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Miss Independent

“I’m going to Singapore”

“Singa-what?”

“Singa-pore.”

“Singa-when?”

“Tomorrow.”

“I’m going to Singapore”

“Singa-what?”

“Singa-pore.”

“Singa-when?”

“Tomorrow.”

A few short text messages and thus began my week and a half as Mr. Mom. House Husband. Miss Independent. Let me explain.

My boyfriend was sent to Singapore on an emergency trip for work. He is often threatened with these work trips abroad but then they won’t materialize. This one did. And off he went on his magical island tour for a week and a half, leaving me behind to contend with the chores, the house, the car, the ghosts, and myself. You’d think I’d be worried about an emergency trip to the hospital for a case of pleurisy, but I was more concerned about a trip to the grocery store. The grocery store is my boyfriend’s job. It generally sends me into a panic attack. The overhead fluorescents (multiplied by the hundreds) are just begging my head to twist into a migraine, the dreary elevator music does nothing to inspire my spirit, the endless numbers of items to choose from challenges the foggiest of foggy arthritic-narcoleptic brains, the cold temperature causes a major Raynaud’s attack in my hands and feet (my hands turn purple and numb) and the congested aisles filled with anxious, impatient people adds up to sensory overload. My body and mind simply cannot handle it. One grocery store trip by myself fries my nerves and leaves me with aching muscles and tremendous fatigue.

Sure enough, the grocery store did me in. And my first night in the house alone I guarded my room against any suspected paranormal activity or other intruders with scissors and a knife by my bedside. I practiced a few kick boxing moves before bed too.

I reacquainted myself with the chores I knew a long time ago—back when I was a little more independent, a lot more healthy. Hello, trash and recycling. Hello, bathtub. Ok, forget scrubbing the bathtub. But as I inched my way through the week, I tackled each challenge that came my way—emotional, physical and otherwise—like a ninja and began to regain some of the independence I so treasured. Independence, I suspect, that made me someone worthy of being treasured. I’ve never been good at asking for help, but over the years I have grown to depend on someone and let him help me every day. During this past week and a half, I had to help myself again in ways that were uncomfortable. From time to time, these little gifts come to us in life, causing us to recalibrate and shift into a new space.

My boyfriend’s back now. Thank goodness. He can go to the grocery store this weekend.

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