + procrastination is a very, VERY expensive and stressful way of coping with little issues.

So remember, friends: don’t put off till tomorrow what you can take care of today.

Problems don’t go away just because we can compartmentalize them into things we do and don’t want to think about at the present moment. Swallow your denial and get it taken care of.

Press on, friends 🙂


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Missy is an Arizona native who migrated to Iowa on a whim and fell in love. She is a social worker by profession but stepped away from her career to be a pseudo-SAHM to her two girls: 8 year-old Selah and 2 year-old Mercy. She has been married for 10 wonderful years to her TV man husband, Andy, and Bo, the black lab pound puppy completes their family. Most days you’ll find Missy working part-time at a local non-profit, leading worship, and chasing after her children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing/composing music, connecting with other women who are also in the trenches of life, and finding time to get to the giant pile of laundry in the basement. Missy loves a good laugh, crime documentaries, coffee, and naps. She also writes about overcoming strongholds on her blog: Inching Toward Freedom