Ask For Help Like A Boss / by Dana Bergstrom

I find it hard to ask for assistance. I prefer to A) do tasks all by myself or B) expect others to help without me having to ask, as if all people are generally cooperative mind readers. These are two completely unreasonable extremes...I know.

Twenty three years into our marriage I still have trouble asking Pauly for help. I clearly haven't learned how and I'm conflicted and awkward whenever I make an attempt.

Pauly has suggested that I request help more often, rather than trying to do so much on my own. But he also seems to have opinions on how I ask.

The other day I wanted to get a bunch of stuff done before his siblings arrived for lunch so I said, “Would you like to start the fire while I get the food ready?”

“Don’t ask it like that,” he said with furrowed brows.

I tried again. "Will you please start the fire while I get lunch ready?

"Not like that either. You’re not clearly stating what you want. And it sounds kinda manipulative and needy.”

I felt pressure to get it right so I could get some freekin' help. His brother and sister would be here soon. "I want a fire in the wood stove and I want to start to cooking. Will you help me?"

“Say it as if it’s already done.”

My eyes widened at this novel idea. I could tell Pauly was attempting to get at the root of my conflicted inquiring, yet there was no way I was gonna pass up this dynamic opportunity he'd presented.

My fist shot straight into the air and I smiled with glee.

"I WANT A FIRE AND LUNCH! SO BE IT!”

"Not like that.”

I spun around in a circle with my arms straight out like Wonder Woman. I started laughing and became more giddy by the moment. Pauly had accidentally unleashed my insatiable hunger for power. I stopped spinning and stared him down.

“WHERE’S MY FIRE? WHERE’S MY LUNCH? I WANT THEM NOW! SO BE IT!”

“Noooooo,” he said shaking his head.

Smiling ear to ear, I stomped my foot and growled.

“FIRE AND LUNCH ARE MIIIIIIIIINE! SO BE IT!”  

I could barely contain my joy! This is, by far, my favorite method of requesting help!

Pauly found it all simultaneously amusing and annoying. Surprisingly, he did go on to build and light the fire and assist with lunch, although he did it with a slight attitude (Can you blame him?), as I cooked and continued to giggle about this wonderful, new mode of asking for assistance.

We still haven’t worked out Pauly's preferred way of wording questions quite yet. He suggested that I start the query by using the word “can” but it doesn’t seem right. I know he can start a fire. Plus, shouting demands as if I’m some maniacal medieval queen/magician is so much fun!

“I’m gonna write a blog post about this conversation. Guess what the title is.” I said.

“Pauly Does Every F*cking Thing I Tell Him To Do!" he shouted half jokingly.

“Ha! That wouldn’t be true." I paused for a second.

Then I closed my eyes, raised my arms and loudly declared my intention to the heavens.

"BUT I WISH HE WOULD!!!! SO BE IT!!!!”

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