>The Tub in the Living Room

>There’s a bathtub in my living room.

After raising four children and putting them all through private Christian school, we are finally getting to the point of being able to afford some desperately needed home repair. Our bathroom requires serious renovation; we need to replace the vinyl flooring, sub-flooring, sheetrock, sink, and…tub.

Because I struggle with chronic pain from arthritis and brachial neuritis, we’ve had our eyes on a moderately-priced whirlpool tub at Menard’s for about the last three years. When it recently went on sale, we bought it; even though we haven’t started the bathroom renovation yet and are not anywhere close to being ready to install the tub.

So it sits inside its huge cardboard box in our living room. It takes a lot of space, although it came in handy for sorting paperwork while I was working on income tax preparation. It was a little awkward when our elders came for their annual home visit. It fascinated our grandsons. It has been difficult to ignore when we’ve had visitors.

It reminds me of the idiom about an elephant in the living room. Writers or speakers often use the phrase to refer to a pressing issue that people choose to ignore, even though it is as obvious as an elephant in a living room.

People may say, “Nice warm day.” Or they’ll ask, “How ’bout them Hawks?” But they don’t ask about the elephant in the living room. Meanwhile the elephant stands there, slowly swinging his trunk above the creaking boards and sagging floor joists.

It would be more helpful to discuss the elephant and help the owner remove it before it compromises the structure of the entire house with its weight (not to mention its droppings!).

As long as the tub sits in my living room, it reminds me that we all have issues that need to be faced and addressed. Although it may be painful, it is better to deal with the elephant in the living room than to ignore it.

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