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Asking for help when you need it

March 3, 2010

There, I said it. Help.

Help, help, help, help, help, HELP!

For me, like for many women, “help” is a four-letter word. After all, we do it all. We work, cook, clean, take care of the emotional needs of our families and friends. We have sparkling floors and pantries stashed with antacid. And, now, thanks to yours truly, we can fix anything too.

All this would not be a problem, if we didn’t have one big problem: Contorting our mouths to make those four little letters – H. E. L. P.

What led to me to this dark place? Vinyl.

Now, vinyl can be blamed for a lot of things, but turning a grown, independent woman into a heap of a mess usually isn’t one of them.

Here’s what happened:

I decided to lay vinyl flooring in my home – the kind that looks like hardwood. I was very excited about the project, but I forgot something very important: I didn’t remember how to lay vinyl, wood-like flooring. 

Did you know you that every other row must be started with a strip that’s been cut in half? Otherwise, you get a pattern more like a pinstripe suit than a real wood floor. Well, I used to know that. Apparently I don’t anymore.

Did you know that all the strips have an arrow on the back? Did you know that all the arrows have to face the same way? Did you know that when you cut your strip (IF you remember too), the end that you cut must go against the wall so that the factory cut (a cut that is far, far, far straighter than you will ever cut) will easily butt against another strip’s perfect factory cut while your cuts are destined to be against the wall, hidden under the molding? And, did you also know that as you open each new box of wood-like, vinyl flooring, you start on the opposite side of the room?

Strip angst aside. It was the measuring that finally threw me over the edge.

Maneuvering wood-like vinyl flooring around door openings and closet door holders is no simple task. Add to that I suffered a brain illness several years ago that makes the “measure twice, cut once” rule more like “measure eight times, cut if you dare” for me.

Despite all this, the floor looks fabulous. Even more, it’s a reminder to me that it is okay for all of us to ask for help. How do you think I finally got the floor in correctly? I didn’t just suddenly know. I called in support. Granted I was threatening the vinyl with my knife by the time I did, but still.

So, call a friend, read a book, use google – whatever it takes to get the job done. We can’t be embarrassed by our limitations. We must suck it up and admit that we don’t know it all and we can’t do everything by ourselves.

If we don’t, our vinyl flooring will tell the tale.

  1. July 8, 2010 8:09 pm

    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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