We discovered Jay Hitt, an unjustly obscure singer/songwriter, at the Rutgers Folk Festival a couple of years ago. My favorite song on his album "Bright Extraordinary Day" is called "Twenty-Five Years Ago," and is a good song for putting on endless repeat and singing along to while sobbing quietly, although I'm sure it would be even more cathartic for someone who's closer to fifty. The last song on the CD is the brilliant "Men Carry Stuff," which includes a rambling Arlo Guthrie-style introduction; the chorus depicts a mother instructing her daughter--
Darling, when you grow up you'll be something;
You'll be strong and you will thrive when times get rough.
There's not a thing that you can't do alone, but in the end
You'll want men to carry stuff.
And it's true. Carrying stuff stinks, so why not ask men to do it? They seem to consider that they possess not only strength, but also unique knowledge that specially qualifies them for carrying stuff. They're cute when they're doing it, delivering gruff and pinched instructions to each other and looking grimly determined.
So imagine my surprise when I suggested to my husband last night that we call my dad and ask him to come over and help carry the garage sale armoire, paint presumably dry, up to our bedroom. He said, "I think the two of us could do it."
We did. The paint was not, in fact, quite dry. I did, at one point, have to say in a gruff and pinched voice, "My ankle is pinned against the stairs." But the armoire is now in our bedroom. I don't know whether I feel good about the experience or not.