Last night, I was sitting at the kitchen table, finishing my dinner and watching Black Mirror. I heard a strange sound and then I thought I heard rushing water. When I went to inspect the wall where I heard the sound, I spotted water beginning to puddle on the tile floor. A pipe had burst.
I definitely panicked and fought back some tears as I grabbed some towels, rushed downstairs to turn off the water, and tried to decide who to call. As water continued to puddle, I called my father. I don't know why. I think it was habit. He suggested I call the older gentleman who lives across the street for help. I don't really know that gentleman, but my father thinks he is wonderful. He always wants me to call him when I'm struggling with something. This gentleman is in his 80s and I wasn't crazy about the idea of asking him to cross the icy street in the dark. So, I called the plumber instead.
My father, of course, took matters into his own hands and called the man across the street. That kind man came across the treacherous street and helped me get the water turned all the way off (in my panic, I hadn't twisted tight enough). It was kind of him, but I definitely watched him walk all the way back to his door before I could relax. What if he slipped?!
The plumber arrived (after warning me about the price of an after-hours call...like, I wouldn't be calling after-hours if it weren't an emergency, sir). He determined the problem, fixed it, and charged me a really reasonable rate. Overall, everyone was kind and helpful. What frustrates me about the situation is that nearly everyone assumed I didn't know what I was doing. Yes, I did mess up turning off the water...but, I knew what and how to do it. In theory, at least. There is still the basic belief that a woman alone doesn't know how to take care of a household problem. Anyway, in my life there is.
Overall, the situation could have been terrible but turned out just fine. I mopped the floor after the plumber left and then went to bed. This morning, you'd never know anything happened (except for the holes in the drywall that the plumber had to cut). If I can get a handle on my initial panic (and my immediate desire to call my father when I do panic), then I think I could be truly self-sufficient in these matters. I've gotten so much better than I used to be. I am capable and I am able and, next time, I'm gonna just go ahead and call the plumber and not my father first. I will. I will.