The Art of Being Single: Getting Things Done…. Or NOT

I took my dog for a walk tonight, and two other dogs behind a fence were barking at her furiously. My dog is not friendly with other dogs, and I couldn’t keep her under control. She was pulling on me and trying to get to the fence to get into it with the other dogs. I struggled with her, managed to pull her up beside me, and then she broke free again. I just had to let her go. I couldn’t hold onto her anymore. She finally left the dogs alone and came back to me. I cried the whole way home. I just can’t handle everything. The hardest part of being single for me is trying to do everything that I need to do to run a household. And, I’m not alone.

My toilet-fixing clothes

My toilet-fixing clothes

When I asked my friends about getting their needs met as a single, the biggest challenge is getting things done. For most things, I’ve found suitable answers that work, but, for this one, I have to admit, I’m stumped. I have one friend who broke down and cried this weekend because she was overwhelmed with all the things going wrong in her house, and she doesn’t have the knowledge, the energy or the money to get them fixed. She’s scared to death. Another friend of mine is in a destructive relationship. Every time she breaks free, she takes him back simply because she needs his help around the house. I know that one of my biggest triggers is carrying in the kitty litter. It’s heavy and bulky. I’ll let it sit in the car forever, but when I finally have to bring it in, I cry, spit, rail and otherwise berate my ex because he left me. He was supposed to help me.

IMG_3250My toilet has been leaking for about 4 months. I took a look at my electricity bill a month ago and realized how much my water consumption had increased… in the same amount of time that my toilet has been leaking. Crap. I just didn’t want to fool with it. It’s not my strong suit. And, dammit, I just don’t want to do it. I put a note on Facebook offering a trade for somebody to come over and help me with it. I offered to cook them a dinner to take home with them. I had one guy offer to help. I was very appreciative, but I had another guy friend who made an insulting comment about how hard up I was to have to beg to get a guy over to my house. After I told him how inappropriate that remark was, I was so ashamed that I just never took my friend up on the offer. The thing is, we hate to ask a guy to help us because it is perceived as we’re trying to hit on them. It’s just not that easy to ask for help, I did and it blew up in my face. Never again.IMG_3251

So, Saturday, I went to Home Depot and got the stuff to fix the toilet. I had on my best toilet-fixing clothes. I was going to do this. I read the instructions, and it said I might need a wrench. I knew I had a wrench because a friend of mine needed pliers the other day, and I brought him my pliers. He said that was a wrench. Yeah!! I had a wrench. So, on the first step, I had the tool, but I didn’t have the strength to turn it. In addition, the wrench opening was not big enough. So, I walked over to my next door neighbors house and asked if he had a wrench. No, he didn’t have one. WTF? I said, “You’re a guy. What do you mean, you don’t have a wrench?” He laughed and asked me what I was doing. “I’m fixing my toilet,” I replied. “Can’t you tell? I’ve got on my toilet-fixing clothes.”  He sent me over to another neighbor’s house. The second neighbor had the wrench. He came over and unscrewed the bolt for me, but then we realized I didn’t have the right parts. So, I went back to Home Depot. This was actually my third trip there trying to get the right parts. I told the guy at the front door that I needed to exchange what I bought for something else. He told me to put the old part on the counter and go get what I need. “Baby, I don’t have any idea what I need. I need help,” I said. He sent me to Ms. Taunia over in the toilet fixing area. She kindly talked me down off the ledge, gave me the right part and even marked down the price. I hugged her before I left. I came home and uneventfully fixed the toilet. Total time absorbed: 4 months, 2 hours for a 20 minute job.

I ran a handyman business when I worked for Whirlpool called Rent-A-Husband. We were testing it as a business opportunity. It was a great concept. We did the kinds of things I need done. You could rent a husband by the hour not the job. They’d help you hang Christmas lights, put up Christmas trees, minor handyman jobs and yes, haul kitty litter. I’m going to rant here a minute. It makes me angry that single men can’t help a single woman out with tasks without thinking she’s hitting on him. Number one, you probably just aren’t that special. But, if you were the kind of man that did things to help out just to be nice, you might be that special. We have to be old or sick or otherwise incapacitated to ask for help and get it. I think single people ought to help each other out. I end up paying for most of the work around my house, and it drains me financially. What I can’t do, I end up throwing on my brother when he comes into town. I did have a guy I was dating fix a few things once, but I’m not in the habit of trading sex for chores. I don’t really think that’s a good thing to do.

IMG_3252

On this one, I don’t have an answer. It sucks. I’ve cried many times over chores that need to be done, and I don’t have the strength or energy to do them. Sometimes they just don’t get done. And, lately, I’ve had quite a few single women crying on my shoulder about needing help and not getting it. I don’t know what to tell them. All I can do is listen and tell them I feel helpless, too.

IMG_3247

2 thoughts on “The Art of Being Single: Getting Things Done…. Or NOT

  1. Oh Sharon, I can truly connect. I cry every time something happens at my house. I feel so completely helpless the first few hours of having to deal with something broke, leaking, falling down or whatever, The voice in my head says…”I didn’t sign up for this! This is not my job?” In addition to not having the skills or physical strength, or money to do some of the tasks you also have to juggle your work schedule with meeting helpers at the house. When you have a partner two people can juggle this much easier.

    I’ve had several major things happen to my home since my divorce. After my initial breakdown I find myself pulling it all together and getting the task done one way or another, but its hard and can be heartbreaking.

    I haven’t had much luck getting any of the men I’ve dated to help out. Some make false promises. Some don’t even offer and I don’t like to ask. Do you think it scares them to get involved in that way. Or maybe I just date jerks.

    • I wish I knew the answer. I date jerks, too, and I know some men don’t know how to do stuff any better than I do. In my first marriage, I did practically everything. 6 months after I left, he to me that he had no idea how much I did. I can tell you that I feel your pain, and you are not alone. It’s awful. And I just get so tired of juggling everything myself.

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