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?