A moral dilemma

The dresser for the nursery arrived last week. We ordered it online, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Greg had thought that it would require assembly, but it arrived fully assembled and much bigger than we had envisioned.

The delivery people left it on our porch, and Greg managed to drag it into our entryway. Now what? We had to move it. We couldn’t even open the front door with it in its current spot.

Greg pulled all the drawers out to reduce the weight. Somehow this thing had to get up a our U-shaped stairs.

Inspiration struck. Greg teaches a tae kwon do class several times a week for a bunch of his co-workers. These are people who spend hours doing hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups and kicks, people who thrive on punishing workouts. Exactly the sort of people you want around for moving furniture.

“Maybe you can get someone from tae kwon do to help,” I said.

“Ethically, I can’t ask them for anything,” Greg said.

Greg and I learned tae kwon do from a group of people who believe it is unethical to charge for training. So they teach you tae kwon do for free with the understanding that you will someday do the same for others. And I think this is admirable. But Greg is also friends with a lot of people in the club. Couldn’t he ask them as friends?

“So, ethically, it’s better that your eight-months-pregnant wife moves this?” I asked.

Greg lifted an end.

“You could definitely move it if you weren’t pregnant,” Greg said. “But I don’t know about now.”

I knew I would go crazy with this thing sitting in the entryway, and I also knew that Greg would be perfectly happy to let it sit there for three months unless I forced the issue. I agreed that we would try to move it. We could stop if it was too difficult.

I took the top end, and the first six steps went fine, but then we reached the U-turn. There was much moaning and groaning as I tried to steer both my cumbersome belly and this dresser around the corners.

“Greg, I have to stop,” I said. I sat down to catch my breath. I decided this had been a very bad idea and that as much as I want equality between the sexes, some tasks just aren’t meant for pregnant women. Problem was, the dresser was nearly as wide as the staircase, so we couldn’t actually stop because I would be trapped on the second floor of the house.

I persevered, and we finally heaved the dresser onto the top step. And then I collapsed on the floor and awaited either a heart attack or the breaking of my water. I’ve got to admit I’m a little sad that neither happened because I think the guilt Greg would have felt might have saved me months of diaper changes.