Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Lottery


Life is like the lottery.  Sometimes you win.  Sometimes it's cruel and twisted like the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.  And sometimes it's really hard to tell the difference.   Most times actually.

It was last Sunday morning when I woke up at the butt crack of dawn, headed downstairs to get myself a cup of coffee and some quiet time, taking a quick detour through the bathroom.  Except, it wasn't quick.  Because my wood floor was a wading pool of toilet water.  "Oh, Shit!"  I started water mitigation completely and utterly uncaffeinated with a full bladder.  By the time my husband came downstairs, the work was already done and cleaned up.  How lucky was he to miss all of it?

I, on the other hand, was lucky enough to escape my family for a couple of hours to go to a class and return mid-day.  During which time, things had gotten worse.  My husband had discovered the water leaked through the floor and it was raining toilet water in the basement.  "Oh. F%&k!"  When the water subsided, he ran out to the hardware store to get the parts for the garage door that also broke that morning.  That's when the water spread to a new part of the ceiling.  And my husband wasn't answering his phone.  This is totally the Shirley Jackson version of the lottery of home ownership.

When my husband got home and starting tearing the drywall off the ceiling, I called the insurance company with extremely low expectations.  After all, about five years ago we discovered the foundation of the house was sinking on one side from an external water mitigation issue and we didn't get jack shit for that.  But, that's not what happened.

They sent someone out right away to assess the damage.  Turns out, the valve on our original, ugly, tan-colored toilet from 1987 was faulty.  And apparently, toilet water is not only a contaminant, but also a breeding ground for mold.  Because it was such a health issue, the damage is covered by our insurance.  COVERED, I SAID!  But wait, what does that coverage cover exactly?

 A new wood floor, vanity and baseboards in the bathroom.  A new carpet downstairs.  Oh, and resanding and varnishing the floors on the main level to match the new wood floor with new baseboards.  Then a paid hotel and boarding for the dogs while the varnish dries, which takes a few days.  The only thing they don't cover is a new toilet.

I have 4 kids and 2 dogs.  Do you have any idea what my floors looked like?  I bet you can imagine.  And then imagine them to look even worse than whatever you initially imagined and that's what they actually looked like.    

It finally happened!
I actually won the lottery! 
Which only means any time now my house will be swallowed up by a big sinkhole.








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