‘Roughing it?’ Sorry, I can’t tough it out!

I would have made a pitiful pioneer. I went two days without hot water last week. Two looooong days.
I whined. I moaned.
I wasn’t a happy camper.
Which is exactly why I don’t go camping.
We all have our essentials, the little things we need to get by. A shower ranks near the top of my list.
I have gone without – I am a mother after all. I’d like to meet the woman who claims she showered daily in the weeks after giving birth. I’d shake her hand. Then I’d shake her. Those delusions – they’ll get you every time.
But now that Jillian’s nearing her 3rd birthday, I don’t just want my showers. I need my showers.
I am, after all, the canvas on which we test markers to ensure they haven’t dried out and the shoulder on which we drool, sniffle and smear a mouth full of chocolate milk.
I shower for me – and for the rest of the world. I promise you, it’s better this way.
That’s why I hid inside my house last week, on day two of a shower strike imposed by the hot water heater that drank its last slug of overpriced oil.
Just in time to give me an ice cold introduction to the day, our water heater shuddered to a halt on Wednesday.
Still shivering, I ran downstairs and held fast to the restart button, giving it just enough juice to squeal back to life.
Then I headed across the basement. Ah, low on oil, that’s the problem.
I gave my checkbook a stern talking to and called for oil. A week’s wait, and it’s going to cost me.
OK, I thought, but I’ll throw a little fuel in to get me through a few days. I just want my shower. Just one long, hot shower to wash away the worries of the world.
All day I waited, thinking about a nice, relaxing shower under a jet of steamy water.
That night I spun the dial on the wall. I was ready.
And out came an ice cold stream of water. I was desperate. I went running back downstairs, taking the open steps two at a time.
This time Jonathan hit the bright red button. The heater charged up… and then it was dead… again. The nasty old thing played one last trick before it was gone.
Huddled under the blanket, bundled in an over-sized Virginia Tech sweatshirt and a ratty pair of sweatpants, I realized I’m an easy mark.
I’d been beaten by an oil-guzzling behemoth, a shower-depriving hunk of scrap metal.
Where was my pioneer spirit? Where was the get-up-and-go that got Mommy and toddler through a cold shower on a Wednesday morning?
It was there, waiting. Waiting until a new hot water heater was installed on Friday evening.
Waiting, because, in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, “You don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find… you get what you need!”
After two days, I needed a shower.

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