We have a powder room off our bedroom. To say it is small is like saying that it doesn’t get that humid in New Jersey. I paced it off—it’s about 4 feet by 6 feet.

It may not sound small, but put a toilet, a pedestal sink, a trashcan, and a standing toilet paper holder in there and you’re talking free space the size of a postage stamp. The size of this bathroom becomes relevant soon, I promise. Keep reading.

During our stay-at-home time, we decided to do this bathroom over. We picked a color, bought a new faucet, light fixture and all the necessary accoutrements and supplies. George said, “This will be easy. Slap some paint on the walls, change the faucet and boom. We’re done.”

Obviously George is new to this family. Nothing is ever, “Boom, we’re done” in our house.

So anyway. George paints the room and replaces the woodwork. Time to put in the faucet. George says, “All we have to do is remove the old faucet and pop in the new one. No problem.”


For those of you (lucky) people who have never removed a faucet from a sink, let me school you. There is a thick nut and bolt that holds the faucet onto the sink. This must be removed before you put a new faucet in. Easy, right?


First off, you have to lie on your back and try and unscrew this bolt. This is where my earlier discourse about the size of the room comes into play. George lies down on his back, gets his heavy-duty wrench, and goes at it. Not budging. He shifts a bit, tries it again. Nothing. So I say, “Let me try it.”

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

He wriggles out of the bathroom and uses the bed to get himself to a standing position while I lie down on my back and grab the wrench. It took over three minutes for me to even locate the bolt. That should have been my first clue.

I finally get a grip on the faucet, and my leg cramps. Badly. I begin to yell. I may or may not have used a few choice words. I straighten the leg out, the cramp goes away, and I start again.

I get the wrench in position on the bolt and try to move it. Nope. By this time, my neck is throbbing from my head being raised off the floor a few inches.

I try again. I inform George that I cannot do this, plus I cannot seem to get into a sitting position, as every muscle in my back, legs and arms is now on fire.

George squeezes into the bathroom and tries to help me sit up. Unsuccessful. I yell to him, “Just pull me out!”

By this time, we are laughing so hard that we can barely breathe. So my husband of almost 40 years takes my ankles and drags me out of the bathroom. (Luckily we have a hardwood floor). I stayed on the bedroom floor for a good five minutes trying to stop laughing. Then I used the bed to stand up.

Anyway, we go back and forth for about 3 hours, each taking a turn with this faucet from hell. Our eldest son George stops over, looks things over, takes a few turns and then leaves. Smart kid.

At this point, I’m all for smashing the sink and getting a new one with a faucet attached.

In fact, I even offered to carry the broken pieces of porcelain outside and throw them in the middle of the street. Instead, we called our next door neighbor Aunt Blanche’s grandson Craig, who is a plumber.

He comes in, surveys us and the sink, whips out this weird wrench, plops down, and unscrews the bolt. In less time than it took George to drag me out of the bathroom. Craig informs us that we never would have gotten that bolt off with the wrench we were using. He hooks up our new faucet, slides out of the bathroom easily, and boom. The faucet is operational and very nice-looking.

Next is the light fixture. Anyone know a good electrician?

Ilene Black has been a resident of Ewing for most of her life and lives across the street from her childhood home. She and her husband, George, have two sons, Georgie and Donnie.