I am a Do-It-Yourself-er. I rarely decide to pay someone to do something for me if I fully understand the hows and whys of doing it myself. Plumbing and electrical work I will typically leave to the professionals, but other random home improvements like paint, garden design, and room remodeling I can usually do on my own. I take great pride in knowing my hands provided many of our home improvements.

This weekend our project is to finish a project, and the baseboards won out. So, off to Home Depot I went, armed with my list of supplies and room measurements. By the time I had filled my buggy with all the little supplies and headed to the moulding aisle, I had already been in Home Depot for a considerable time period. I saved the cutting of the moulding for last, incase my phone died and my shopping list disappeared at a critical moment.

So there I am at the moulding, cutting my quarter-round rather easily. Then I moved on to the 16-foot long, 6-inch tall baseboards. I needed to cut about 8 sections of baseboard so that it would travel in the truck securely. After cutting one baseboard with the free hand-held saw provided, I realized I was sweating. After the second baseboard, I was dripping wet. At this point, there were three men on the same aisle with me. One of them needed assistance from an employee, and when the employee arrived, he assumed I was the customer in need. To a degree, I was. But I informed him it was the older gentleman in the hat who called for him. When the assisting was done for the older gentleman, the employee came to me and said, “You’ll only get one bicep really strong unless you work the saw in the other hand!” I laughed and commented on my personal policy not to sweat in public. The older gentleman said, “I’ve been watching her. I was thinking about hiring her.”

Oh, so you’d think about hiring me, but not about HELPING me???????

I don’t usually require that men assist me or treat me like the little lady who can’t or shouldn’t handle manual labor. But there comes a point when help is not degrading. If it is offered as a sign of, “Here…that’s easier for me to do, and I can see you’re struggling…” then it’s totally acceptable! As it turns out, of the four men who watched me saw myself into a cardiac frenzy, the only one who was willing to help me was the one who was being paid to do so. He sawed the last two pieces I needed, and then my aching arms and I steered my buggy of lumber to the check out while I regained a normal breathing pattern.

Chivalry needs a resurrection, for sure.

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