Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yep. Dumb.

Okay. This IS rocket science.
Have you ever done anything dumb?
I mean really, really dumb?
I'm not saying that I have but . . .
Okay, I'm saying that I have.
But, in my defense, our family always had a shower cubicle.
With a door.
Maybe I should explain . . .
It was my first time living away from home.
I was dizzy with joy.
And heavy with responsibility.
So many things that I suddenly needed to know.
And hadn't paid attention to, when my parents had tried to teach.
Sigh.
The learning curve wasn't just steep.
It was nearly vertical.
I muddled through.
With prayer.
And many phone calls home.
Our apartment had indoor plumbing.I just thought I'd mention it.
And a bathtub with a shower nozzle.
I stared at it.
Huh. How could one use that and not spray water everywhere?
You would have to make sure that the nozzle was pointed directly at the wall and be very careful.
Weird.
Why didn't they just put in a cubicle, like the Stringams?
And there was something else I had never seen before.
Above the tub and reaching from wall to wall, was a long rod.
I stared at it, mystified.
What on earth could that be for?
I went to my roommate.
“Guess showering is out of the question.”
“Why,” she asked.
“How do you keep the water off the floor?”
She laughed. “Diane, please tell me you've used a shower curtain before.”
“A what?”
Okay, I should clarify here that I had seen shower curtains before.
It's just that I had always designated them decorative, rather than useful.
“I have one. I'll get it.”
My roommate was not only smart, having lived on her own before, but she was also handy.
In no time, we had a brand new plastic curtain strung from the rod over the tub.
Cool.
But did my education stop there?
Sadly, no.
I prepared for my first shower in my new apartment.
As an adult.
I added that last, because you might not have realized it.
Moving on . . .
I had a nice shower and pushed back the curtain.
Oh, man! Now there was water all over the floor!
I was going to have to lay down towels to catch the water that ran down the curtain and onto the floor.
What a pain.
I mopped up the water and dressed.
“Shower curtains are dumb!” I said as I passed my roommate, headed for my room.
“Why?”
“They let water get all over the floor!”
“Ummm . . . Diane, you're supposed to put the curtain inside the tub.”
I stopped and looked at her.
“Really?”
I'm sure she spent the next few moments regretting her decision to invite me to stay with her.
She hid it well.
“Yes,” she said patiently. “If you put the curtain inside the tub, the water runs down the curtain and down the drain.”
“Huh.”
My kids call it the two percent rule. You have to be two percent smarter than whatever it is you're using.
I failed.
I'd like to say that was the last time I did something silly.
I'd be lying.
It wasn't the curtain that was dumb.

16 comments:

  1. I remember learning so much from people back then. I would have done a better job keeping my mouth shut and observing. But I was a lousy observe, much better at shooting myself in the foot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. My feet got it far too often, too!

      Delete
  2. Never too old to learn. Just this last week I caught myself showering with the curtain outside the tub. Got it corrected before there was a mess to clean up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah! You're still ahead of me. You learned in time . . .

      Delete
  3. The hubs is forever calling inanimate objects 'dumb'.....I've tried to explain it to him but..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Explain the two percent rule to him!

      Delete
  4. I don't think you are or were dumb Diane... just sheltered in those days... now with the internet it's a little easier to be smart ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I just googled 'using a shower curtain' and you're right! Step by step instructions! What a world we live in!

      Delete
    2. And just where was this option 40 years ago when I needed it?!

      Delete
  5. Two percent rule ... I like it :)

    Nothing wrong with a dumb mistake if it's also funny and makes a great story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allow me to clarify - I was thinking of my own dumb mistakes when I called them that. I used to get so embarrassed when I was a kid. At some point in early adulthood, I noticed that every embarrassing goof up turned into a funny story I couldn't wait to tell. I'd guess you are the same.

      Delete
    2. I'm exactly the same! If I have to go through them (embarrassing moments), I'm taking EVERYONE with me!!!

      Delete
  6. I currently have a shower recess built in one corner of my laundry/bathroom. Two walls are tiled, a third wall is glass, the fourth side has a shower curtain. But the floor in the shower isn't dropped just very slightly sloped, so the whole room floods if I turn the shower on full. I've gotten used to aiming the rose away from the curtain and only turning the water on half strength.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah-ha! See? That's what I thought I should do!

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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