Recently, I stumbled across this passage in fiction. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

Ah, that most glorious of chores. Taking out the trash. The fact that it could pile up with such astonishing, impossible speed depressed Kate…. But perhaps it wasn’t even that — the never endingness of the trash. What bugged her the most was that any person with two brain cells knew that taking out the trash was a man’s job. So her failure at finding a husband had, among other things, relegated her to a life of trash handling.

{As she walks outside with the trash, the man of her dreams just happens to be hanging out in her front yard.} And exactly as God must have intended for man to do from the beginning of time, he strode into the fog and took out the trash. She could have fainted at the romance of it.
Becky Wade, My Stubborn Heart, 176-77.

I told a doctor once that an example of how fatigued I can get is that taking the trash out to the dumpster can land me in bed for 1.5-2 hours to recover. His solution? Walk to the dumpster without the trash. Somehow I think he missed the point. It’s not that I need to build up stamina but rather that I don’t have the energy to accomplish basic tasks like taking a shower or checking the mail.

But, I’ve discovered an amazing thing. It turns out that most people don’t have this problem. It means that I can ask people to do tasks for me that are so easy that they wouldn’t even think twice about them. If I asked you to always put your last name on your comments, would you even bother complaining or asking why?? Probably not. Anything that takes less than 10 seconds I assume that I can just humor you.

Moral of the story: when I interact with people, I can ask them to do simple tasks for me. (Then I can faint at the romance of it all.) Or rejoice that I finally have the energy to take a shower because someone else lugged my groceries from my car to my second-story apartment unit. Or I can entertain my classmate Diana and her boyfriend for two hours because I can delegate trash removal to the boyfriend.

Of course, I’m not just a hopeless parasite. I fully intend to share what I have with my friends and to pay it forward whenever possible. But in the mean time, would you mind picking up some fruit for me the next time you’re at the grocery store?

Fainting at the romance of community,



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