567 Words on the Death of My Water Heater

I’m about a dozen years into homeownership. I thought it was like ten years, but then I looked it up in the Archives and lo’ this joint became Supergenius HQ in September of 2005. For some reason thirty-three seems ridiculously young to buy a house. Like, I look back to that woman I was in 2005 and think “what does that big baby know about buying houses. She knows nothing! She’s a baby!”

Of course, thirty-three-year-old me would give the forty-four-year-old-grey-haired spinster hermit I’ve become the finger and “whatever, cranky old goat. I’m a grown up, I can do what want!”

Both versions of me are probably right. Why am I having imaginary conversations with myself from a dozen years ago? Probably because my water heater died.

Well, it’s absolutely because my water heater died. It was the death of the water heater that made me open this tab in my browser and start typing words.

Aside: I’ve finally gotten back to the place where typing words makes me all smiley and joyful. After my dad’s lung cancer diagnosis and surgery/stroke/infection horror that was October and November, I didn’t think I’d ever get back here again. I thought I was just done with being a writer.

So my stupid water heater died, which I am taking much better than everyone else. I mean, it’s a pain in the ass and I wouldn’t not recommend taking a bath when you don’t have hot water*, but in general it’s not nearly as devastating as that time I came home from the grocery store to discover the fridge had died. Or that time my stove wouldn’t turn off ever and I was convinced I was going to die in a fiery explosion.

But man, water heaters, amirite? Like who thinks about their water heater ever? I did not and it shows, because mine is covered in stalactites of hard water crust and it’s drippy and rusty, and generally not a very attractive appliance at all. I’m kind of impressed that it didn’t kick the bucket sooner due to neglect. Of course as I write that I have no idea if one should really do some sort of water heater maintenance. I’ll probably have to google that.

For those keeping track at their own well-kept, nicely-maintained homes, I’ve bought a stove, a refrigerator, and soon a water heater all in the last 2.5 years. My house is only 15 years old. Is that the life-span of major appliances? I mean, I know the life-span of the average water heater is about ten years. Our townhouse association emailed us all about that a few years ago warning us that our water heaters were gonna give up the ghost soon. So I’m pretty thankful that my scaly beast gave me a few more years than average. All that never showering has totally paid off.

Speaking of here’s that asterisk: I made the mistake of taking a freezing cold bath on Saturday shortly after I discovered the death. I was super dirty, sweaty, and my hair reeked of bacon. I had been cooking and cleaning all morning in preparation for Rock & Roll Bookclub. My logic was that if I out my hot, hot body into a cold, cold bath, they would kind of even each other out. I was wrong. I still get an icy shiver when I think about how damn cold that bath was. So cold.

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1 Comment

  1. David Gutowski 28.Feb.17 at 9:09 am

    “I’ve finally gotten back to the place where typing words makes me all smiley and joyful.”



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