It was a long-ass weekend full of the worst parts of being a single woman.

Firewood to chop and stack. A broken fence to repair. A lazy hippie who did a shitty job AND ripped me off, to deal with. A garage to clean and sort. Camping gear to put away. A chest freezer to empty and defrost. Mouse traps to set, oil to change… and that doesn’t even touch what needs to be done inside the house.

Add a nasty case of bronchitis to the mix, and you can imagine how fun my weekend was.

I coughed to the point I was lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I came damn close to peeing my pants a few times. I’d love to spin some story about me doing it all with a smile, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sweeping up mouse shit, makes me suicidal. Given the current level of my unhappiness… it was a ballsy move to risk it. I finally lit a pile of cardboard on fire and started burning things while big alligator tears filled my eyes and rolled down my rosy, feverish cheeks. I did my best not to drown in feeling sorry for myself. Being sick makes me vulnerable and frankly- I do everything for myself, including taking care of my broken body.

I really just needed some help. Good old fashioned, help.

The number one thing I am miserable at asking for.

There’s really nothing like fixing a fence to kick you in the broken heart. Hands full of splinters, screws in my teeth and a drill bit that kept falling into the leaves at my feet. I could see my neighbor watching from across the street, laughing. He’s lucky I’m not one of those concealed carry ladies, because I’d have shot him. Nothing really screams “How’s pining for someone treating you now?” like fixing a fence in the cold, alone.

God damn it, it’s a man’s job.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time doing men’s jobs.

From heating my home, to fixing the car… from orgasms to rodent disposal. I do it all.

and I’m fucking sick of it. Or sick in general? I don’t know. At any rate, I threw myself a pity party while I screwed the fuck out of my broken fence. The neighbor stopped laughing and I realized I was sobbing out loud. Ugly crying while I fixed one more fucking thing, by myself.

Out of screws, I stood back and admired my franken-fence. It’s not pretty, but it’s going to make it through winter.

M-Excuse me? Are you ok? Can I help hold it up while you screw it?

I looked up and my neighbor was walking up the driveway. Great.

J- Hi! Sorry- it’s been a long weekend. Don’t mind me.

I’m past the point of making polite small talk. Tears are running down my cheeks and snot from my nose. Real glamourous. I blew my nose and apologized again.

J- Sorry. I’m.

M- I didn’t mean to laugh. I was tempted to do the same thing when I saw it start to rip apart. Hi, my name is Mike. I live just around the corner.

J- Hi, I’m the crybaby neighbor, Jenni.

M- I don’t know a woman that would even attempt to fix that by herself, so I have nothing but respect. Can I help you with it?

I don’t know what happened, but I just bawled. Sat down on the ground and cried.

It’s humbling to me when I realize how much time I’ve spent hoping and waiting for someone while juggling the same crazy workload and never getting anything back. I think I finally ran out of faith, hope and peace… all at the same time.

Poor neighbor Mike stopped asking if he could help, and just started doing it. He picked up my extension cord and wound it up, He tightened the drill bit on my drill, then stuck a hand out to help me up.

J- Thank you. I am so sorry. I’m always a crybaby, but not usually this bad.

M- Hey, we all have shitty days.

J- I’ve had a year of them.

M- Me too. We should be friends. Misery loves company and an extra set of hands to fix a fence.

J- Do you like spicy food?

M- Love it.

J- I’ll be right back.

I filled a jar with the spicy, cheesy, potato, leek, butternut squash soup I’d made and traded him for my drill and cord, now neatly wound together.

M- WOW!!!  Homemade soup????? Thank you! That is so nice!

J- Thank you for helping me. I really appreciate it. Sorry for the tears.

M- You apologize a lot for someone who does all this and makes soup. I’ll help anytime.

He left with a jar of soup and I put my gloves back on and went back to work.

With a glimmer of hope, restored. ♥


4 thoughts on “Help

  1. I was bawling right along with you. Mike sounds like a good neighbor to know, and soup is better than cash to let someone know how much you appreciate their help. Especially when the weather wants to snow the week before Halloween. And I agree that mouse shit or anyother kind of rodent feces definitely falls under a “mans job” type of thing. Or maybe a son thats grown and can help his usually independent mother. But then, asking for help is always the hardest part of getting it.

  2. I remember as a single mom of a 4-year old I had just finished trimming my Christmas tree and when I turned my back it fell down and all the ornaments smashed. I lost it and sobbed for an hour! It was the final straw to all the other things I had to do alone while also raising a young boy. Sometimes we just have to ask for help. ❤

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