5 Min ReadSelf 27 May 2020
Remember when you were a little kid and you got a Barbie dream house for your birthday? How excited you were when your Dad, parent, or some other knowledgeable adult put it together so swiftly, and you played with it all day and well into the night with glee? And remember when everyone got a cool "multi disc" stereo system for their room, and you couldn't wait to get one too so you could listen to your cool Jock Jams collections knowing you were way cooler than your parents and that 1970's Eric Clapton "shit" (once your older brother set it up of course, duh)?
Oh, and my favorite, remember when you got your first apartment in college and your dad put together basically all your furniture for you as you sat there on the couch texting your boyfriend, while he dropped F-bombs under his breath before opening a bottle of wine? I didn't remember these things, until this past weekend, when I was sitting on the living room floor, with a wrench in my hand, wailing in between my own F-bombs, about how hard putting together a stationary exercise bike was and why women would even be doing this in the first place.
After my cry, the only thing I knew to do was to just keep going.
As some of you know from my previous article, I am a party of one, una sola, miss independent, at the moment, due to unfortunate immigration issues… but this past weekend finally put me over the edge. The only reason I had this bike in the first place was because I broke my damn toe trying to reach for something on the top shelf in the cabinet. #shortpeopleproblems I wasn't able to run or really walk, and thanks to "stay at home," no pools are open, so my only option was biking... "Oo exciting," says the person who just loves spin class. Me? Not so much.
Just a month ago I had bought a boxing bag (read my first piece for more on that venture) and spent hours putting that thing together... and now this? I'm not saying women can't do these duties, but there was a small part of me that wanted to be a kid again and pout and say, "I want my Daddy!" Then there was another, slightly more mature part of me that thought, "Well, this is ridiculous. I have a husband; he should be doing these things, but sadly, that's not an option either."
While I was putting the bike together, I was beyond frustrated. I was angry that I was having to do this by myself, and that I didn't have anyone to help me. Not that I expect people to help me with things all the time, but that there are certain things I am just not good at. The instructions and reviews said set up should take me no more than 20 minutes, and here I was 90 minutes in and not even close to finished. I was cursing that Amazon reviewer. I've learned being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses; knowing when to ask for help is great, but what happens when you're alone and the dog thinks it's a game? There is nowhere in the instruction manual that says "in case of pandemic."
I didn't remember these things, until this past weekend, when I was sitting on the living room floor, with a wrench in my hand, wailing in between my own F-bombs, about how hard putting together a stationary exercise bike was and why women would even be doing this in the first place.
After my cry, the only thing I knew to do was to just keep going. It is stupid really. I mean we learned it in Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." Was I happy about it at first? No. Did I know what I was doing? Not really. Did I finish the bike? Two and a half hours later. Will it break on me mid-ride? There is a very good chance — updates pending.
It seems like there's a lot of "just keep swimming" lately. Not just with putting together an indoor bike, but in general. Getting tasks done through the day can be something as simple as changing batteries, lightbulbs, or dealing with bugs — yes bugs. I had these suckers invade my turf for weeks. The point is, sometimes, we can feel as if we are being invaded by ourselves. Our thoughts, our own actions. Even though I wanted that bike put together so badly, so I could get riding instead of sitting around, maybe it was okay just to keep sitting for a few more days.
We're all going through a lot right now, whether we realize it or not. Sure, you think, this is normal. Just household chores. I've got my rhythm. Worried about work, but making a plan. Or maybe you aren't worried about work, but it's something else that's subconscious. It's okay to fix ourselves during this pandemic. Maybe we don't have all the tools yet (wrenches do come in all sizes by the way), and maybe it might take more than just a day to figure it out, but don't be afraid to do some work on you and be your own "handywoman."
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist