Asking for Help

That's it. I'm going to have to ask for help with a household job, and I don't like it.

In my laundry room, I have a shelf that has a screw pulled out of the wall. I have tried several different anchors to fix it, and it keeps pulling out. I'm frustrated and I'm tired of it. There is no good reason why I shouldn't be able to make this shelf stay up, but I don't have the time, the inclination, or the skills right now.

Now, the sensible amongst you will say, "Why don't you ask someone to help you?" Reasonable enough. But I hate to ask for help, and it seems like I'm always asking someone for something. My friend tells me that isn't exactly a fair assessment of the situation, but it is how I feel. Plus, I've still got a lot of deployment left and I'm trying to save my asks for a real need, not just a want. We can survive with this shelf hanging off the wall. I don't like it, but we can.

I was relating this frustration to my therapist/life coach/counselor person, and she challenged me to ask a friend to solve my shelf problem. Great, a dare. Now I have to ask for help. She also implied that I was being a martyr, and I hate martyrs. I guess I should be thankful – it wasn't hard to think of several people that I could call. But which one, and how? Several of the likely candidates are friends with each other so I think that I'll just send out a blanket email to four or five of them and let them duke it out.

The thought of it makes me a little sick to my stomach. First, I'm admitting that there is something that I can't do. Second, I'm going to have to clean my laundry room before they come. Third, they'll probably notice the shutter hanging off the front of the house and insist on fixing that, too. But I will do it. I'll let you know how it goes.

About the Author

She of the Sea

Oh dear - SpouseBUZZ wants a bio from me. I hate writing bios! What do you want to know? I'm a Navy wife and have been for something less than 20 years. I have four daughters who are approaching the teenage years faster than I can drink a Diet Coke. I love writing for SpouseBUZZ because I know that someone out there understands whatever it is I am saying. I also write about money at The Paycheck Chronicles and I am studying for the Certified Financial Planner exam. This year, I have managed to avoid most of my usual volunteer responsibilities (Girl Scouts, PTO, church, etc.) so that I can focus on helping out at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. It also allows me to make decent but unappreciated dinners and keep relatively up on the laundry.

Still haven't learned to get Christmas cards out on time, though.

17 Comments on "Asking for Help"

  1. Thank GOD. It's not just me.

  2. Yeah, sometimes asking help seems tough but you should ask help. Asking someone to help doesn't mean you don't know that thing or whatever. This one First, I'm admitting that there is something that I can't do., this is true. We can't do anything which does not fall on our interest and also we don't know everything. I think it's very great that you admit it to yourself. Goodluck to buddy!

  3. airforcewife | April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |

    Nope. It's me, too, SotS. Remember that whole moving debacle?
    Yeah – asking for AND ACCEPTING help doesn't come easy, does it?

  4. Funny, when I first started dating DF, we had a conversation:
    ME: I'm not good at asking for help.
    HIM: Well, you're just going to have to learn then.

  5. First it would depend on the size of the hole that the pulled screw has left. If it's still basically the size of the screw then go down to Lowe's and find this:
    I've used them exclusively for about a dozen years now. They come in different sizes and styles for whatever you're hanging. They even have specialty ones made of brass that have hooks for hanging pix and mirrors and stuff.
    If the hole is a lot bigger than the screw hole, then you're gonna have to move the shelf either up an inch or down an inch.
    One of the best things about these is when you move, they unscrew from the wall. That way you can take them with and won't have to worry about buying more at the next station. Plus they leave a clean hole that's easy to fill with a good, lightweight spackle.
    Hope this helps.

  6. If the anchor is just in the drywall you can get an anchor that will spring out on the other side of the wall (instead of the type of anchors that expand when you screw in the screw).
    If the anchor is in the stud, fill the hole with wood glue and use a rubber mallett to drive a wooden golf tee in the hole. Once that cures, you can drill a new hole for a new anchor.
    Sorry for all the detail; been there…done that on the bad anchors.

  7. We're actually the same. I don't want to bother people just to solve my problems. But because we are only human, there are things that we can't do alone. The best thing to do is think of someone who is really willing to help us. Sometimes, it's frustrating to ask for help and no one is available to lend a hand!

  8. I don't have a picture of the bracket, but what I would do is take the bracket and move it over an Inch or so to the left or the right and reinstall it into new sheetrock.

  9. Ann - AF spouse | April 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm |

    And you thought you were only asking 4 or five people for help!
    I think you need to find a "stud".
    HEHEHEH! Sorry, I couldn't help it.

  10. Thanks for all the support (and good suggestions.) I've reached the point where I don't even want to try to fix it myself anymore! I tried those anchors, DL Sly, and now I have a screw going in one side and the anchor firmly stuck to the other side, but not in the wall :)
    And, please, why does hanging things up have to be do darn hard?

  11. Yeah, I run into that every once in a while. A pair of pliers and a screwdriver will separate them. I'd have to go with moving the shelf an inch or so one way or the other to get to solid drywall. Or, like Ann says, find a *stud*.

  12. You need to find the studs (no the kind in the wall) should be 16 or 24 inches apart. To remedy is easy, but it would help if I see the shelf. I'm assuming it's a bracket shelf.
    First apply a stud finder to the wall. And again. And again. Conclusion: This wall has no studs. Alternate conclusion: This stud finder does not work. (To test against this conclusion, run stud finder over a promotional postcard for Chippendale's male strippers. When stud finder beeps ecstatically, discard your alternate conclusion and curse your builder or landlord for his shoddy work. (just kidding).
    Seriously, find studs, they have to be there, mark and ck for levelness, then make a cleat (2) (a piece of 1×2 lumber – furring strip) that fits along length of shelf that you can screw to the studs. If this is a bracket shelf you'll need one for the top screws of bracket and the bottom, so two pieces of wood.
    Then screw 2"screws shelf brackets along cleats where ever needed. The shelf will be up forever.
    Since this is a laundry room, and this is for functionality, the look is not too important, however you can paint wood to match wall color so it "disappears".
    It's not hard, measure your length needed for cleats, ask someone to cut the wood at the hardware store for you, wood shouldn't be more than $3.
    Hope this helps

  13. Alright, you all are putting me to shame. I might just have to do it myself! I am perfectly capable, I just don't wanna!

  14. *snicker*
    You forgot the old adage:
    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

  15. I have a hard time asking for help too, and accepting it. But even harder than that is _finding_ it!

  16. If you live on the Jacksonville, FL area, please let me know and I will personal fix it for you.

  17. Norah Dez | May 7, 2009 at 7:03 am |

    It is cool to offer, ask for, and accept help from others! Check out

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