I just read something about Bob Mayer putting together a piece of furniture from Ikea and, after struggling with it for hours…discovering that he had extra screws. And I had to smile at the memories it brought to mind.
Several years ago, in an effort to not kill my budget entirely…and having decided it was time to replace old dressers and things…my youngest daughter and I got pretty heavy into putting together furniture kits. Dressers, shelves, armoires, desks, you name it, we could do it. And did. Even for other people.
I’m not sure that’s the reputation a woman and young girl should aspire to, but there ya go. We were considered local experts at furniture kits. At least in our small circle of friends and family.
For some strange reason, I’ve always been good at visualization, so reading the instructions are pretty easy for me to follow. I’m sure the fact that I grew up with a father who loved to remodel houses, and then later go on to build beautiful furniture (NOT from a kit), elaborate decks, and even a totally classy all-season room, chock-full of windows, at his lake home up north helped to foster my love of creating things (even if I usually need a kit). Add to this a fragile looking daughter who was probably stronger than I was when she was in kindergarten, and we are a great team.
Don’t believe me about how strong she was? I kid you not, when she was five years old she hoisted a full basket of clothes from the car, grabbed a gallon of milk, threw it on top, then carried the lot to our then upstairs apartment. With ease.
Anyway, back to what made me smile about the Bob Mayer thing…
My daughter and I were asked to put together a couple of dressers and a set of bunk beds for another family. Of course, being just the tiniest bit smug about our ‘fame,’ I said sure. No problem. And the dressers were no problem. The beds, on the other hand…
Can we say headache? Of the migraine, oh-dear-God-my-head-is going-to-explode variety.
The set we put together turned out better than this…
When reminiscing about that set of bunk beds, I don’t remember them fondly at all. They had to have been designed in the deepest, darkest pits of hell…or by someone who has a one-way ticket to that destination someday. Because there is no possible way that anyone with a shred of decency, or compassion, could have come up with that horrible jumble of…chaos. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that whoever did design it probably laughed himself sick on more than one occasion when he imagined the look of shock on the faces of the victims who bought the kit.
I’d never seen anything like it and, believe me, by that point, I’d had quite a bit of experience. But, like Bob Mayer, we struggled for hours with that sucker. And had lots of screws…and other things…left over when we were finished. In our defense, each hole that was supposed to have a bolt or screw got one. I think. And we must have done something right because I never heard that they collapsed or anything.
After that experience, I just kind of let our furniture-kit-building reputation die. Clearly I wasn’t the master at figuring out instructions I’d imagined myself to be.
Know what though? I’m okay with that.