I believe a common human need is to be helpful. Yet, as my eyesight decreases, I’m assigned fewer plum jobs with the Help Squad. Nowhere are my skills more underutilized than with family at holidays.
This year, I volunteered to hold the ladder while my brother strings the outside lights. Last year, nobody asked me to help and my brother fell off the ladder and hurt his back. This year my brother says he’s not getting up on any ladders, that he’s learned his lesson. I think he should have thought of that last year and asked me to hold his ladder. He would have saved himself a sore back. Plus, I would have felt helpful.
Nobody wants me to bring anything to the holiday party. They tell me to bring my appetite, that’s all. So I bring a nice bottle of Cabernet. It’s clean, unpretentious and needs no refrigeration. My family thinks I can’t cook and that’s based on solid evidence. But I can be helpful. I string more popcorn than I eat. Believe it or not, I’m good at wrapping gifts. Hell, I can be the best sober bartender your party could ever want. And, this year, I won’t even insist on a tip jar.
In return for my help, all I ask is a guide to cruise me through the buffet line. Buffets are the bane of the blind. Last year, my solo trip garnered nine deviled eggs alongside the decorative parsley. Just help me with food selection. I’ll do the rest. I will balance my flimsy plate on my knees while I keep the dog from stealing meatballs from that four year-old. Whose kid is that, anyway?
So, who needs a hand? I’ve got that “can do” attitude. Put me down as Santa’s helper. Especially you, bro. You stand six foot five and you need a ladder?