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The other day I asked a random stranger to help me with the zipper at the back of my dress. Earlier in the day as I got ready to attend an event, I slipped into a coral pencil dress and quickly realized that I could not get the back zipper all the way up. Despite multiple attempts, my hands could not reach it.

It was the first time I had consciously noticed this particular struggle. I don’t know if watching Being Mary Jane had anything to do with my sudden alertness or whether I had not experienced the “back zipper issue” before, but the scene from Being Mary Jane stayed on my mind as I rushed out the door with my zipper partially undone.

As single women living alone, there are many things we naturally do for ourselves without second thought.  We take out the garbage, hang the frames and unblock the drains.  With help from Youtube, friends and family members, Google or good old trial and error, we learn the “uber” necessary art of self-reliance. Thus, the times when we are unable to do it alone can be sobering and unsettling. These times tend to remind us of human interdependence; because all of us, no matter how strong and resilient, will need an extra pair of hands at some point in our lives.

Those hands signify so much more than just the mere act of helping with a zipper. They represent companionship, sacrifice and love. Symbolically, they show us a picture of having a partner to help us through some of life’s difficult times and trying battles. They’re those shoulders to lean on after a long day and that you need when the going gets tough. Those hands can help mend you together when you’ve come undone. We desire the kind of hands that  “have your back” both literally and figuratively.

A few weeks after the experience with my coral dress, I was at the airport coming back from a trip when I felt fingers tapping my shoulder. I turned around to a woman offering to help me with my back zipper.  I chuckled to myself and relaxed into the knowledge that until I connect with those special pair of hands, a jacket, an offer to help or my own request for help will easily set that zipper straight.

I Want to Know:

  • Have you ever experienced the “Back Zipper Struggle?”
  • What are some of the most important things about love and companionship?