It was a long day. I got home well after seven o'clock which made it over twelve hours since getting on the bus in the morning. A long, long day, full of things that needed to be done, things that I enjoy doing - true. It's just that there were too many things on only one day. It was actually dark out when I got in the car to come home.
Now, a long day for me, always means a long day for Joe too. He is there with me as I get on the bus and he's there at the office to pick me up at the end of the day. He has a lot on his agenda each day with planning travel and setting up trips and lectures, along with taking care of our own personal business as well. So, we were both tired getting in to the apartment.
Joe gets me to the apartment and then has to go back down and park the car underground. I typically sit at the computer and check the blog for comments (where is everyone?) and emails. Just as I reached for my glasses I was distracted by something on the computer screen and my glasses tumbled to the floor. For me, something on the floor might as well be in Lichtenstein. I looked at it, realized that I haven't had a passport to travel down there for years and years. I was going to have to ask Joe.
I knew he was tired. I knew, too, that he'd do it without comment or concern. He picks stuff up for me all the time. Which might explain why Joe has a slight Alemannic accent after a day when I've been very, very clumsy. I sat there and looked at the glasses.
I didn't want to have to ask him. I somehow just didn't want to need the glasses, didn't want to need his help. Not because he'd mind doing the chore. But sometimes, paradoxically asking for a chore to be done is more of a chore than doing the chore itself. Sometimes I think it's harder, way, way, harder to ask for help than to give it. So, Joe came in and I mentioned that I dropped my glasses. They were back in my hand seconds later.
There was something odd about them when I put them on, I checked, yep there was a passport stamp on the corner of them. I hope they had a lovely time down there in Lichtenstein.
Dave, I keep a set of bbq tongs at my desk for just these kinds of opportunities. :)
Very true! Asking for help never seems to get any easier...
One time I dropped my phone on the ground, and didn't feel like bugging my roommate about it. So I tried to pick it up with my "grabby." (you know, those reacher thingys?) I eventually realized that the weight and shape of the phone just weren't going to work for grabby and me; I couldn't get a good grip on it. Then I went to plan B, where I throw a plastic bag on the floor, use grabby to slide the phone into the bag, and pick up the bag. Beautiful plan, until I slipped and dropped grabby. I went to plan C, where I cut a long piece of yarn, toss a loop down to hook on the grabby, and pull it up. I was then able to complete plan B with the plastic bag, to achieve objective A, retrieving the phone.
This whole process took a good 20 minutes. All that, just to avoid asking for help. Ridiculous. While I'm proud of my resourcefulness when it's necessary, cases like these are unnecessary. I could have gone to the other room and just asked for help. But as I often do, I let the ableist definition of "independence" fuel my actions...
"I let the ableist definition of "independence" fuel my actions..."
Thats so true for me too.
I rather get absolutly dead tired sometimes instead of asking for help even though I know it would be full heartedly granted.
Grabbers are lifesavers. I have one in every room in the house. A few things elude me, but for the most part they are worth their weight in gold.
Get as many grabbers as you have rooms. Trust me on this. You will not carry one around, so what you drop will always be in another room from where the grabber is.
Jan, I have a grabber in my bedroom and in my office at work. I don't have one here by my desk at home or over by the couch in the living room. This is why, exactly why, I don't drop things in my bedroom or in my office at work! You are right about the grabbers, I need to get a couple more. I'm going to make that a priority!
Whenever my partner doesn't want it to rain, she brings her umbrella along. And if she does want it to rain, she leaves her umbrella home. She claims that it always works--bringing an umbrella prevents rain from coming and leaving it at home prompts it to rain. Perhaps grabbers work on the same principle? :-)
I do know what you mean about sometimes just not wanting to have to ask. As a deaf person I frequently need to ask people to repeat things or write things down. Except, sometimes I get so fed up with needing to ask over and over that I just let something go even if I would actually like to understand. It seems easier sometimes to fake comprehension, not because I'm afraid the person won't want to repeat but just because I'm so very tired of asking all the time. Somehow I didn't really articulate this to myself until I read your post today and had this idea go "click" inside my head.
just re 'where is everyone?' - a friend of mine mentioned that she left a comment on the 'She Never Knew She Never Knew' video post, and it never appeared...... I wonder if some aren't arriving, somehow?
Hi! It's hard for me to ask for help too. But, I'm trying to be better at it. Does Joe ever come to NYC to do lectures? If he does, contact me. I have a blog too! It's hard living in NY. You would think it would be easy because you would think everything is accessible. Most of the time, this is true. But sometimes, it's further from the truth. Like, for example, there's a library in my neighborhood that at the time didn't have automatic doors. Well, I got them to put in automatic doors because I went to a community board meeting with my mother, and I approached people and they put in the automatic doors. Sometimes, they work, but I hate windy days. Often on the windy days, they don't work as well.
Thank you for putting this conundrum into words. Since Dec. 23rd I've been fighting through a major relapse and am mostly in a hospital bed--talk about things being in Lichtenstein. It is so hard to decide what is worth raising the flag of surrender over and what is worth asking for help with. Do these mashed potatoes need salt badly enough for me to ask my old man to drag his weary butt back to the kitchen? Will this be the one too many request?
I have a perfect aid for whenever I drop things and am unwell enough to pick them up - my seven year old son! Seven year olds are great for that sort of thing and offers of chocolate always provide great incentive.
The fact that my children have also hidden one of my grabbers and broken the other by using it as a sword only assists in my request.
Janielle, I'm afraid that Joe never lectures, although he helps me teach abuse prevention. We are going to be in NYC in May at the YAI conference this year. I think that's our only NYC gig this year.
I have access to a reacher/grabber thingy everywhere - they're a lifesaver! Independence saver? 00 and probably was, I'd be really disciplined about moving the chair in case I heard that awful *crunch*.
But yeah. Asking for help can be a mental and emotional journey to Liechtenstein, all sorts of stuff tied into the asking. I wonder if those who help are ever aware of how difficult it is?
Dave, I couldn't help but think of service dogs. This is just one of the moments they live to help with!
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