The problem isn't that the hot water heater doesn't work. I believe it does work. The problem is that Howard turned it way down and now is niggardly about turning it back up to whatever level it was at before, before he messed with it.
"We don't want it to get so hot that we scald ourselves," he said.
"I won't scald myself!" I found myself pleading. "I'll be careful!"
I am starting to think that inside Howard is an old German woman struggling to get out. I told him that. I said: "Howard, you are an old German woman trapped in a young Jewish man's body."
Remember what Terrence McNally said about inside Martha Stewart is a gay man struggling to get out? This is like that.
Howard does have a lot in common with my female ancestors. The reluctance to turn up the hot water heater is just part of it. I have caught him reusing coffee grounds. He prefers powdered creamer to half-and-half. He insists on bacon. Next thing you know I will see him sitting in the corner saying the Rosary in German. That is what my mother says my great-grandmother used to do.
(Petulant sigh.) I love Howard but I will just have to go down and figure out how to turn up the hot water heater myself, and hope this doesn't turn into a chess game, with me turning it up and him turning it down. And because it'll take a while to warm up, maybe I can go back to the gym today, just to use the shower. Would anyone notice? I don't think so. I'll go in, hand over my card, go downstairs, take a long hot shower, towel off, dry my hair, go back up, reclaim my card. "Ahhh," I can say. "That was a good workout."
Then I'll just hope the hot water heater is up to the task tomorrow.
Or at least that the sun comes out.