Perhaps it’s worse when they just leave it for you to find.

You walk into the bathroom and there is all sorts of unpleasantness, swirling around and refusing to sail away through the elaborate network of pipes inside the walls of our house.

It’s the first night my husband is out of town of course and while I am a strong and independent woman in every sector of my life, I am perfectly happy to let him handle these types of clogs.

And so I pulled up the plunger from the basement and got to work. Nothing. Nada. It wouldn’t budge. I saw our plans of snuggling into my bed and watching a recorded show all together before fading off to sleep disappearing like the mess before me would not.

The more I plunged to no avail, the more foul my mood became. Grumping, shouting, swearing, wondering who left me this gift. Not surprisingly, no one claimed responsibility.

I texted my husband, who was at Les Miserables on Broadway and I called my father, who chuckled and said to call a plumber. I called the plumber at 8:45 p.m. and left him a message, shut the door of the bathroom, warned everyone not to step foot anywhere near it, and went to bed.

In the morning, bright sunshine on a negative-cold day streamed through our windows. I descended while the children slept, wondering if miraculously in the night, the clog had disappeared on its own, worked out its own difficult journey.

Sort of. The water had gone down but not the mess. My husband had texted back by then, with easy instructions, so I retrieved the plunger yet again and went to work.

And with a few short staccato plunges, it all swirled away, leaving me the rim remnants to clean and cleanse. Which I did. The plumber called, and I chuckled as I told him I no longer needed him.

That’s all it takes, sometimes. Let it go overnight, go to sleep, settle into some other thought train, and stop trying to control everything. It’s either going to resolve or it isn’t.

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