Lightbulbs (and the stark reality of independence)

I’m speaking quite literally here. Two of the lightbulbs in my rather fancy light fixture in the living room have burnt out and I need help replacing them. I am 5 feet and one and a half inches tall. Standing on my coffee table puts me nowhere near the light. It would probably behoove me to buy a step ladder, but that would involve buying a step ladder. Considering I know my days in this apartment are numbered, I’m not keen on spending any more money than I have to in order to live comfortably.

That being said, trying to read when two of five lightbulbs in the only light fixture anywhere near the couch have burnt out is not exactly comfortable. I have to admit, I’m relying on the fact that my dad is coming to visit in just over two weeks. If he weren’t . . . I’d probably just have a few tall friends over and see what they could accomplish while standing on the coffee table.

In all seriousness, though, I like to think of myself as an independent woman. In most ways, I am. I could easily fix this myself. However, I’m making the conscious decision not to.

And I’m not sure why.

The first lightbulb burnt out about two weeks ago, and that’s when I first thought, “Well, at least Dad’s coming.”

I think that in some ways, we all like to be helped and, conversely, to be needed. The roles that we are accustomed to playing are comfortable for us and help preserve the status quo or social norms govern our lives. There’s all sorts of research on sibling relationships and birth order to suggest that.

In my DP Psych class, we’ve been talking about situational and dispositional factors that influence behavior. In this particular case, dispositional factors are influencing my decision to squint at my book for the next two and some weeks before my dad arrives and changes my lightbulbs. It’s been a while since I’ve let someone take care of me; it’s been a while since I’ve let myself simply be someone’s child.

Even though I chose to live halfway around the world and I live alone, I miss that.

Update: Upon further reflection, I decided that my behavior described above is both ridiculous and unacceptable. Today after school I popped into a Chinese supermarket (though really the only thing “super” about it is its wine prices) and bought two new lightbulbs. I set a very sturdy kitchen chair on top of the coffee table, which is so heavy I can’t even move it, and managed to replace the lightbulbs. Hooray for independence!

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