Bathtubs, Part I

Bathtubs. For five years I’ve lived with one that takes up a third of my bathroom and serves no discernible purpose. It’s a “garden” tub, given that title, no doubt, because the only thing it might be useful for was if I filled it with soil and grew tomatoes in it. It’s certainly not conducive to a relaxing bath.

Garden bathtub

Garden bathtub. Good for planting tomatoes and little else.

It’s much too shallow, for one thing, awkwardly designed and downright uncomfortable if you’re looking to take a leisurely soak. The ledge at the top was not meant for a headrest. But if you want to give yourself a neckache, by all means it’s perfect.

I hate this bathtub. I’ve threatened it with extinction. Warned it if it didn’t change its ways, I’d destroy it. And then I began to plot. For a not-so-small fee, Handy Hank will do the dirty work for me. My devious mind begins to work. Out with the old. In with the new. But a new bathtub of the sort I’d need would add significantly to my budget. Until my partner-in-crime suggests buying an old bathtub. An old cast-iron bathtub that can be sandblasted and refurbished.

On the dl he told me where to go and who to ask for. So one hot, sunny day last April, I arrived at the Broke & Poor Building Supplies emporium. There stood outside in the bright sunlight five or six sad, rusted, rejected-for-something-newer antique-looking bathtubs. I spread a beach towel in one and scrunched down. Rested my head against the slanted back of the tub. Studied it. Measured it. Was I really going to do this?

antique cast iron bathtub

My new old bathtub

How did I know if the price quoted was reasonable? Text Handy Hank to discuss. Talk to the owner. Offer to pay cash. Wah-la. The price comes down. A trip to the nearest ATM provides the cash. After it’s counted carefully, I’m short $20. Even though I’m sure I had the right amount. Back in my car I double check my wallet, still certain I gave him the correct amount.

Panic sets in. I left the cash with him. I can’t even prove that I did so! What if I walk back inside and he says, “I never saw any cash”? This is why I don’t bring my husband with me. He’d never do something so irresponsible. Although if he were there, he could have watched the guy while I went to look for that $20…

Back at the desk, I am relieved to see he’s still got my cash in front of him. I insist I gave him the right amount. A recount proves me correct. Handy Hank has agreed to pick up my new bathtub the next day. A pink Post It note is taped to “my” “new” bathtub. I hope it doesn’t rain. I don’t have a receipt due to my under-the-table machinations. I hope the owner is honest and doesn’t take the “sold” sticker off the minute I drive away.

I berate myself the entire way home at my own stupidity. I continue doing that until the following afternoon when Handy Hank texts to say he has my bathtub.

To be continued…

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