Here in Vermont we have a fall tradition that saves us from breaking our legs and hips and elbows all winter. We gather our empty buckets and head down to the town garage in the Fall when it’s hot and dry and we fill them with sand, to store in our garages until icy days in the dead of winter when we need to spread the sand on the steep paths to our houses, which we tend to put on top of hills to avoid the Spring floods.
Now my soon to be ex is a procrastinator. He waited until the sand pile was damp to fill up the buckets. He is not a Vermonter and so doesn’t understand that damp sand will freeze solid in a bucket and become useless when it’s -20.
There was one bucket of sand left in the garage and I needed to sand the path so that my elderly mother could visit the house without having to call an ambulance. A frozen solid 80 pound bucket of sand. I tried to carry it up the mountain to the house, but made it about 15 feet and knew this was a terrible idea and I would pay. In my younger days I would have dragged it, banging against my legs. But now I bruise and ache and tend to become dysfunctional if I carry something that heavy.
So he came up to say good night to the boys. And I told him I tried but couldn’t carry the bucket and asked him if he would carry it to the basement to thaw out.
“It’s not my job. There are plenty of other people who can do it.”
It’s heavy. Can you just carry it up for me?
“They can do it. (Pointing at my daughter and her boyfriend.) It’s not my job.”
Gina can’t pick it up. Can’t you just carry it up tonight or get it when you come in the morning to take the boys to school? What’s the big deal?
“I do EVERYTHING around here and get nothing for it. Why should I do it?”
Why can’t you do it? It’s just a bucket of sand.
“It’s not my problem.”
The boys are listening to you. What are you teaching them?
“How to DELEGATE.”
No, you’re teaching them how to get out of things. An adult would just go get the bucket.
“I’m not an adult.”
By this time I don’t know if I was trying not to laugh or totally infuriated that a 300 pound man couldn’t just carry a bucket of sand 200 feet for his family. Or maybe I was trying really hard to make a list in my head of what EVERYTHING is, seeing as I kicked him out and I’m not really sure what he does. And I was watching Gina and her boyfriend trying not to say anything. Although Gina did say “Are you really talking about a Bucket?”
So she made me this cartoon, which includes my boyfriend, who offered to bring me lots of dry sand when he comes later this week.