I have no business renovating a house. On top of my lack of prior experience, I sport an embarrassing lack of hand-eye coordination.
The events that qualify as other people’s most embarrassing experiences ever make up my daily existence. Ran into a wall? Not again. Tray dropped in the cafeteria? Take a bow.
In our college biology class, my sister and I learned about the cerebellum, the part of your brain that essentially controls your sense of place in the universe – helps keep your balance, allows you to navigate a staircase without falling. My sister leaned over and whispered, “Yours is broken.”
Or, as one of my college friends so succinctly put it, “You are an accident waiting to happen.”
We’ve had our dumpster for three weeks, and in that time I’ve bashed my elbow off the inner wall of the dumpster, nearly slipped – with my wheelbarrow – off a ramp in the dumpster to join the smashed ceramics below, acquired bumps on both sides of my head from failure to duck on the basement stairs, and bruised my wrists for no good reason (ok – from swinging my arms into doorways).
Last week, given the evidence that I still can’t navigate my own house, I relegated myself to pulling nails from the ceilings.
I still managed to obtain a painful infection in my finger – my pointer finger. On Saturday I bashed my own thumb – on the same hand – under a hammer.
Bruised and bumped and throbbing, I stumbled out to the back porch and muttered bad things into the wind. Hateful things. Things about being enough of a liability before – and as if that hadn’t been bad enough, now I was about as useful . . . as a crab . . . wearing mittens.
It is hard to realize that, unless you include the hard hours devoted to Pinterest-scouring, cabinet-pricing, and hand-scrawled floor plans, I probably am in the running for least valuable contributor.
It does not matter how badly I want it – I can’t even open our sticky door by myself. And it does not matter if my hourly contribution is through the roof, my actual contribution, in terms of results, is still about the equivalent of standing there banging my face against the foundation, asking, “Is this helping?” And the rest of the crew is humoring me, going, “Yes, just a little to the right.”
I will still be put to shame by high school kids swinging sledge hammers. I will still be the weak and puny crab-mitten wife crying and bandaging something again.
But this is the moment when champions are made. You can either forfeit and become officially useless to the universe or you can bandage your pincers and spend the rest of the day sweeping the floor.
She’s so resilient.