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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

By Self!


After my daughter's graduation I crawled into bed and watched home movies. On the screen, an earlier version of the same daughter fumbled with her chubby baby hands, determined to zip her own jacket. 

"By self!" she'd insisted in toddler duck-speak, shunning any assistance. "BY SELF!" 

As a broke, newly minted college grad, she'll now have the chance to do plenty 'by self.' Looking around, however, it's clear that many otherwise independent adults want the least 'by self' possible. 

 Pedicure from my point of view "Thuy!" by Debra Blake

Although we are well and capable, we hire people to wash and dry our hair. We pay strangers to file and paint our nails, to massage our naked flesh with oils, to pluck or shave or rip unwanted hair from our faces and bodies, to spray on our tans, to clean our homes, wash our clothes, sweep our walks, cut our lawns, and park our cars.

Eventually, many of us will have to hire strangers to feed, bathe and dress us, but I doubt we'll be all that proud or happy about it. I suspect that we'd much prefer to wipe our own asses, and in moments of lucidity  will long to proclaim 'BY SELF!' once more. 

From wee babes who insist on zipping their own jackets -- to befuddled elders flummoxed by button holes -- and everything in between -- aren't we quite the critter?

xo Amy

6 comments:

Pen N. InkBlog said...

Yes We are!

Pen N. InkBlog said...

When I'm 102 I will proclaim that I flushed my own toilet - if toilets as we know them today still exist.
Sincerely,
By Self

Anonymous said...

All so true. By the way, I love that painting. Who's Debra Blake?

Clara said...

All so true. By the way, I love that picture. Who's Debra Blake?

Unknown said...

Funny. You always open up new angles. Love the drawing too!!

hatofmanycolors said...

Isn't the circle of life strange sometimes? We push to gain independence only to lose it in the end sometimes.