#49: Woman Overboard!

#49: Woman Overboard!

Last summer, I did a modest remodel of my guest bathroom upstairs which involved ordering a pre-assembled vanity from Home Depot. I had carefully orchestrated the ordering and subsequent arrival of the vanity, as well as the countertop and new toilet, to coincide with the arrival of my also pre-assembled handyman. So you can imagine my surprise when I arrived home, tired and disheveled, after a 12 hour shift one night to find a large, and I mean LARGE, box on my front doorstep.

Wait, surely this isn’t the… um, yeah, I think it is. Helloooo, vanity.

Here’s the thing: I’m a single woman. I live by myself. Well, okay, I live with a 20-pound miniature schnauzer who thinks her calling in life is to rest her weary head on my plush bedding and eat fresh vegetables from the fridge. She is not so much helpful in matters requiring brute strength.

I gave the box a nudge on my way to the door. It didn’t budge an inch. I put my body weight into it. Nothing.

This is generally the point when single woman panic starts to set in. “What am I going to do? I can’t move this thing by myself! It’s just little ol’ ME. I am an island. A lone reed. A loooone reeeeed.”

Thankfully, common sense prevailed, and I managed to hit PAUSE. I picked up the phone and called one of my best friends who happens to live one street over. She arrived within fifteen minutes, and together, we managed to get the vanity into the house and down the short hall to the living room.

She was in and out like a flash. Crisis averted.

This was not the first crisis she’s successfully averted, mind you. I well remember several years ago when my newly erected Christmas tree began to lean. Like, severely. Realizing I needed a new stand, I went and bought one, but then came the problem of switching the stands out. This quickly deteriorated into a situation that found me sitting on my living room floor, inches away from a meltdown, straddling a fraser fir.

If the edge in my voice over the phone hadn’t already alerted my Trusty Friend, I’m sure a few key words that followed would have. Stupid. Tree. Floor. Chainsaw. MULCH.

Her reply was quick and to the point. “I’ll be right there.”

Trusty Friend and I have been sisters in arms since we lived in Eastern Europe together. We’ve been through our share of crises, real and imagined, together. This was not her first “Susan’s heading for a meltdown” rodeo.

We got the tree up and stabilized, and I exhaled an emotionally exhausted “thank you”. “Don’t worry”, she said. “I totally get it.”

And I knew she did.

This wasn’t just about a Christmas tree any more than the crisis last summer was just about the stubbornly heavy vanity on my front stoop. This was about feeling like a lone reed with no one to help you stand against the winds of everyday life. It was about being aware of being alone and feeling more alone in the world than we actually are.

I don’t think these moments are reserved for single women. Married or single, man or woman, adult or child, we all experience those times when the mole hill suddenly comes to represent Mt. Everest, with Mt. Everest being all that is wrong and exhausting and lonely about life.

The next time a moment like that hits you, just remember you are not, in fact, an island. No lone reeds here. Pick up the phone and call one of your trusty friends. Chances are they’ll get it and be there in a flash.

 
Have you experienced similar moments? What did you do? Was the “crisis” averted?

 

   ~ Susan

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