Digging My Own Holes: My Journey toward Self-Sufficiency and Beyond
When the Son of Sam, who was Jewish, was arrested, I heard a Jewish person tell about feeling shame, believing that the bad behavior of one of his own reflected poorly on him. This is a common feeling among minorities and may explain, for example, why an African-American feels anger or shame toward an Uncle Tom. It may also explain my feelings toward women who act helpless, believing this perpetuates the stereotype of women as the weaker sex.
So when a friend complained to me that her son-in-law would not help her daughter with landscaping chores by digging holes for her I said, “Well, tell her to dig her own holes. That’s what I tell my daughters.”
I was a single mother of two daughters for a number of years and “digging our own holes” became our mantra. One of my daughters later admitted, however, that she sometimes coquettishly asks her husband, “Will you dig my holes for me?”
When I met my husband I had been single for a number of years. At the time we met I had just purchased some land and was getting ready to build a house, acting as my own contractor and doing some of the work myself.
John soon started joining me when I would go to work on my land. It was in the country and a lovely place to visit. After I got my building permit, we were there working one day when I picked up a shovel and said I was going to the bottom of the hill to put up the post for the building permit.
“May I join you,” he asked, “or do you need to dig your own hole?”
I said he was welcomed to come along, but, shovel in hand, when we got to the bottom of the hill, I began to dig.
This is a rural, sparsely populated area, so we were alone, working beside the road, John silently watching me dig. The ground was very hard and I was about ready to let him dig when I looked up at him.
He was standing with his arms crossed over his chest, smiling at me. “You know, if anyone comes along, I’m going to have to take that shovel out of your hand.”
He’s been helping me dig my holes ever since.