Wednesday, February 27, 2008

File under "independence"

I write in my book (look for it in August!) that we children of divorce are an independent lot. Many of us had to take on adult responsibilities when we were kids, which led some of us to adopt a maturity and independence that was beyond our years.

Some things never change.

I needed a new filing cabinet at home, having outgrown the old two drawer I've had forever. So this afternoon, I headed to Office Depot and purchased a lovely ready-to-assemble light cherry four drawer filing cabinet, on sale no less. The furniture salesperson at the store used a dolly to wheel the box to the curb while I folded down the seats on my Jetta and pulled it to the front door. Admittedly, she was a bit heftier than I am, but she hoisted the box easily into my trunk and off I drove.

Arriving home, I realized the furniture lady must have a weight bench at home. There was no way I could even get the box out of the car, much less into the house and up to the second floor. No neighbors were home, so I closed the trunk and thought "Well, I can always get help later."

Then it occured to me: who said I had to carry the entire box into the house? Why, I could just open up one end and carry the pieces in a few at a time. Brilliant! Trying to corral all the bits of styrofoam that had cradled my new cabinet in its box, I slid all the drawers and side pieces and who knows what kinds of connectors out of the box, making trip after trip into the house where I piled them all onto the sofa. Where they now sit, until I get up the energy to carry them up to the second floor and into my office for assembly.

I had a few passing qualms about depriving someone of their spiritual gift of heavy lifting, but that didn't stop me. I am woman, see me carry a few pieces of pre-cut lumber at a time. All the while, though, I did roll my eyes at myself over the silliness of trying to do it all without any help. Independence can be good, but it can also be a mask for pride...and it can make our jobs a lot harder when we should be asking someone to help shoulder the burden we carry.

For now, I just need to clear off the sofa so I have a place to sit down.

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