It is tiring always being “ON”. It would be nice, even if only every once in a while, to be able to not have to be responsible for every single aspect of my life. It’s not like when I was a minor, under my parents’ roof, when we had chore lists. Kendra mowed the lawn. Kim washed the dishes. Krystal vacuumed. Mom made the dinner. Dad plunged the toilets. No, in the household of one, every task has my name behind it. Even the ones I have no ability in. When those come up, thank the Lord that I’m smart enough to figure out what service provider I need to secure. But even then, it only gets done because I coordinate it. Just me. No one else.
Again, having to do it all myself can become a bit much at times.
So, recently when all 3 light bulbs in my overhead light in the kitchen died, I was left in a predicament. As in any home, my ceilings are high. The thought of climbing a stool to replace these bulbs is less than appealing. But, my dad lives over 2,000 miles away. There’s no special someone right now that I can sweet talk into doing odd jobs around my home. And I can’t very well hire a handyman for this, can I? Thus, this evening I figured I’d procrastinated long enough and with a determined spirit I decided to hoist myself onto my wooden barstool to complete this task. (For all the logical people out there reading this- yes, I should own a ladder, but I don’t.)
I’m pretty lucky that in the 8 or so years that I’ve lived in my home I never had to change this particular light fixture’s bulbs. (Also probably a bit sad and telling about how often I go into my kitchen.) Since it’d been a while, I prepared myself to also thoroughly wash the fixture while I was at it. So, I’m up on this stool taking off the cover and somehow jiggle it just right to get the last bit of juice going in 2 of the 3 bulbs. I unscrew the one that is burnt out completely and to my surprise see that the size of the bulb is one I do not currently have within my light bulb stock pile. A little annoyed, I decide to go ahead and at least wash the fixture cover so it’d be ready once I got the right size bulbs.
Then the bright idea hit me that I should clean around the elements that are secured to the ceiling. As I proceed to do so, one of the 2 remaining bulbs burst. All I could think was to avoid getting cut by glass and in my haste I slipped (atop this stool mind you), fell backwards onto the refrigerator, then spun around about 345 degrees before landing on my left side on the kitchen floor.
And at that moment I knew I’d come face to face with my biggest fear as a single woman- falling off a stool while changing a light bulb and no one knowing until a neighbor with a keen sense of smell catches a whiff of my decaying corpse 2 weeks later. Convinced that wasn’t going to be me, I hopped up really quick and hobbled to a chair in pain. What surprised me first off was how inaudible my fall was. Although I hit hard I thought “there’s no way that my neighbor below me was able to hear that”. For me, that was a sad realization.
After examining my bruises, I returned to the kitchen to try and clean up the mess from the blown light bulb and my fall. To my surprise I smelt gas. Apparently, as I fell, my knee engaged two of the knobs on the stove and gas was coming out of unlit burners. That’s when the fear became really, real. Not just death by fall but coupled with gas inhalation!
Why do I share this episode with you? First of all, I see the humor in it. I don’t watch Awkward Black Girl but I like the genre and I can imagine this making a great segment on the show. But secondly, it put me in a bit of a funk. One which will surely pass, but one I’m giving myself permission to fully feel and process before getting over it. Here’s my issue:
Singleness surely has its perks. Ones which I value and try to take full advantage of. But at moments like these I’m reminded of something that I don’t currently have but one day I hope to enjoy- having someone to share life with. And not just anyone, but the one that will climb the stool (or ladder) to change a light bulb without a 2ndthought. A person who will hear my fall and at least call from the next room to make sure I’m still breathing. Someone that is my partner and willing to do his part to ensure the household runs smoothly, as I do mine.
I don’t always want to be “IT”. Every once in a while I’d like to be able to share the load. That doesn’t mean I’m now desperately scouring the streets, lounges or internet trying to find someone. Nor do I believe that this is all a relationship boils down to. But at the very least, I can add to my mental “What I want in a mate” list/prayer someone that is skilled at changing light bulbs. Is that too much to ask?