I name this hot muggy Monday, National Schlepper* Appreciation Day! It is for all the people who think delivery is lazy (or too expensive), who run the office errands, the family errands, the boring “I know the CVS pharmacy is going to take forever” errands, and everything in between. We work several (usually strange) jobs, commute on sweaty trains, kill two hours in the city without spending money because it isn’t worth going all the way home, and are not afraid to walk those fifteen blocks instead of spending $2.75 on the subway. We are the ones that get strange glances and are asked “Wait, you’re walking there?” And you say, “Yes! I have legs!” and carry on in the 94 degree heat. You are the one that teaches on the Upper East Side, babysits in Flatbush, temps in the Financial District, lives in Queens, and makes it to Amelie on West 8th because they have a cheap happy hour. All on Tuesday. Today we should be proud. And in my half-asleep blogging state today, I name this day for you.
*By “Schlepper” I mean, a person who schleps, or carries things all over the place. It’s Yiddish. Dictionary.com tried to tell me otherwise. It is wrong.
When I was young, I always heard my mom talking about having to “schlep” all over the place. To the store, to the bank, back and forth to work. I realized pretty quickly after moving to NYC that I was destined to also live the life of a schlepper. At one point in time, I had seven different possible jobs at once. Seven. One week I was just a babysitter, and then the next I was a babysitter, a secretary, a background actor, and a teaching artist, all depending on if I answered my phone in time to accept the work. To say the least, it was a lot of running around with many clothing changes, snacks, and all the various crap you need to do these jobs. I once carried 14 shoe boxes in a shopping bag on the 6 train during rush hour. This will be my whiny story I tell our grandkids about walking uphill both ways in the snow.
I am always surprised by non-schlepper’s shock when you use a little more physical energy to do something than is normally required. The other day, a caring coworker asked me if I needed help carrying a case of water bottles up to our office, and to not hurt myself. I was tempted to say, “I work in theatre, I once carried a flight of steps up a flight of steps!” But I didn’t feel like explaining because I was carrying water bottles…and didn’t want to sound like a jerk.
But today, when I am not particularly high on energy, I was thankful to be part of this motivated bunch. I had a fantastic weekend up in Boston with my college roommates – a group of fellow schleppers that know how to keep a friendship going despite living in different states after almost ten years of friendship. But because of this wonderful weekend, I am a zombie. A warm, tired, slightly overwhelmed zombie. So when my office ordered lunch today, and I was faced with waiting an hour for a delicious sandwich or getting off my butt and picking up everyone’s delicious sandwich, I chose the latter, got the sunshine I desperately needed, and became the sandwich hero (hehe) of the day. They may look at me like I am an overachieving pushover…but I got to get up and get outside.
Our schlepping will also: (all taken from American Heart Association)
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well being
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
Ha! So there! Today is for us! We will travel across state lines, borough lines, and out into the hot muggy day to get sh*t done. I declare we all end the day with a glass of wine, that we all schlep to Trader Joe’s to purchase.