Monday, November 12, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of a Clean Jacuzzi

Well, I did it. It only took half a day, a 24-hr Clarinex, a surgical mask, all manner of chemicals, and the flexibility of a contortionist, but my Jacuzzi? It is now clean. As opposed to how it’s looked for the last…I don’t know how long. Which is like a team of coal miners enjoyed a post-shaft pre-shower happy hour in there.

On the other hand, there is nothing I value more than good, nearly scalding hot soak before bed. During the renovation of the house, I could hardly believe my luck when the S-Man told me I could have my very own Jacuzzi. And I do mean my very own. The S-Man describes bathing as “Reclining in a pool of one’s own filth.” Ahem. (Almost as memorable as his declaration on wall-to-wall carpet: “Nailing your dirty underwear to the floor and walking on it forever.” We haven’t had carpet since.)

Anyway, the S-Man’s dire opinions aside, I could hardly wait to enjoy steamy neck-deep jet-fueled soaks. Our first night in the house I turned on the water adjusting it to the exact near-scalding temperature that I particularly enjoy (one that leaves me a faint shade of lobster red), lit all my vanilla scented candles that I had scattered about, and placed my freshly laundered fluffy white terrycloth robe nearby. The stage was set.

After the tub had been filling for about 15 minutes, I stopped in to check the temperature. It was not hot. Not warm. Not lukewarm. But cold. The tub was barely a third of the way full and the hot water supply was exhausted. Choking back a sob, I went to confer with the S-Man who then spent some time with wrenches and various tools in the water heater closet mumbling and cursing, ala Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story. He emerged after a time saying the whole thing was fixed but would likely have to spend some time re-heating.

I set my bathing sights on the next day when I repeated the candle-lighting-robe-tub-filling process. This time the jets were almost covered when the hot water ran out. Better, but still not workable. Thereafter ensued a more heated (no pun intended) exchange between the S-Man and I that eventually escalated to include phrases like [edited] and [edited].

In short? I had all the hot water I was getting.

Not to be denied my red-hot soaks, I developed a strategy. I began by filling the tub with straight up hot water, not even engaging the cold. This gave me about half the hot water I needed. I resolved to then wait until the water in the tank could heat up again and fill the tub the rest of the way.

In an extremely happy coincidence, it just so happened, at just that time, Wheel of Fortune was on. So, FurGirl and I relaxed with a few puzzles while waiting for the next wave of hot water. Meantime, the S-Man came home from a meeting and disappeared into the bedroom to change clothes. He returned a bit later saying, “You forgot to let the water out of the Jacuzzi.” To which I replied, “I’m not finished filling it,” to which he responded, “I let the water out.” Thereafter followed another of our rapidly escalating exchanges that I ended by screeching, “Unless there is a dead body floating in the Jacuzzi….wait, oh hell no, even if there IS a dead body floating in the Jacuzzi? DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING.”

Once agreed on that point (and we are agreed on that point, I assure you) I set about again employing my strategy on the tub a few nights later. This time I progressed passed phase one and after an hour or so had a fully filled steamy hot tub of vigorously undulating water. All for me. I had my candles. My robe. The stage was set. I shucked off my clothes. I…

I realized? Our Jacuzzi is fairly tall and enclosed by a cold, tile wall. And it doesn’t have one of those built in steps like you often see. Nope. Which meant that I had to, much like mounting a horse, throw a leg over and then sort of…take a little hop to actually get in (I can only imagine the ridiculous sight this is).

But once in? Ohhhh…..heaven. The clouds parted, the angels sang, I soaked, I turned my favorite shade of lobster red. Life was good. Life was very, very filled with hot steamy goodness.

Eventually, I emerged from my reverie and, noticing that the water was beginning to cool, I shut off the jets and prepared to de-Jacuzzi. However, the reverse of the horsey mount into the tub? Proved to be a little more dangerous. Because this time, I was soaking wet and every inch of the bathroom floor is ceramic tile. Meaning I was going to have throw a wet, slippery leg over the side while clutching for dear life on to the tiled surround. Not exactly the ending one would envision for a leisurely soak. Of course, the S-Man was far too important to be at home at the time.

Nevertheless I made it out (barely) and made a mental note to get a rug so I’d at least have a more skid-free landing target. I did discuss the possibility of a step installation later with the S-Man whose reaction to the sad, tragic, horsey-hop story was, “Really?! Can I watch next time?”

Eventually, I would become acclimated to the particular idiosyncrasies of my own particular Jacuzzi and, Lord knows, it’s worth all the staged, timed filling and the horse hopping.

And, while I know one isn’t supposed to use oils and bubbles and salts in the Jacuzzi, as you know, I’m a girl who loves her products. The day of course had to come when I became overcome by temptation and decided I’d add just the TINTIEST drop of Winter Candy Apple Bath and Body Works bubble bath to my second stage filling one night after turning on the jets and wandering off. I returned to the bathroom to find a mound of bubbles worthy of an I Love Lucy episode towering a good three feet above the edge of the tub.

Most recently, I reasoned that bath SALTS shouldn’t be a problem and so I added some innocuous looking but darkly colored, salts. Which the jets then proceeded to pulverize into fine hard to remove sand, and then fling on to the walls resulting in the coal miner’s party I referred to at the top of the post.

Which in turn provoked the latest round in the absolute WORST thing about the Jacuzzi. And that is cleaning the thing. I’ve tried everything. Those cleaner scrubbies mounted on a telescoping arm and brushes with reeeally long handles and every known bathroom spray and cleaner. There just aren’t any two ways about it. I have to climb into the thing and spray and gently scrub and dry. Cleaning the bottom? Eventually means a sort of ridiculous balancing on my stomach on the rim, legs extended, kind of in a flying Superman pose. But way more precarious.

This last round of cleaning was so traumatic (see paragraph one) that I actually managed to stay out of the Jacuzzi for two whole nights unable to do anything but admire that hard won sparkle.

But eventually, I again succumbed to the seductive siren’s song of hot, hot water. In fact I’m so suggestible that way that, midway through writing this, I filled the tub.

I’m off to soak THIS minute.


Patience-please said...

Oh the envy of it all. (Not the cleaning part. I HATE cleaning.) BP (Before Paducah) I had a 6' long extra deep CAST IRON claw foot tub. And an extra large water heater. That bad boy held the heat of the water for hours and hours.

GREAT post! You had me laughing and laughing and I was in a crap mood.

keena said...

ya'll need to get a tankless waterheater. That's what I will have in my totally green cabin in the desert. I thought your whole bathroom was torn arpart until it was time to move out?