Dearest Rachel –
In the last five or so years of your life, you decided to give up on your longstanding rule about messing with your hair (up until that point, you were afraid of losing its natural curl that you, like Freida from Peanuts, were so proud of), and dye it going forward. Better for it to be purple than to be gray, you reasoned. Apart from the fact that you risked reducing your curls, there were other challenges involved. Finding a shade that worked, for instance; purple is notoriously varied in its range of hues, and so many color options tended toward the reddish-plum end of the spectrum rather than the blue-violet both of us favored. Some of the brands didn’t exactly ‘pop’ as advertised, either, barely making their presence known once the dye was washed in, or fading too quickly thereafter.
Although, in fairness, all dyes would fade eventually, and you took measures to keep that from happening for as long as possible. One of the means of doing so was to wash your hair in cold water. Sunday mornings, as we would wake up and prepare for church, you would make a point of getting out of bed before I did, and start up the shower in order to wash your hair first, as you knew I wouldn’t want to have any part of that frigid stream. Besides, once you were done with your hair, I could turn up the heat and join you, and the remainder of the cleansing process would be decidedly more comfortable for both of us.
I always expressed amazement at your ability to tolerate that initial dose of cold water (although, to be sure, you didn’t keep it running the whole time you were in there; you would run just enough to get your hair wet, shut it off while you lathered it up, and turned it back on for only so long as it took to rinse the specially-formulated dye-friendly shampoo out). For my part, I wouldn’t have thought I would be able to bear standing under that stream for any length of time.
Well, as you might guess, it’s not like I seem to have any choice in the matter at the moment. You might recall my mentioning yesterday about the lukewarm nature of the shower yesterday. Well, today it’s gone essentially cold. There’s no hot water at all. I found myself just soaping up (and rinsing off; I’m no heathen) the bare minimum to keep clean and fresh, before calling it quits.
While it might be the definition of insanity to have done so in the first place – after all, if yesterday I couldn’t get much hot water to speak of, why should I expect anything different this morning? – there is the question that I had no such problems on Sunday morning. It would theoretically be just as insane for me to expect that I wouldn’t have any hot water on Tuesday, based on my previous experience then, as it was for me to expect today that I would.
What’s particularly infuriating about this situation is how it hasn’t been all that long ago that we replaced the hot water heater. In fact, I think it happened since the time that you started dying your hair. And it didn’t even happen overnight, like this situation did, but rather, over the course of a week or two, where we had to keep cranking up the dial to get the shower to where it was hot enough for us (and it would last for progressively less and less time) before it stopped dispensing hot water altogether. And when the old one was removed, even the installer was stunned at how heavy it was to remove; it turned out to have thirty years of sediment accumulated within it, reaching very nearly to the top of the tank; it was about ninety percent full, if I recall correctly. Given the typical lifespan of such appliances, we were informed that we had been very lucky, both for it to last as long as it had, and that we managed to get it swapped out before it experienced a catastrophic failure.
But that can’t possibly be the case with this new one, can it? I don’t dare try to mess with it myself – I know full well that, no matter how badly it’s working (or rather, not working) right now, there’s always a possibility that anything I do could make matters that much worse – but clearly, something has to be done. I’m just not sure what, and even if I did, I wouldn’t trust myself to do it properly.
I may have a bit of assistance today, however. Michael is finally coming over to pick up the old washer and dryer, and I might just pick his brain about the situation. Despite being more in the cabinet business (and, since business is booming, he has the ability to pick and choose projects, and he’s actually mentioned that he tends to turn down bathroom jobs these days, for reasons that escape my memory), I’m sure he knows more about what to do than I do. And for all I know, this sudden drop on such a relatively new appliance may have more to do with settings or connections, and might be a fairly quick fix. Of course, I might just be wishcasting, too, but we’ll see soon enough. At the very least, he can advise me as to my next course of action; it might be somewhat refreshing in this weather (and necessary given my involuntary marital status), but I’d just as soon not have to take cold showers every day for any longer that I absolutely have to.
In any case, honey, wish me luck. I’m going to need it.