SuperMA’AM – the flood

No longer young enough to be addressed as Miss, yet deep in denial, refusing to tip anyone who calls her Ma’am,

  • Faster than a texting teen,
  • More powerful than control-top pantyhose,
  • And, most importantly, able to defy superhero wardrobe conventions and refuse to wear tights because they are SO not flattering. The cape thing, however, is working.


Her latest adventure:

Today’s adventure finds our heroine (that would be me) typing away at some nonsense or other, hoping to become a famous writer one day. As I type, I am soothed by the sounds of the washing machine in our charming laundry alcove (aka dingy closet). My superhero super-senses aren’t activated this morning, perhaps because I’m not wearing my cape. If they were, I might notice an odd sound to the washer, but I type blithely away until I hit my RDA of 1,000 words, and break for a brownie.

Emerging from the den, I am horrified to see the hallway floor awash in water. The hardwood hallway floor. The beautiful, cherry-stained, hickory hardwood floor that I begged for, and that my husband so painstakingly installed.

Awash. In water.

I hear whimpering. Fearing he’s in trouble, my eyes scan the disaster area for my faithful sidekick, Unbrushed Dog, only to spy him leisurely lapping up some water at the other end of the hall. Apparently, the whimpering is coming from me.

Time to get a grip. Time to get hold of myself. Time to get a towel.

I cry out to the heavens, “Where is a superhero when you need one?!” There’s a bang ( I trip), a splash (it’s a lot of water), and whoosh – I’m wearing my SuperMA’AM cape. I utter the classic superhero line of reassurance, “Thank God this cape covers the backs of my thighs!” Then, “There’s no need to fear – SUperMA’AM is here!

I leap into action – rushing into the bedroom for the horrible afghan that Aunt Mary gave us for Christmas. I’m hoping it holds a lot of water, and that it won’t recover from the effort. I spread it out on the hallway floor, sopping and sobbing, alternately.

Gallons of water and a herniated disk later, the floor is somewhat drier and the horrible afghan is drying across our rough-hewn back fence, safely ensuring its demise. I grab a beach towel and commence my trial run for the Household Olympics of “towel-skating floor-drying”. Finally, just as my super-knees are about to super-give-out, the floor seems relatively dry. I step back to survey the hallway and the laundry alcove.

Water squishes out from under the wood where it meets the kitchen linoleum. Some boards are already slightly warped, and some have split at the ends. The washing machine can’t be used again until an exorcism has been performed.

Bringing in a fan, I prepare to unleash my mightiest superpower ……..

I pretend the fan will dry out the underside of the wood. I squint my eyes tightly, so I can’t see the warping. I convince myself that those little splits in the wood are part of the grain, and that I don’t really need to do laundry anyway.

I have let loose the Depth Charge of Denial, and it is indeed powerful. So powerful that I find myself relieved that the dryer still works, because I’m going to remove my king-size down comforter from the washer, run it through the dryer, and put it back on the bed. I’m going to forget how I debated large-capacity laundromat washers vs. our washing machine, and then decided that if I could get the washing machine closed by sitting on the lid, then technically, the comforter fit into ours. I’m going to tell my husband that I have no idea why the washing machine would have overflowed like that, and that I’m sorry about the afghan.

Denial of this magnitude could only come from a superhero, and that’s what makes me SuperMA’AM.

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