The Struggle for Dominance

Last night, after much discussion and coordination of schedules, my brother and I agreed that he would shower first this morning. While we don’t have to share a bathroom (thank God), our mutual appreciation of scalding hot shower for extended periods of time demands that only one person shower at a time. Otherwise, the hot water heater just can’t keep up.

I woke up this morning, and sure enough, I could hear the pipes. Little Brother was in the shower, soon to be out, and all was right in my world. I snuggled into bed, waiting for my turn to stand under boiling water. Twenty minutes later, I was still burrowed under the blankets. Little Brother was taking his sweet time, and I was going to be late if I didn’t take action.

After a decade of shouting at that bathroom door demanding that the bathroom occupant light a fire under their fanny and get out, I knew what a futile effort it was. The bathroom at our house is like a black hole. I can throw things at the door, shout, pound, threaten, try to pick locks, but nothing comes out. Nothing. In my opinion it’s best to skip the “get out all ready, or I’ll rearrange your face even more” tactic, and just proceed to step two.

Step two involves driving the bathroom occupant out by devious means. If the bathroom occupant is Little Sister, calling her cell phone always works. She’ll make a mad dash out of the bathroom, even half naked with shampoo in her hair, and run for her phone. I can slip in before she realizes she’s been duped by a more intelligent life form. With Little Brother, trial and error has taught me that it’s best to drive him out by messing with his water supply.

In this case, I dragged myself out of bed, and went to the basement. I’ve been meaning to attack my laundry pile for awhile and this morning was as good a time as any to start. In went a load of whites. Next, I decided to help clean the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher. I know that I should have waited until there were more than three mugs and some silverware before I ran it, but we only had three clean serving spoons, and I wanted to be prepared in case we needed all four for dinner later on. Then of course, there’s the early morning potty break. Usually, that’s the first thing I do each morning, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Needless to say, my bladder was about to burst and I had to go. In fact, I had to go so bad that I went downstairs; then, I walked upstairs and realized that I had to go again. Darn, that meant two toilet flushes.

Of course, I felt awful that all this impacted Little Brother’s hot water. But not awful enough not to do it again in the morning should I have to…


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