Let’s say your phone rings on a random Tuesday afternoon.
The voice on the other end asks: “Will you drop what you’re doing and meet me on the side of the road right now to help me lift something heavy, dirty and awkward into my car?”
What would you say?
I’m too busy.
I don’t do manual labor.
I don’t really like you that much.
Who is this?
All of the above?
Or, as my friend said: “Can I bring my mother?”
Um, yes please.
Those who know me well know that I’m not too great at asking for help. I’m getting better about accepting help when it’s offered, but I’m still more likely to slog through on my own — even if it kills me — than admit I’m not Supergirl.
(Or Wonder Woman. I always liked her better than that cocky blonde Kryptonian anyway.)
Which is demonstrated by the fact that I did try, at first, to lift and load this behemoth on my own:
Honestly, I didn’t even expect to need help. I assumed this thing would already have been scooped up by the roving hoards of furniture gypsies who seem to get every other CraigsList “curb alert” I’ve ever seen.
But when I drove up, lo and behold. A nine-foot-long, solid-wood primitive church pew. For free.
It only took me about seven minutes to breakdown the interior config of our Odyssey so that I could fit nine feet of pew and still have both children securely belted and in rear seats according to law.
But how to load nine feet of pew into said minivan?
I did ask my five-year-old to help me. It was worth a try.
[Insert Desperate Phone Call Here]
My friend Neil has already made an indentured servant of herself as I plied her with zinc place cards, soap dispensers, monogram stamps and artwork in hopes she’d help me out with all of my market events. (She did.)
It’s not like the woman hasn’t done enough.
But the impossibility that I could carry both ends of this beast while loading it into the minivan prompted me to make said desperate phone call even though I knew, in the end, she’d probably be busy and I’d be able to do nothing but drive away, benchless and in defeat.
Cue the trumpets: she came.
She never hesitated. Admittedly, I primed her with the words “old wooden church pew” — there’s a certain magic in those words for people like us — so that may have helped. Regardless, I feel decidedly blessed to have a friend who is willing to bail me out when I get in over my head. (Again.)
As for the church pew, it’s now sitting in my dining room awaiting a spell of warm weather so I can drag it outside and perform a little Spanish Inquisition with the PaintEater. Judging by the copious amount of pet hair — a little bonus, if you will — it’s most recent life was outside as lounging furniture for a pack of feral dogs. The elements did their work: it’s distressed, cracked and weathered. Or, as my husband might say, firewood with a superiority complex.
Oh, but the glimpses of wood under that peeling dark paint are tantalizing. It’s a thing of beauty. At least, it will be. Picture it: weathered raw wood with that gorgeous horizontal planking, banked with plump grain sack and ticking pillows and flanking my dining room table. Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee.
Neil, I can’t thank you enough, dear friend.