Eighth in a series. My husband is a foot and an inch taller than me. One of my marital missions has been to ensure his home life is scaled to give him a sense of space.
Our pink bathtub looked larger than it felt. The jets didn’t work. The hand shower didn’t work. Did I mention it was pink?
When we learn a leak necessitates the gutting of our bathroom, I initiate Project Large Tub.
Little did I know how challenging it is to find a soaker for somebody six-foot-four. We go to the local showroom. Flip-flip-flip through catalogs.
We go to showrooms in Manhattan. Find what we believe to be the ideal solution. Put in the order. Learn it will take thirteen weeks for the tub to arrive. Oh, and it will cost more than originally estimated. A lot more. We cancel the order.
On to the Blackman showroom in New Jersey. At last, the solution presents itself. A tub made of volcanic limestone by Victoria + Albert. The catalogue describes the tub as 70 1/4 inches long and 34 1/4 inches wide. Its name? Barcelona.
“That settles it.” My mouth waters with the memory of my brief, busy stay in this Spanish city filled with beautiful, doe-eyed, long-lashed men. The obscenely handsome boy assigned to our conference room saw how I liked my coffee and noticed when I served myself a downright gluttonous helping of anchovies from the breakfast buffet, as well as an equally memorable apple tart.
The following morning, as I hunched over my laptop, he served me coffee, enhanced with the perfect balance of cream. Next to it, a plate of anchovies artfully arranged in a starburst patten, just like the apples on the tart he brought for me as well.
The name is a sign that this tub surely is the right choice.
Our home is below street level. Parking on our steep driveway takes bravery. Doing so gets delivery near the house, not to the house. Getting to the front door requires walking downhill, taking stairs, making a sharp turn, walking down a ramp, making another sharp turn, taking stairs, yet another sharp turn, maneuvering around a choke point and stepping up into the house.
Delivery day comes and my beloved helps the contractor, his assistant and the delivery guy (shhh! don’t tell anyone—he isn’t supposed to do more than leave the box on the driveway) get the 192 pound tub into the great room. Where it sat, as seductive as those beautiful boys in Barcelona, from October 28 to January 14, 2015. Unlike the Catalonians, however, I can run my fingers across the tub’s smooth, warm surface.
Here’s what I learned: I couldn’t find a larger tub for my love because even a tad deeper than twenty-one inches would have necessitated taking the front door off the hinges and perhaps even removing the frame.
The bathroom nears completion. I visit the tub, caress its rim and daydream about our eventual rendezvous. The steamy moment comes after my husband asks me to help him carry a leather recliner back upstairs—against gravity—to prepare the nearly done great room for a small gathering. It’s so heavy, I shriek, cry and kvetch. My husband prods me into getting the job done. I do.
“That’s it. Today, I am soaking my tired bones in the tub,” I say.
He fills it with nice, hot water and sprinkles in salts blended with essential oils to alleviate aches and pains and scented with lavender, my favorite fragrance.
I hop in.
How many inches am I? I always had trouble with my gazintas (translation: this goes into that), that’s why I make my living arranging words. Oh, wait, multiplication... Twelve times five equals ... No, wait, break it down.. Two times five ... Carry the one ... Okay, okay ... Got it: sixty. Plus three is sixty-three. About seven inches shorter than the tub.
“Why don’t you fill the tub some more and stretch out?” my husband asks, checking on me as as I splash around.
“Because I’ll drown.”
That’s the problem with being blinded by love and terrible at math. I fixated on my husband’s luxurious proportions and forgot to calculate how meeting his needs would relate to my height-challenged self.