I debated long and hard whether I should write this piece. I had planned to, but then I realized that a few of my columns (okay, a ton of my columns) feature my family attempting to do stuff that everyone else does effortlessly but that we cannot manage.
Then I decided, what the heck, everyone knows we’re an odd family anyway, so why not go for the gold?
Last month’s column was about us redoing our powder room and trying to install a faucet and the madness that unfolded during the process. Well, we are still working on the powder room.
Yes, it has taken us three months to redo a room the size of a phone booth.
* * *
We got this gorgeous bronze towel ring for the powder room. Matches the faucet beautifully. When I opened it up, I found a little bag containing two screws, two plastic wall anchors, and a tiny piece of paper with a diagram showing the installation steps. And then of course the towel ring and the mounting thing.
So we of the short and/or selective memory thought “Ten minutes tops to slap this bad boy up.” (Note: anytime George and I do anything around the house, he refers to the object as ‘bad boy.’ Not sure why, but it’s weird.)
George and I had a brief discussion on the placement of the towel ring. He wanted it right next to the sink and I wanted it on another wall.
I won that debate, but it was a hollow victory. Keep reading.
We got our tools ready. We hammered in the wall anchors (because of course there was no beam where I wanted the towel ring) after carefully making sure, like 10 times, that they were in the right spots.
We lined up the mounting bracket and started screwing in the screws. Alas, the wall anchors cracked inside the wall. So we got pliers and pulled the wall anchors out. Luckily, we have several thousand wall anchors in varying sizes and colors.
George grabbed a bunch and we started again. Hammer, hammer, crack. We went through approximately eight wall anchors. By this time, the holes for the screws were so big that I could have crawled through them if I were still at my pre-pandemic weight.
(Okay, maybe not. But they were big holes.)
By this time, we were sweating and aggravated, yelling things like, “These bad boys are cheap,” “Let’s just put a roll of paper towels on the windowsill” and “This wall is haunted.”
Eventually, we gave up. George grabbed the gallon container of spackle (we go through a lot of spackle around here) and filled the holes. He sanded the patch and painted it and we ignored it for another week.
* * *
The weekend rolled around again and we went through the same routine. This time we got the wall anchors in and the bracket up and screwed into the wall.
We placed the towel ring on the bracket and attempted to screw the little screw that holds the ring to the bracket. It was not working.
The towel ring fell off the wall when we let go of it. By then, we had spent several precious weekend hours on the project.
I’m not ashamed to say that I gathered up all the materials and the towel ring and pitched them in the trash. Then I ordered another towel ring, but not until I examined very carefully all the hardware and instructions.
We started the process again with the new towel ring. Same problem. The wall anchors split, the screws didn’t fit and the bracket kept falling. George spackled yet again and we walked away yet again.
* * *
Another week rolled by. Unbeknownst to me, George installed the towel ring on the wall he originally wanted it on, and it worked.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere but I refuse to ponder it.
So now we have this lovely little white towel trimmed in light blue hanging on the towel ring. The only problem is, I’m afraid to use it. I have visions of the towel ring falling to the floor if I touch it.
Can you imagine if we had to install a toilet?
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.