I have a dilemma. Since I’ve let my hair show it’s natural color, I am getting offered all kinds of help. My grey transition is not complete, but from the front or side, I look like I have a head of mostly silvery white hair, the stuff of ancient wisdom. I used to get offered help with larger bags of animal food or oversize grocery items occasionally, but lately even strangers who don’t work for the particular store I’m at run up offering to help me!
It can’t be because I look feeble. I’ve lately been wearing jeans and long sleeve shirts in the cool spring weather, so they can’t see if I have any muscles or not. I’m not small, measuring in at 5 foot 9 inches. I may be a bit on the slender side, but don’t think I look anywhere near emaciated. (I’m strong enough to currently run 25 miles combined on three days in a week, plus ride the bike, and swim other days.) These helpful people don’t see my face straight on because, one, I’m often in sunglasses, and two, I’m facing the back end of the car. So it can’t just be that my face is making them panic. Sometimes, I already have the large bag in my grip and am heaving it in. Maybe I’m grunting more and I don’t know it? But I don’t think the sound carries as far as these people are coming from.
To tell the truth, the dilemma is wearing me down. I say “no, thank you” at the check out, partly because I don’t want to stand around and wait for someone to come. This, honestly, is because I am impatient and I feel guilty (like everyone is looking at me) about getting help when I am perfectly able to get these things in my car. I did, after all, get them into the shopping cart.
By the time the third person has offered to help, I usually just give in. It’s not worth fighting it anymore! Recently, it didn’t go quite so well. A strapping younger gentleman was coming with his small family across the parking lot and ran up to help me. I was mid-load, with a bag nearly up to my mouth, and began my slightly mumbled response of, “I keep getting offered help, and one of these times I’m going to say ‘yes’,” when he got a crestfallen look and walked away. He had misunderstood me and thought I was offended at his offer. By the time I had deposited my bag in the car, it was too late to save the situation.
Another aspect of my dilemma is that I would like to keep what strength I have! If I go around letting everyone carry everything for me, I’m going to shrivel up OR I’m going to have to spend even more time exercising. There are only so many hours in the day and I’d already be using up some of them watching someone else get my exercise.
During my last trip to the farm store, I bought two 50# bags of animal food, three large buckets of germination inhibitor, and a gallon of liquid weed killer. I loaded these all into the shopping cart, placed about half of on the store counter because the clerk couldn’t reach the scan code, then unloaded them into the car (during which time I confused that helpful young man), then, of course, took them out of the car when I got home.
Once there, I explained my strange new problem to my husband, who was in the garage. I said, “How am I going to get my exercise?”
He promptly pointed to a stack of 2 foot by 3 foot pieces of 1 inch thick plywood and said, “You can carry those to the barn for me.” Problem solved. I think I’ll let all those other people help me from now on.