Friday, December 30, 2011

she's not perfect

The Cottage has a flaw, though it began as a selling point the first time I walked through it and wanted to curl up on the carpeted floor and go to sleep.

Hot water does not flow from the shower head at a consistent rate.

The first couple weeks I was there, I thought there was a flaw in the hot water heater. Like, maybe it didn’t work.

But then one day I stood in the shower long enough to realize that the energy saving hot water heater wasn’t broken. It was saving energy. At my shivering expense.

My morning (or evening) shower is typically my thinking time, but it’s turned into a hot water manipulation session. Before I’m ready to get in the shower, I turn on the hot water and wait for it to warm up and steam the bathroom. Then I get in and I usually have enough time to get my hair wet and the shampoo foamed up before the water turns cold.

And then I stand out of range of the falling ice water, and while I’m standing there shivering, I have time to think. To think about if the hot water will return and what I’ll do if it doesn’t.

Sixty to 90 seconds later, the hot water returns and I spend the next 15 to 20 seconds fiddling enough cold water into the hot stream to make it tolerable. But by then, I’m so iced that any amount of hot water feels scalding and my tingly skin doesn’t know if it’s too hot or too cold.

I repeat this about three times.

By the time my hair’s rinsed and I’m clean, I can convince myself to wait through the cold water till my next batch of hot liquid that I can just stand there and enjoy. Other times, I just want out and into my towel as quickly as possible.

There you have it. My perfect Cottage isn’t perfect all the time.

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