I just watched the garbage men fight with our large, broken plastic chairmat that Steve wore out wheeling his chair between his desk and computer table. My relief at seeing the old one disappear into the mouth of the garbage truck was based on the trials involved in getting the new one in and the old one out.
Wednesday night I told Steve that I’d picked up his new chairmat at the office furniture store from which I’d special-ordered it. I’d left it in my car because after seeing the hefty salesman fight to get it into my car, I knew I couldn’t handle it alone.
Thursday morning at 7:15, I heard noises from the garage and then he came stumbling in with that enormous, heavy, studded plastic mat. It’s only 5 x 6 feet, but the weight and awkwardness makes it a challenge to handle. We had to use towels to hold onto it because the studs are so sharp. We got it up the stairs and I couldn’t help but wonder what prompted him to start this project 15 minutes before leaving for his 8 a.m. class. Fortunately for us both, I didn’t verbalize those thoughts.
We had to move his massive desk off the old chairpad–not an easy task. I couldn’t budge my end even an inch, but Steve’s weight-lifting paid off as he was able to scoot it off. Then I lifted the leg of the computer table so he could pull the old pad the rest of the way out.
Somehow, in getting the old pad out, he managed for the studs to cut his knee without tearing his khakis. How? I have no idea. My own knees were only bruised from the battle. He shot from the room, shouting, “I can’t do this! I’ve hurt my knee and I’ve got to take care of it before I get blood on my pants!”
He tore through various closets, drawers, and medicine cabinets looking for enough gauze to staunch the blood oozing down his leg. A mere Band-Aid would be like the legendary finger in the hole in the dyke. He finally got it wrapped to his satisfaction, apologetically leaving a trail of clutter behind.
When he returned to the office to get his school bag, I timidly asked if he would lift the computer table so I could slide the mat under it. “Not now!” he said, “Maybe not ever! I can’t do ANYTHING like this! We have to remember to hire someone to do every single little thing around here. Hire someone to get the old one out. I’m not touching it again!” With a quick kiss, he was gone, barely in time to make it to class.
So I managed to get it under the computer table, but the desk stayed where it was. At least the mat was flat and in place. And, even more clumsily, I dragged the old one to the window by his computer. Grateful for the tall windows easily cranked open, I dragged it over the sill and let it fall to the ground. Later I dragged it to the side of the house until garbage pickup today.
And Steve repented enough to help me get it to the street last night, though we were laughing so much it was hard to grip it enough to get it propped between the garbage cans. So when I heard the garbage truck, it was with delight that I watched the two muscular men have similar challenges trying to get it in their truck.
Steve is right about our lack of ability on physical household tasks. A few years ago I complimented a workman at our house, grateful for his skills. “My husband can’t do any of those things,” I said.
I was taken aback by his vehement response. “Your husband can do lots of things I can’t!” he answered. “Don’t you ever forget that!”
And I haven’t. I’m grateful daily for Steve, his many talents, and his loving ways. I’m grateful that his talents provide the means to hire done what we cannot do ourselves. I’m reminded of Romans 12:6: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” And one of the gifts Steve and I share is a sense of humor, especially about ourselves.