Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Epiphany No. 1: Shit happens

It's OK to ask for help.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I came to that conclusion? That I'm not very good at it and I need to try doing it more often?

I got hit in the face with another good one a few days ago.

It's OK to let people help, even when you don't need it.

Let me backtrack for a moment.

I spent New Year's weekend in Middleofnowhere, Idaho, surrounded by giant, thin pines draped with freshly fallen snow and by an amazing group of friends.

We made merry, ringing in 2011 in fine style.

It was like a fancy camping trip. We grabbed all our booze and food and fixings from Spokane, Wash., and ensconced ourselves in the loveliest of cabins, a remote, wooded resort area.

And Shep went, too. Yay!

He was the beau of the ball at times. How hard is it to not love him after all?

Especially since he happily served as cabin garburetor when we cooked too much food.

Onto his bowl went the leftover bacon and eggs.

Nom nom nom, said Shep.

We left him to his afternoon nap and went across the path to Party Cabin. We ran out of beer and had to make a trip.

'Hey, the place still smells like bacon. Maybe we should open a window.'

'Um, hey, Ang, you might want to look at the floor.'

There I stood, mushing around a couple of piles of runny dog poo, not even noticing as I focused on my singular task of More Beer.

My heart sunk. I made my dog sick. I didn't even notice his distress when I burst into the cabin.

My singular task became Operation: Bacon Shit. I grabbed what materials I could find -- paper towels, water, Comet and a plastic bag into which I shoved each wad of poo-covered paper towels -- and cleaned up the mess, all the while my stomach lurching at the wonderful aroma of doggy diarrhea and bacon, two smells I loathe at the best of times.

'Let me get that for you.'

I looked up. My friend stood there with the cabin mop in his hands, offering to help.

No, I said. And I was adamant.

Shep is my dog. He is my responsibility.

Thus, his messes are my responsibility.

And as I've learned over these last 20 years of living alone and independence, if I don't take care of my responsibilities, no one else will.

My friend became pissed off. All he wanted to do was help out of the kindess of his heart.

I said no.

It took me a few minutes to recognize what I'd done and I felt horrible.

So, it isn't simply enough to realize I have to learn how to ask for help. I also have to learn how to accept it when it's offered.

Because people are kind. And they care. And they want to help ... without ulterior motives.

Just help.

Especially when shit happens.

Especially bacon shit.


  1. I love your blog Angela...I love reading this...it is something I really do look forward to reading...

  2. awww... poor Shep!

    I hear ya, darlin' -- One of my ex-boyfriends regularly got terribly angry at me because I was too proud to ask for help, let alone take it when offered. Like you, I didn't have much in the way of help as a kid, let alone as an adult, so I learned to only rely on myself. That becomes very difficult when people want to be let in.

    It ruined one relationship, but, I've since learned to let my guard down (for the most part) with my husband. He demands it. He needs it, and I try to give him what he needs...

    Good on ya for realizing!

  3. Thanks, T. I'm afraid I can't take the credit for realizing. Someone just keeps hitting me right in the nose with these things. Strange thing is, I kind of like it.

  4. It's good to learn that we need to allow others to have that wonderful feeling we get from helping others. And we need to remember how cruddy it feels when we gleefully want to help and our glee gets smashed to pieces.