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Wordie Wednesday: modus operandi

mo·​dus ope·​ran·​di | \ ˌmō-dəs-ˌä-pə-ˈran-dē , -ˌdī\

plural modi operandi\ ˈmō-​ˌdē-​ , ˈmō-​ˌdī-​ \

Definition of modus operandi

: a method of procedure, especially a distinct pattern or method of operation that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crime.

When you live in an old house, you love the character, the history, the heritage of the place. But old houses and everything in them seem to have a way of colluding, so everything appears to need work at the same time. Even if it has nothing to do with the bones of the building.

We have two showers in our house. One upstairs (mine), and one in the bathroom down in the basement (everyone else’s because that bathroom is the newest and shiniest). A few weeks ago, I was happily showering in my bathroom when my son raced up the stairs and hammered on the door: “Mom, stop the shower! The shower is leaking into the kitchen!”

Indeed, it was. Right into the oak pocket door that slides between the kitchen and the dining room. Looking closely, it appeared to my untrained eye that a few cracks in the dining room ceiling had appeared, and some discoloration. Maybe this was not a new thing, this leak.

And so began several weeks of our modus operandi: don’t use the shower and pretend it’s not there. After a while, it will fix itself.

Alas, it hasn’t.

I’ve fallen quite in love with the shower in the basement bathroom. My usually short, five-minute showers are now stretching into 10 and 15 minutes. I compensate by only showering every couple of days, something I can get away with because I work at home.

But today, we got a new handyman. Who is now busily at work attempting to fix the shower. Apparently, our old handyman did a crap job when he installed it in the first place. I work from home and apparently have nothing better to do than stand around and talk about pipes (and do dishes and clean out the freezer, where one of my children had dumped a full container of freshly made soup – but those are other stories). After several consultations with me, New Handyman left to pick up some glue to fix what he thought was a cracked plastic gasket. Didn’t say when he’d be back. I carried on with my work, and he did indeed come back with the glue. But further inspection and further consultation revealed that this was not the solution. He needed a new pipe. He left, again without saying when he’d return.

I needed a shower. I had a job interview, and I had hoped he’d be done by lunchtime so I could get a nice long shower in the basement bathroom. Lunch came. Lunch went. I did all my emailing, research for the interview, checked and posted on all my social media accounts, did some landscaping research, waiting, waiting, waiting for him to return. I certainly didn’t want to shower while there was a strange man in the house. At 1 p.m., I decided I had to get the shower. I couldn’t wait anymore. I locked the doors and whizzed through my shower, stuffed my damp body into some clothes and headed upstairs to dress for the interview.

I dressed without interruption and was just trying on shoes to see which I liked better with the outfit, the doorbell rang. Whew!

I haven’t mentioned yet that our dishwasher broke down just about the same time as the shower. This handyman doesn’t fix dishwashers. I haven’t used the machine in weeks. I tried it again this morning.


It’s still not working.

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